Kilde in pole position for Saturday
In the second and final training session for the downhill classic on the Saslong, top favorite Aleksander Aamodt Kilde made a respectable statement with the fastest time.
In picture-perfect conditions, Kilde impressively reminded everyone that he is once again the man to beat in the downhill on Saturday. The Norwegian set the fastest time in 2:03.42 minutes and is now hunting for his third downhill victory in a row at the foot of the Sassolungo/Langkofel mountain. The 29-year-old was already unbeatable in the classic in Val Gardena/Gröden in 2018 and 2020 and even clinched a double victory in the super-G and downhill last year.
Behind top favorite Kilde, Otmar Striedinger took second place in the final training. The Austrian finished 29/100 seconds behind the fastest in training. The podium was rounded out by Val Gardena/Gröden specialist Ryan Cochran-Siegle. The American, who took his only downhill podium in the World Cup so far on the Saslong in 2020, lost 38/100 seconds to Kilde one day after clocking his best time in the first training run.
Large gap behind the fastest four
Fourth-placed Niels Hintermann of Switzerland (+0.41 seconds) was the only skier besides Striedinger and Cochran-Siegle to keep his gap to the leading time within reach. From Johan Clarey (5th place / +1.08 seconds) on, the gap of all racers was already over one second. However, some of the co-favorites, such as crystal ball winner Beat Feuz, did not show their cards at the training and lost speed well before the finish line.
The best Italian speed specialists finished outside the top 15 in the second training for the classic downhill on Saturday. Dominik Paris was the best local racer with a 16th place. In addition to the skier from Ulten, Mattia Casse (21st), Matteo Marsaglia (27th) and veteran Christof Innerhofer (28th) and Guglielmo Bosca (30th) also finished in the top 30.
Monsen has an unfortunate fall
The second training run was overshadowed by a crash of the Swede Felix Monsen. The second fastest of the first downhill training lost control of his skis in the middle section, fell unhappily and subsequently had to be transported away by helicopter.
After the two downhill training sessions, the first World Cup points will be awarded in Val Gardena/Gröden on Friday: At 11:45 a.m., the first of two speed races is on the program with the super-G. The downhill classic on the Saslong will take place on Saturday. The start is also at 11.45 a.m.
The complete results list of the second downhill training is available here.