"Kilde is the top favorite"
US skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle put his stamp on the first downhill training in a big way. Despite clocking his best time, however, the 29-year-old sees the role of favorite for Saturday's race with another athlete. We have captured the voices of the racers of the first training run.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle (1st place)
"I really enjoyed my run. I like the snow and the conditions are similar to my second place last year - so I tried to prepare for the weekend as best as I could. I'm enjoying the race week in Val Gardena/Gröden and I'm also taking the training runs seriously so that when things get serious, I can start with confidence. On the Saslong it is important to keep high speed in all sections, with the Ciaslat and its exit certainly being among the key sections. You have to ski sensitively and aggressively, at the same time it requires proper respect but also some risk - a good mix of all these components is probably the key to success. Top favorite for both competitions is still Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. He already won the super-G and the downhill here last year and is again skiing at an enormously high level this year. Kilde is certainly the rider to beat.”
Felix Monsen (2nd place)
"I am very satisfied with my performance. The slope is not icy, but still hard enough for my taste. During the run you are in the air a lot, I like that. On the Saslong you have to stay deeply concentrated from the beginning to the end, this is especially true on the Ciaslat. If you don't do that, you've already lost. Normally I'm not particularly good here, but this year I can rely on a great preparation, thanks to which I'm also fast in the flat sections. I'm looking forward to the two races and I'm setting my sights on both the super-G and the downhill."
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (5th place)
"It's nice as always here - I feel almost at home in Val Gardena/Gröden. The conditions are good and I am in good shape, so I can say that I am ready for the upcoming races. I don't feel any additional pressure, even though I was able to win super-G and downhill last year. I simply like the Saslong and can ski really fast here. The list of favorites is very long, though, because there are many skiers who have the potential to be strong contenders for a victory. The snow is good, the slope is quite wavy, but in excellent condition - so nothing stands in the way of two great races!”