Norwegians dominate downhill training
On Thursday the first and only training run for the downhill classic on the Saslong took place in Val Gardena/Gröden. Kjetil Jansrud clocked the fastest time on a slightly shortened track.
The 34-year-old Norwegian, who had already been on the podium nine times on the Saslong, ended with a time of 1:50.27 minutes becaming the favorite for Saturday's race. Team mate Aleksander Aamodt Kilde took second place (+0.35 seconds) behind Jansrud. However, last year's winner missed a goal at the entrance to the Ciaslat - as did some other racers. The Frenchman Johan Clarey, who opened the training with start bib one, finished the training with seven tenths of a second behind in third place, while local hero Dominik Paris from nearby Ulten valley finished fourth (+0.78).
The Austrian speed specialists were a bit more restrained on Thursday: Max Franz palced 11th as the best red-white-red skkier - his gap at the finish was already more than one and a half seconds. Also the leader of the downhill world cup, Beat Feuz from Switzerland, didn't share too much of his strategy losing over three seconds to Jansrud. On Saturday, the top German racers Josef Ferstl and Thomas Dressen can be expected to be high contenders: Both Ferstl (seventh place) and Dressen (16th place) have good odds to land in the top positions after this training.
With the exception of Dominik Paris, all of the South Tyrolean skiers were in the back of the standings. Christof Innerhofer from Gais was 48th at his comeback, Peter Fill from Kastelruth finished in 54th place. Their team mates Emanuele Buzzi and Mattia Casse, on the other hand, fared better: The "Azzurri" both placed in the top 20 with the 17th and 18th fastest times, respectively.
If the weather plays along, it will get interesting in Val Gardena/Gröden starting on Friday: athletes will race for FIS World Cup points in the super-G, which starts at 11.:45 am.
The classic downhill will then follow on Saturday. Start is also at 11:45 am. The complete result list of the downhill training can be found here.