Kilde double in Val Gardena

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde produced an outstanding performance in the 53rd Saslong Classic. Just one day after his super-G triumph, the Norwegian followed up in the downhill classic and raced to his third victory overall at the foot of the Sassolungo/Langkofel mountain.

In bright sunshine, Kilde left the competition behind snatching a first place with a time of 2:01.45 minutes. With his second downhill victory in Val Gardena/Gröden after 2018, the winner of the 2019/20 Overall World Cup joins his compatriot Aksel Lund Svindal: the Saslong record holder had triumphed in both speed events on the Saslong in 2015 and to date was the only racer to achieve this feat in one and the same year.

Behind Kilde, Ryan Cochran-Siegle surprisingly finished in second place. The 28-year-old US American lost only 22 hundredths to the Norwegian and thus climbed onto a World Cup podium for the first time in his career. Previously, Cochran-Siegle's best result in the World Cup was a fifth place in the Alpine Combined in Bormio 2019. The American’s first podium came 50 years after his mother, 1972 Olympic slalom champion Barbara Cochran, won a silver medal at the 1970 Alpine skiing world championships at the same resort in northern Italy. The podium was completed by Switzerland's Beat Feuz - for last year's winner of the downhill crystal globe, it was the third top-three finish in Val Gardena/Gröden.

Italians are trailing behind

Fourth place was tied by Kjetil Jansrud of Norway and U.S. skier Bryce Bennett, 62 hundredths behind. Co-favorite and Val Gardena/Gröden specialist Jansrud thus just missed his eleventh podium on the Saslong. Behind the duo, the winner of the first downhill training, Jared Goldberg from the USA, finished in sixth place.

Italy's speed specialists had to settle for minor roles in their home race. As the best local athlete, Dominik Paris finished in 15th place. In addition to Paris, only one other Italian collected World Cup points with veteran Christof Innerhofer finishing in 28th place. The third South Tyrolean in the bunch, Florian Schieder did not get closer than 48th place.

After the race race winner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde said: "I lost a little on the Ciaslat, otherwise my run was very good from top to bottom. It's a great feeling to follow in Aksel Lund Svindal's footsteps with this double victory. He has always been a big idol for me and taught me a lot, so my successes are partly thanks to him. We Norwegians work together with the Americans a lot - you can see the results of this cooperation now here on the Saslong. I also want to thank the organizers who have organized another special prize, the DOLOMITES Val Gardena Südtirol Ski Trophy - these special trophies and also the whole surrounding make Val Gardena/Gröden a unique World Cup venue."

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, runner up explained: "My run was very decent and mostly flawless. I got off to a good start and executed well on my plan. The slope and conditions in Val Gardena/Gröden are always top notch and suit us Americans and Norwegians very well. We Americans have a very good relationship with our Scandinavian friends, also today Kilde & team shared their impressions of the course with us and that helped a lot. Hopefully this partnership will continue for a long time. The next race is already waiting for me in Alta Badia tomorrow - I will be on full attack mode again."

Beat Feuz took third and explained: "I didn't have a particularly good feeling during my run, so I can't really explain third place. I was skiing better than in training, but I didn't think I could leave so many competitors behind me. I see the result as an early Christmas present, because I would have been ok with a 13th place. Looks like you are always ahead here if you happen to be from Norway or the US."

For Britain's Jack Gower, this was another tough race that despite skiing well on a course that he likes, the race did not go his way.

Full results

The inaugural winner of the DOLOMITES Val Gardena Südtirol Ski Trophy is Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. The Norwegian grabbed the most World Cup points in this year's speed events on the Saslong and can now look forward to winning the prestigious special prize.

As the winner of the Super-G and the Downhill, Kilde also crowned himself the clear recipient of the DOLOMITES Val Gardena Südtirol Ski Trophy. The 28-year-old Scandinavian collected 200 points as the winner of the two races and was thus by far the most successful skier of the 53rd Saslong Classic. Behind Kilde, U.S. skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who finished eighth in the super-G and second in the downhill, took second place with 112 points. Third place went to Kjetil Jansrud - the Norwegian collected a total of 110 points on the Saslong with a third and fourth place.

As the winner of the DOLOMITES Val Gardena Südtirol Ski Trophy, Kilde received an original 3D wooden bust, that can be viewed by all ski enthusiasts in the "Hall of Fame" at the Saslonch Hut, as well as additional prize money in the amount of 5,000 euros and a short vacation in Val Gardena/Gröden. The idea of the special prize was developed by the Organizing Committee of the Saslong Classic in collaboration with DOLOMITES Val Gardena Marketing.

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