Kilde grabs his fourth Saslong gold in Super-G

The first of the two speed races of the 54th Saslong Classic has ended with a victory by the big favourite: Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde on Friday lived up to the expectations in the super-G and bagged his third consecutive Val Gardena/Gröden triumph.

A year after his historic double victory at the base of the Sassolungo/Langkofel mountain, Kilde once again put in a stellar performance leaving the competition behind him clocking a winning time of 1:25.91 minutes. The 29-year-old powerhouse put down almost flawless run in fantastic conditions and claimed his fourth gold on the Saslong. In total, Kilde climbed to the top of the World Cup podium for the ninth time - just a few weeks after his two first places in the speed events in Beaver Creek, now for the third time in a row.

Behind the outstanding Kilde, two racers from the strong Austrian team completed the top three. Carinthian Matthias Mayer finished second, 22/100 behind, while the winner of the 2019 Val Gardena/Gröden Super-G, Vincent Kriechmayr, was third (+0.27). With downhill co-favorite Beat Feuz and surprise skier Stefan Rogentin, two Swiss ski aces placed fourth and fifth.

Paris shows up, Innerhofer is behind

South Tyrolean Dominik Paris, who finished the race in sixth place, also skied strongly. So far, the athlete from Ulten has only raced better in the Super-G on the Saslong twice before: a 2nd in 2014 and a fifth in 2019. Behind Paris, Austrian Max Franz placed seventh followed by the North American trio consisting of James Crawford (Canada) and the two U.S. skiers Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Travis Ganong in 8th, 9th and 10th place, respectively.

A bit further back placed the other racers of the Italian team. Guglielmo Bosca (21st) and Mattia Casse (23rd) finished in the top-25, while veteran Christof Innerhofer from Gais took 28th place on his 37th birthday.

On Saturday, the downhill classic is the highlight of the Val Gardena/Gröden race week. The race will start at 11:45 am.

This is what the fastest skiers said

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR/1st place): „If you look at the times, it was kind of a generally pretty smooth run I had from top to bottom. I had maybe one turn where I could have done a better job in the middle there but overall my plan was money and it was awesome to ski today. Tomorrow we’ll see if we can keep up this winning streak. It is all about skiing, being back racing in these great races and also be back in Val Gardean/Groeden. I was definitely nervous when Mayer was on the track as he was the one who could have beaten me today, together with a bunch of others. He is skiing well right now and was actually racing well so I through he would outrace me. This is definitely my favorite course in the World Cup circuit - just look at my track record. I also have fun on other courses but I just love this like nowhere else. I love the snow, the vibe, the terrain - everything here just seems fantastic. When I spoke to Jansrud last night, he was also very supportive and giving me the confidence that I need.“

Matthias Mayer (AUT/2nd place): „I kind of knew that I was racing well and was on the attack. I felt good and took advantage of watching the racers ahead of me, including Kilde’s race. The light definitely changed on the upper part of the course around bibs 16/17 which is why I thought I’ll do well with a later start. But I am not sure that this made a key difference.“

Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT/3rd place): „Except for a few tweaks in the Ciaslat, it was a good race for me. Especially in the lower part I didn't ski badly, so I was quite pleased at the finish. On the whole, I implemented everything I set out to do - the result is correspondingly good, especially if you compare it with the last results in Beaver Creek. Kilde is of course phenomenonal. He is always strong here and also deserved to win the super-G. My focus is now on the downhill - it's a matter of giving 100% again.“

Dominik Paris (ITA/6th place): „I made a few mistakes, things aren’t running as smoothly just yet. I think I can build up from today’s performance. I have not held back for tomorrow’s race, I certainly I gave it my all today. And it’s exactly then when you are not yet in top form that you end up making mistakes. But it’s important to know that you can race up there with the top. Tomorrow I hope that it all works out and that I do well.“

Coverage and Pictures by Saslong

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