WENGEN, Switzerland (AP)Aleksander Aamodt Kilde spoiled a Swiss party by winning a World Cup super-G on the country’s storied Lauberhorn course on Friday.
The Norwegian blew kisses to the noisy local fans in the finish area after edging home racers Stefan Rogentin and Marco Odermatt. Kilde, the 2022 Olympic bronze medalist in super-G, also held his arms out wide as if asking for the crowd to forgive him.
”I felt for sure a little bit of mixed feelings when I crossed the line because I knew it was double Swiss in the lead,” Kilde said. ”Also, it’s a good feeling beating them.”
Rogentin, who got a career-best result in second place with his first podium finish at age 28, was 0.27 seconds behind Kilde.
”Couldn’t be better, that’s maybe the best day of my life yet,” said Rogentin, whose previous best result was fifth in a super-G last season. ”Today was a perfect day.”
Odermatt trailed Kilde by 0.66 seconds to extend his streak of top-three finishes in super-G to four races this season.
The strong Swiss team had three more men in the top 10, including seventh-placed Beat Feuz in one of his farewell races. The 35-year-old Olympic downhill champion will retire after racing next weekend in Kitzbuhel, Austria.
Odermatt retained his big lead over Kilde in the overall standings. The Swiss racer is the defending champion while Kilde won the giant crystal globe in 2020.
Kilde won the World Cup super-G title last year and cut Odermatt’s lead in the discipline standings to only 28 points with the 100 he gained Friday. They have combined to win all four super-G races.
Racing on a bright, clear day, the Norwegian was fastest in the top section. That speed carried him on an adventurous ride through the S-section – one of the signature features of the Lauberhorn course.
”It was really on the limits but I made it,” said Kilde, whose winning time of almost 1 minute, 48 seconds was unusually long for a super-G.
Kilde’s 18 career wins in the World Cup include nine in each of the speed events, super-G and downhill. He won the Wengen downhill last year ahead of Odermatt and Feuz and will go for a repeat on Saturday in arguably Switzerland’s most prized sports event.
The downhill is the 93rd edition of the Lauberhorn race.
Two super-G races canceled from Lake Louise, Alberta, and Val Gardena, Italy, have been rescheuled for Jan. 28-29 in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. That weekend became free when a lack of snow in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, forced a downhill and a giant slalom to be canceled.
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