Alpine skiing-Svindal enjoys more success in Canada

Reuters

Sun, 27 Nov 20:52:00 2011

* Svindal wins Lake Louise Super-G

* Saturday's downhill winner Cuche comes second (Adds quotes, details)

Olympic champion Aksel Lund Svindal went full circle when he won the Lake Louise Super-G for the third time on Sunday.

Canada has always inspired the Norwegian, whose first World Cup victory was a Super-G in Lake Louise six years ago and he won Olympic gold in Whistler in 2010.

The 2007 and 2009 World Cup champion, who now has 15 World Cup victories, won the same event in 2007.

Tricky windy conditions forced organisers to lower the start and it was a race for experienced skiers with Swiss Didier Cuche, winner of Saturday's downhill, taking second place 0.23 seconds behind Svindal.

"It was tough, the course was very challenging with lots of ruts. I watched the others go down and seeing Cuche was in the lead, there was nothing else to do but fight," Svindal told reporters.

"It was very emotional at the finish when I saw the number one come out. I was looking for a good start after disappointing results in Soelden and in yesterday's downhill."

The last podium placing went to up-and-coming Frenchman Adrien Theaux, one of the fastest in practice, who trailed Cuche by 0.41 seconds.

At nearly 29, Svindal signalled he might be on the way back to his very best after winning only one race in each of the past two World Cup seasons even though the Norwegian retained his super-combined world title in Garmisch-Partenkirchen this year.

But both he and Cuche stressed the season was only just starting and it was far too early to look ahead.

"To leave Lake Louise with a win and a second place is most unexpected. But it's going to be a long season," Cuche told reporters.

"The overall World Cup is something missing in my career, I came close before but you need to do well in at least three events like Svindal. I need to improve in giant slaloms."

The men's World Cup continues next weekend with three races in Beaver Creek, a place in which Svindal and Cuche will be eager to do well as they have mixed memories there.

Cuche has never won the downhill on the Birds of Prey piste, finishing second two years ago, while Svindal has three victories in the American resort, where he suffered a dreadful crash that nearly ended his career four years ago.

 

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