Top performances in Val Gardena

20th December 2009, by Chris Gill

La Villa, Alta Badia Tourism

La Villa, Alta Badia Tourism

Selva Val Gardena hosted the men’s downhill and super-G races this weekend – and the Italian resort didn’t disappoint: there were top performances on the Saslong run, which this winter is also celebrating 40 years of downhill racing.

Super-G champs

Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal claimed his first win of the season, powering his way to the super-G title on Friday. Svindal took the podium top spot in a time of 1:38:35, beating Carlo Janka of Switzerland and Italy’s Patrick Staudacher into second and third. Svindal was delighted with his win having had a disappointing start to the season. The Norwegian is now joint second in the World Cup super-G standings.

And US racer Bode Miller put up one of his best performances of the new season too, taking fifth place, despite struggling with poor light.

Canada claims the downhill

There was good news for the Canadian team in Sunday’s downhill competition: Manuel Osbourne-Paradis won the gold. The Lake Louise super-G winner Osbourne-Paradis took his second gold medal of the season in a time of 2:01:27. Austria’s Mario Scheiber was second, with Swiss racer Ambrosi Hoffamann claiming third. The Canadian win has boosted the team’s morale, following a series of disappointing injuries to afflict members this year.

And they were fortunate to have favourable conditions for their runs: many of the racers battled against a strong headwind that struck the course part-way through, giving the early-starters an advantage. That didn’t stop Bode Miller picking up ninth position. Defending champion Michael Walchhofer managed fifth place, while Didier Cuche nursing a broken rib made tenth.

Home win in giant slalom

All change for the giant slalom as the racing moved to nearby La Villa (Alta Badia), and was won by Italy’s Massimiliano Blardone. The course is set on one of the steepest black runs in the area (Gran Risa) and Blardone set a cracking pace that wasn’t matched in either of the two rounds.

Next venue is Bormio on 27 December

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