Odermatt Completes Cortina Super-G Double
Odermatt put himself clear in the quest for the super-G title. Odermatt spoke in December about how much of a role model Roger Federer has been for him.
The Swiss ski ace has a long way to go, but he is starting to resemble his legendary compatriot in more ways than one: versatile, smooth, humble and – most importantly – dominant regardless of whatever surface he might be competing on.
Before yesterday, the male skiers hadn’t graced the Olympia Delle Tofane for 33 years, and never in the super-G – and this tricky piste took numerous casualties, including several established names. Completing back-to-back Audi FIS World Cup victories on Sunday, however, Odermatt looked like he’d been skiing it every day of his life.
He was controlled throughout, and the only man technically capable of taking the notorious Delta turn at high speed, in a heart-in-the-mouth, buccaneering move. Full of belief, it was a masterclass of timing and bravery from top to bottom.
The run meant that his key rival, last season’s super-G crystal globe winner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), had to push his limits harder than ever. Kilde had vowed yesterday that he would “change it up a gear” for Sunday. But the Norwegian overreached and fell victim to the Delta.
It puts 25-year-old Odermatt 148 points clear at the top of the Audi FIS World Cup super-G standings.
His excellence has been metronomic this season: this was his eighth victory of the season, and his fourth in super-G, where he hasn’t missed a podium all term. He also leads the GS standings and is placed third overall in the downhill.
“For sure it was the perfect race for me again,” said Odermatt, who seemed completely unhindered by a knee injury sustained in Kitzbühel. “It was difficult. I was very tight on the line twice, I guess, but that’s super-G. Sometimes you take the gate, sometimes you just miss it.
“The confidence helps, and after yesterday the confidence was very big again. I know the knee is good. My set up fits perfectly for these conditions, and I really inspected the course clearly. I repeated it again and again. Then, I just tried to ski my plan."
This was the last race for the speed skiers prior to the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Courchevel, France, which start on February 6. The super-G takes place on February 9.
Odermatt will be hot favourite, and he plans to relax in the interim. “I will just recover,” he said. “I will take a week off and go back home. I will enjoy some time, recover the body, the mind and the knee, and be refreshed for the World Champs.”
Dominik Paris of Italy, finished second (+0.76), to the delight of the local crowds. He was first out the gate with a run that looked imperfect, but stood up to the rest of the field as they struggled with a grippy, fast surface.
“I don’t have that many words, but it is a very positive day today,” said Paris. “I have to realise what I did. I tried to put down my line, what I had in my mind, and I was skiing fairly OK. But I had no idea it was good enough. Another missed podium [would have meant] difficulties for me.”
Daniel Hemetsberger (AUT) was third (+1.03) with a solid run. It was his first super-G podium, and enough to book his place in the competitive Austrian team for the FIS World Championships. “I think my run was quite good,” said.
“I don’t know why, I had a clear plan, but the plan was thrown away after 20 seconds, because I did everything in another way. I skied the best I could.”
There are just two super-G Audi FIS World Cup races on the calendar after today. The battle between Kilde and Odermatt will no doubt continue, but for now, it is definitely advantage Odermatt.