It is already looking like a heavyweight battle that will rage throughout the speed season: Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) against Marco Odermatt (SUI). Kilde has now won five of his last eight super-G starts
After the Swiss racer was victorious in the super-G ahead of the Norwegian last weekend, Kilde struck back on the Bird of Prey piste at Beaver Creek. Yesterday he won the downhill, +0.06 ahead of Odermatt. On Sunday, he completed the double, adding the super-G title, just +0.20 in front of his friend and adversary.
It was, in fact, a double-double for Kilde, who won both races in Colorado last season, too. On a steep, tight, technical course with no room for error, neither man made one, while most of the rest of the field did.
Odermatt mastered the incredibly difficult bottom section with dynamic, powerful turns. But Kilde was even more aggressive and controlled.
“It was a long day yesterday, I had to fight to be top of the podium,” said Kilde. “It was tough but it was doable.
“It was tricky, quite dark, and there were lots of places where you could do mistakes. I just tried to keep it going, be smart and also charge down the pitch. I tried to go clean.”
Odermatt was gracious in defeat. “It was very fun again,” he said. “It was nice weather, a good slope, a very difficult course.
“It was difficult to take all the risks and go all in, [I took] a little bit less risk probably, but I’m really happy with the podium.”
Alexis Pinturault (FRA) was third with an impressive run early in the race.
“I tried really hard to push on the pitch,” he said. “I skied pretty well the whole way down and didn’t make huge mistakes, that’s the reason it was close at the end.
“It’s a technical slope, I don’t know if it’s at my advantage, but it’s a place where I ski well. It is one of the nicest speed weekends.”
Atle Lie McGrath (NOR) skied into fifth and Lucas Braathen (NOR) took seventh on their super-G debuts
Elsewhere, two 22-year-old Norwegians dazzled on their World Cup super-G debuts. Atle Lie McGrath (NOR) skied into fifth and Lucas Braathen (NOR) took seventh.
Kilde was impressed. “There is no respect, they just go for it,” he said. “For them to be top ten in their first super-G races is just incredible. It is really impressive.”
But it is the big two that will keep getting the headlines this term: the stage is set for an extraordinary battle.
Kilde has now won five of his last eight super-G starts. Odermatt has just climbed onto his ninth successive World Cup podium. The Norwegian is defending super-G and downhill crystal globe holder; the Swiss the overall champion.
Stifel U.S. Alpine Team athlete and Vail Valley resident River Radamus was the top American finisher at the Xfinity Birds of Prey, skiing to 16th place in front of his loud and dedicated hometown crowd. Aleksander Kilde from Norway was the winner of the weekend grabbing another victory in the super-G after his win in Saturday's downhill. The race wraps up the World Cups in the United States until late February, when the men return for tech races at Palisades Tahoe and Aspen.