'Attacking Vikings' maintain dominance; Jansrud wins super-G

BY AP • December 16, 2016

VAL GARDENA, Italy (AP) Aksel Lund Svindal was the only skier missing from the Norwegian podium party.

Olympic champion Kjetil Jansrud and teammate Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finished 1-2 in a super-G on Friday to extend Norway's recent dominance in Val Gardena - and in the World Cup speed events.

It could have been another podium sweep for the ''Attacking Vikings'' but Svindal wasted a fast start to his run with two major mistakes, ultimately skiing through a gate and not finishing.

''Team Norway likes Val Gardena,'' Kilde said. ''Unfortunately we didn't get Aksel with us this time but he'll for sure be back. It's always fun to ski the Saslong and the snow is always good.''

When Jansrud crossed the finish line and came to a stop he pointed toward Kilde in the leader's spot.

''Everything flows pretty well for us these days,'' Jansrud said.

Jansrud finished 0.06 seconds ahead of Kilde, and 0.13 in front of third-place Canadian veteran Erik Guay.

Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer of Austria finished fourth, 0.48 behind, as he returned to the site of a horrific crash a year ago which ended his season.

Olympic combined champion Sandro Viletta was airlifted off the course by helicopter to a local hospital after crashing and sliding into the safety netting backward. Race organizers said Viletta injured his right knee.

Jansrud has won all three speed races this season. He swept a super-G and downhill in Val d'Isere, France, this month.

''It's humbling to be able to pull it off,'' Jansrud said. ''I don't know how long it can continue but I'll try as long as possible.''

Last year in Val Gardena, Svindal, Jansrud, and Kilde finished 1-2-3 for Norway in the super-G.

Norwegians have won the Val Gardena super-G five consecutive times, with Svindal posting three victories and Jansrud two.

''As a team we're always working good with each other and pushing each other,'' said Kilde, who edged older teammates Jansrud and Svindal to take the season-long super-G title last season. ''Having guys like Aksel and Kjetil is an advantage for me.''

Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Norwegian skiers have won 16 of the 27 World Cup super-Gs. No other country has more than four wins in this span.

It was the 17th career World Cup victory for Jansrud, who won the super-G at the 2014 Sochi Games.

The 100 points earned moved Jansrud up to second in the overall standings, 140 points behind five-time defending champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who does not race downhill.

Adrian Smiseth Sejersted, another young Norwegian, posted his best career result in 11th, in just the fourth World Cup super-G of his career.

Including his downhill victory three years ago, it was Guay's fourth podium result in Val Gardena.

''Val Gardena has always been good to me,'' said Guay, who is regaining his form following his sixth knee surgery. ''A lot of times when I ski super-G I don't push as hard to the limits as I should but today I skied to the edge, no mistakes, clean run, and I'm very happy.''

Conditions were perfect, with the temperature below freezing level, visibility good and the snow hard and compact.

On Saturday, American skier Steven Nyman, who finished 25th, will be aiming to match Austrian great Franz Klammer and Italian skier Kristian Ghedina with his fourth Val Gardena downhill win - although the Norwegians are also favored.


Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf

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