Odermatt takes Beaver Creek super-G for 1st World Cup win

Odermatt takes Beaver Creek super-G for 1st World Cup win
Switzerland's Marco Odermatt reacts after finishing a Men's World Cup super-G skiing race Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Beaver Creek, Colo. (AP Photo/John Locher)

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) — Swiss racer Marco Odermatt has broken Austria’s grip on the Birds of Prey super-G.

The second racer to take the hill, Odermatt went on a wild ride to finish the technical course in 1 minute, 10.90 seconds Friday to earn his first World Cup victory. The 22-year-old nearly lurched over the top of his skis early in the run only to recover and keep on cruising.

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway was second, 0.10 seconds behind, and Austrian Matthias Mayer took third.

Odermatt snapped Austria’s string of four straight World Cup super-G wins at Beaver Creek. He needed a run just like this, too — barely on the verge of control around several turns.

“It’s whoever is willing to take the most risk and then pull it off,” said Travis Ganong, who finished sixth for the top finish among the Americans. “Odermatt, he took way too much risk and somehow it worked out. That’s a one out of 100 run. … He was on the limit, but that’s what’s fast.”

This was Odermatt’s third career World Cup podium and first in speed. He took second and third places in giant slalom competitions last season. Odermatt also won four titles at the 2018 world junior championships in Switzerland.

Mayer had a strong run despite a sore hip. He crashed in a giant slalom training session Tuesday and wasn’t sure how the hip would respond. Mayer won the opening super-G race of the season in Lake Louise, Alberta, last weekend.

“My hip is better,” Mayer said. “I’m pretty happy about third place.”

For German racer Thomas Dressen, this was about getting comfortable on the course again and not so much his place (27th). He crashed a year ago in Beaver Creek and tore the ACL in his right knee. Dressen, who won the downhill in Lake Louise last weekend, feels even more comfortable for Saturday’s downhill.

“It’s not the course’s fault that I crashed. It’s mine,” Dressen said. “If you’re honest with yourself, you can learn from your mistakes. I like the course a lot. It’s one of my favorites.”

Kilde turned in a fast time as the No. 17 racer. He finished in a three-way tie for third place last season during the super-G at Beaver Creek.

There were several “DNFs” — did not finish — on the technical course, including the first racer of the day, Adrien Theaux of France.

“Today was especially challenging with the set,” Ganong said.

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