was fastest to the Lynx Path, through Winther’s Cut and
across the Sletten Plain. He was quickest into and out of
Russi’s Jump and the Elk Traverse, and nailed the S-Turn.
It would turn out, after everyone had run, that Jansrud recorded the fastest time to all five of the interval timers.
“I was very impressed by his performance,” said Kroell.
“He skied perfectly and seemed out of reach for us.”
The closest anyone came through the next 13 skiers was
Adrien Theaux, and though he was temporarily in second
place, he was 1.15 seconds behind.
Then Svindal, who knows a few of the Olympiabakken’s
nuances himself, tested the line as hard as he could. Were
it not for a mistake just above the finish, he might have
overtaken his younger teammate. Instead, he gave the
Norwegian crowd that had chugged in from Lillehammer by
rail two skiers in the first two positions.
Kroell was already on course when the roar of approval
echoed up the hill. If he heard it or not is of little concern,
for he was concentrated on the task at hand, which was
squeezing as much speed out of the course as he could.
To the first clock Kroell was 0.16 behind Jansrud and at the
second timer 0.32. But he was the fastest of all between the
second and third timer and slowly began to cut into the deficit. Everyone in the finish area was watching the interval
times drop. Kroell was running out of real estate.
Andreas Romar had a breakthrough
performance for Finland.
At the finish he had managed a 0.02 margin. Jansrud
would be denied the win again. And Norway would be denied the end of a win drought on home snow that stretched
back to 1997.
Feuz, starting two skiers later ran to fourth, giving him a
healthy batch ( 50 on the day) of overall points and moving
him within three points of Didier Cuche for second in the
downhill standings. Kroell, though, was the new DH leader
with a 48-point lead over Cuche, who finished 10th, one
placing behind Canada’s newest Cowboy, Ben Thomsen.
“Fortunately for me, I nailed the bottom part perfectly,”
said Kroell. “It is amazing to win by such a small margin. I
executed my plan perfectly.”
It was his seventh podium at Kvitfjell over five seasons, a
fact he says gives him confidence every time he races it.
“I am looking forward to coming back here in the coming
seasons,” said Kroell.
Though stung for the second time in two days by a total
of five-hundredths of a second, the good-natured Jansrud
remained in an upbeat mood. “In Norwegian,” he told Austrian reporters, “Kroell means troublemaker.”
The Americans are missing Bode Miller. Erik Fisher had a
smoking run going — was a podium possibility even — but
caught an edge and slid off the course, leaving Travis Ga-nong as the only scorer, in 30th place.
Thomsen led the North American placings in ninth — his
third top- 10 since Feb. 4 — after an amazing recovery kept
him upright. Erik Guay finished 12th, and Robbie Dixon finished 19th in a very creditable return from injury and Jan
Hudec was 28th, his 16th best of 16 results this season.
Klaus Kroell could scarely believe his downhill win.
Kroell nailed the bottom to take the downhill.
Super G, March 4
A few flakes of snow and the accompanying gray skies
flattened the light for the Sunday super G, making the
many bumps and chop from a week’s worth of racing all
the more difficult to see.
Jansrud had received many congratulations for his two-