While yesterday's Super-G went under heavy snow and low visibility, today the sun came out and the conditions were perfect. It was a real day for the underdog in the French Alps with three unexpected racers finishing on the podium.
Martin Cater earned his first World Cup podium and victory today in Val d'Isère. Under bluebird skies, wearing start bib number 41, the Slovenian had an incredibly smooth run and managed to ski fast in every section, surprising everyone, including himself, at the finish line (the 27-year-old Slovenian’s career-best result was eighth in his 38 previous World Cup downhills).
“For me, it was a really good run but I didn’t believe it”, said Cater. "I knew it was a good run but I didn't believe it was that good. I was hoping for top 10, top 15, just hoping not 36th or 37th or 50th because it's difficult sometimes. You think you're fast but you're not".
.Cater’s previous best World Cup results were two sixth places, including in the Alpine combined event last January at Wengen, Switzerland.
Otmar Striedinger (AUT) was second on his fourth World Cup podium. He finished 0.22s behind the Slovenian. The Austrian speed skier was starting to get a taste of his first World Cup victory when Cater rushed through the finish line to take the lead. Striedinger was anyway satisfied with his result, as he managed to return to the podium after almost 20 months. His previous best was second place in the Beaver Creek Super-G back in 2013.
"It's a strange situation, I was annoyed about the 2nd place for a short time. When the first victory is within reach and then a Slovenian snatches the victory away from you. But I can't get angry, a second-place is also good. I'm very happy about my performance, it's a nice day for me. Even if it's not my first victory. But I'll keep fighting so that it will come at some point", said Striedinger.
Third place went to Urs Kryenbuehl (SUI), who was not able to match his best career result achieved in Bormio last year. The Swiss man finished third, 0.27s behind Cater. It's the second World Cup podium for Kryenbuehl.
"I have not speculated on the win. The race is not over until all the racers finished. It would certainly have been nice to win. But I am satisfied. I'm surprised because I wasn't that fast in training. I attacked, it was a good race", said Kryenbuehl.