A shortened racecourse in Val Gardena-Gröden brought a surprising and well-known outsider to the top of the podium. At the same venue where Bryce Bennett earned his first World Cup win and podium two years ago, the 31-year-old US skier with start number 34 beated favorites Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (+0.03) and Marco Odermatt (+0.05).
Bennett has achieved his best results in the ski resort in the Dolomites two wins and two fourth places in 2018 and 2020 (he also finished in fourth place in Bormio in 2018).
It was a very close race, with a tight podium and the 30 best racers in the same second than the winner (Martin Cater finished in 30 position merely 0.98 seconds behind Bennett).
"Last season was a disaster. I worked extremely hard over the summer, as hard as I could. I didn't expect to win today. This morning I think I need to ski free and do a run that I know I'm capable of and trust myself and it worked. I just feel really comfortable here", Bennett said.
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde was happy with his second position today as he thinks is a good way to start the speed season. It's his 8th podium in Val Gardena-Gröden.
"It was so nice to ski, a close run. I actually had a few mistakes, but the lower part from Ciaslat to the finish was really very good. We finally started racing, it was really time. I can look forward to the next few days in a relaxed manner", Kilde said.
World Champion Marco Odermatt finished on the Downhill podium for the tenth tim, but is still waiting for his first victory in the Alpine Ski World Cup in this discipline.
"I think that’s the beauty of this sport. Special stories are always written in Val Gardena. Now it’s not two, but five hundredths. The shortened descent in Val Gardena is an extremely close race. Like in recent years, the podium places are close to victory", Odermatt said.