Kilde Wins Saslong Classic Downhill in Val Gardena Gröden
Today Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won the traditional Downhill on the Saslong in Val Gardena. The Norwegian celebrated his 17th World Cup win and 34th podium ahead of French veteran Johan Clarey (+0.35) and Italian Mattia Casse (+0.42).
The 30-year-old Attacking Viking has won three of the four downhill races of the season.
Kilde has won nine World Cup Downhills. Only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10) have won more Downhill World Cup races than him.
“It is amazing. I love to ski here. At the start, hearing the crowd shouting and the weather today was amazing. It is one of my favorite places to be”, said Kilde.
“To have all the oldest guy (Clarey) that has been with us for so many years and a new guy (Casse) on the podium who has been fighting for so many years and been through some terrible times, it is amazing”, Kilde added.
Johan Clarey finished in third place. The silver medallist in the Downhill at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, has collected nine World Cup podiums in the Downhill, but failed to win one. Only Heinrich Messner (10) have claimed as many World Cup Downhill podiums without ever winning.
“I tried my best, but I made a lot of mistakes today because my skis were really fast. At first I was disappointed when Kilde caught me, but he's simply the best in the Downhill. A good start is important here, you have to be there on the flats, luck in the conditions also plays a role. But without speed at the top, you can't get on the podium. (...) I am still having fun and I don’t know how I can be so fast at this age. It is not easy, the stress and everything in mind, it is not easy to push hard. Today I managed it and hopefully I can do it again in the next races”, said Clarey.
Starting with bib number 27, 32-year-old Mattia Casse achieved his first World Cup podium today. His best result in Downhill until today was a 7th place in Val gardena last season.
“I feel very, very good. I am in good condition and enjoying the new skis. I try my best in training every day and in the races. Now I get my first podium, so I am very, very happy”, Casse said.