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Switzerland's Marco Odermatt off to strong start for another overall World Cup crown

Switzerland's Marco Odermatt wins first men's super-G of the season in Lake Louise

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Marco Odermatt and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde continued their friendly rivalry for supremacy in men's alpine skiing with Odermatt taking Sunday's latest round.

The Swiss skier claimed the first men's super-G of the season ahead of runner-up Kilde of Norway in Lake Louise, Alta.

Kilde took the first downhill Saturday with Odermatt third.

The two men duelled last season for the overall World Cup crown — which includes slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill — with Odermatt prevailing and Kilde second.

Odermatt's strongest discipline is giant slalom, but he has the speed chops in super-G and downhill as well.

"I feel very good," Odermatt said. "The perfect season start in speed as well for me. Podium in downhill, victory in super-G."

Odermatt laid down a time of one minute, 32.53 seconds Sunday and circled the finish area with his finger in the air signalling number one.

"I had a great feeling while racing and if you cross the finish line more than a second in front, it's always a good sign," Odermatt said.

When Kilde crossed the line just over a tenth of a second back of the Swiss, he pointed at Odermatt and the two men laughed.

"We're good friends. Competitors for sure and I think we fire each other up quite a bit," Kilde said.

"We're having such a good time together competing against each other."

Austria's Matthias Mayer, the winner of last year's super-G in Lake Louise, was third Sunday.

Toronto's James Crawford was the top Canadian in 10th. The 25-year-old Canadian felt he was capable of more Sunday.

"Disappointed," Crawford said. "Just made some silly mistakes. The skiing was there and I just didn't execute.

"The skiing is fast so I'm not worried moving forward, but any day you don't perform to the level that you're capable, it doesn't feel great."

Morning snow tapered off for the race to start in cloudy conditions and a wind chill temperature of minus-13 C.

Super giant slalom, or super-G, combines elements of downhill and slalom. 

The discipline features sweeping turns on a shorter course and less vertical drop than downhill.

Canada's men are currently stronger in super-G than downhill placing four in the top 30 on Sunday. 

A top-30 result is coveted because that's where points and prize money are. 

A win in Lake Louise is worth 50,000 Swiss francs (C$70,000) down to 550 for 30th.

Points determine rankings, which factors into start numbers at subsequent races.

A top-30 start bib is considered an advantage because the course is more pristine for them than for later starters.

But three Canadians starting outside the top 30 skied into it Sunday led by Brodie Seger of Whistler, B.C., in 13th.

Calgary's Jeffrey Read placed 21st and Seger's young brother Riley was 27th.

"It's a strong showing that we have a few guys stacked in the top 25 and still all feeling like we have a lot more to give," Brodie Seger said.

"That's the standard we're holding ourselves to now. Sure, this is a great start and something we can build off of, but we know we can do better and we'll be looking to do better through the season as a group."

Broderick Thompson of Whistler, B.C., and Vancouver's Sam Mulligan were 42nd and 44th respectively in a field of 63 racers from a dozen countries. 

Calgary's Trevor Philp and Kyle Alexander of North Vancouver, B.C., both crashed, but weren't seriously injured and made their way down to the finish area.

The men head to Beaver Creek, Colo., for downhills Friday and Saturday and a super-G next Sunday.

The women arrive in Lake Louise to kick off their speed season with downhills Friday and Saturday, and a Sunday super-G.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2022



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