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Kilde goes top of World Cup standings with 1st win of season


SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM – Aleksander Aamodt Kilde got his first win of the season Friday in a men’s World Cup super-G, sending the Norwegian to the top of both the discipline and overall standings.

Racing on a shortened course with run times of under a minute, Kilde finished 0.15 seconds ahead of Swiss rival Mauro Caviezel, who matched his career best result. Thomas Dressen of Germany, who won a downhill at the same venue on Thursday, was 0.31 behind in third.

“Difficult race, a long day. I am very satisfied now. First win of the season, that’s fantastic,” Kilde said after his fourth career win and first in 14 months. “Leading the overall and super-G World Cup is nice but the race win is more important.”

The jury decided in the early morning hours to lower the start gate as snowfall and gusts were an issue in the upper part of the Schneekristall course. However, strong winds remained in the following hours and made conditions for the racers potentially unsafe, causing several delays.

Matthias Mayer, who led the super-G standings before the race, missed a gate immediately after a jump and failed to finish. The Austrian dropped to fourth in the standings, trailing Kilde by 72 points with three races remaining. Caviezel and Kjetil Jansrud of Norway are second and third, respectively.

The five super-G races so far this season all had different winners. Kilde won the super-G season title once before, in 2016.

In the overall standings, Kilde overtook Henrik Kristoffersen, who does not compete in downhill races. Kilde leads his Norwegian teammate by 79 points, with Alexis Pinturault 100 points behind in third. The Frenchman placed sixth in Friday's race.

“Pinturault and Henrik are very consistent in the technical events so I have to step it up in the speed events,” said Kilde, who finished runner-up in four races this season.

Travis Ganong was seventh for the American's sixth top-10 result of the season. Beat Feuz, who finished runner-up in Thursday’s downhill, skied out at the same spot where Mayer missed a gate.

The races in the Austrian Alps replaced the Olympic test events scheduled for Yanqing this weekend, but moved from China following the outbreak of a virus.

The men’s World Cup is scheduled to continue in Naeba, Japan, next week with a slalom and a GS.

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