German skier kira weidle pulled off a major surprise in the first world cup downhill of the season.
The only 22 years old starnberger raced to the third place thanks to a remarkable catch-up race and celebrated with it the first podium success of her still young career. "That is of course unbelievable, I had not expected that," she said.
As the fastest in training, she had hinted at her form. In the first of two shooting runs she was beaten only by nicole schmidhofer from austria and michelle gisin from switzerland.
Weidle was 0.50 seconds behind super-G world champion schmidhofer, who won for the first time in the world cup. Olympic combined champion gisin was 35 hundredths of a second faster than weidle, who made up for a botched run by teammate viktoria rebensburg. The german top-athlete did not get along with the course in the rocky mountains one year after her second place and ended up on rank 16 (+2,07).
Weidle, on the other hand, emphasized that she is a force to be reckoned with in the future. In the olympic season, she had worked her way up in the world cup, had finished in the top 10 twice and had celebrated her best result to date with eighth place in lake louise. "Now it’s a matter of staying consistent," was her final goal.
With the relatively high starting number 20, weidle failed the first part of the course. But with the fastest time of all riders in the lower part she still made it onto the podium. At the finish she was fooling around with schmidhofer and gisin in front of the camera and waited for the end of the race which made her coup perfect.
On saturday (20.30 a.M./midnight), the second downhill is scheduled in lake louise, which will have to do without the injured series winner lindsey vonn this winter. The american had actually wanted to stop her career after the season. But she announced on friday that she will postpone the end of her career for a few more months in order to compete again on her favorite track in canada in december 2019.