Under the sun of Aspen, Andreas Sander stretched his index finger in the air, even if at the finish centimeters were missing to the big throw. The 33-year-old narrowly missed victory in the Super-G in the US luxury ski resort, but celebrated the first podium finish of his World Cup career at the 180th attempt. Sander finished second behind the Swiss high-flyer Marco Odermatt, who secured the small crystal globe for winning the discipline classification.
"Sensational. I'm mega happy," said Sander after the great success. But he was also "surprised that it finally worked out that way". He does not mourn the missed victory. "There was a small mistake, but I try to forget that quickly and just be happy about second place," said Sander, "because you like to travel home."
Kilde wins Downhill World Cup
Sander (Ennepetal/ Germany), second at the 2021 World Championships in the downhill, was a full five hundredths of a second behind Odermatt in Colorado. Third was Norway's ski star Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (+0.34 seconds), who had won the Downhill World Cup on Saturday with his sixth victory of the season in the royal discipline.
Double World Champion Odermatt was the first racer in history to win five Super-G World Cups in one season. After his success in the Rocky Mountains, the 25-year-old also has the best chances to win the overall standings. Sander's best World Cup result so far had been a fourth place, the World Championship ninth in Courchevel ensured the first German Super-G podium since February 2020. At that time, Thomas Dreßen had finished third in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.
Dreßen (Mittenwald), who was eliminated the day before shortly before the finish, did not compete on Sunday. Simon Jocher (Garmisch/ Germany) was also missing after he suffered bruises on his arms and hips in a fall in the downhill. Romed Baumann (Kiefersfelden/ Germany) was a good 13th, Josef Ferstl (Hammer/ Germany) disappointed in 34th place.
On Saturday, Kilde clinched his sixth victory of the season in the downhill and, with 720 points, can no longer be overtaken by Vincent Kriechmayr (Austria/514). As the best German, Sander finished ninth (+1.01 seconds).
"What a feeling, it was a really nice season," said Kilde. Second was the Canadian James Crawford (+0.61) ahead of World Champion Odermatt (+0.63). Kriechmayr did not get beyond fourth place (+0.70) in the last downhill before the season finale in Soldeau/Andorra.
The Germans, on the other hand, must continue to wait for their first downhill podium in more than three years. Behind Sander, who had surprised as the fastest in practice and achieved his best result of the season, Baumann (+1.06) was eleventh, Ferstl (+1.28) finished 18th. Dominik Schwaiger (+2.74/52) had no chance at all.
The first descent in Aspen was cancelled on Friday due to heavy snowfall. Before the World Cup final in Andorra, the men will compete in two giant slaloms in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.