February 22, 2015

SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM, Austria (AP) A year after his surprise win in the Olympic downhill, Matthias Mayer is starting to follow up his success on the World Cup circuit.

The Austrian won a super-G on Sunday for his second victory in two days, mastering a technical and tricky home course amid thick snowfall.

''In Sochi it was a situation (where) I didn't win on World Cup before so many people didn't know me,'' Mayer said. ''(This) season so far was not really bad but it wasn't that good that I expected I can win here two times, so this was something like Sochi, too.''

The 12,000 fans waving Austrian flags and blaring air horns certainly sensed something special for Mayer. They gave him the loudest reception of any skier and Mayer didn't disappoint.

Skiing virtually error-free with a soft touch that few others displayed, Mayer clocked 1 minute, 31.53 seconds down the rarely used Schneekristall-Zwolfer run to finish 0.23 seconds ahead of Adrien Theaux of France.

Kjetil Jansrud of Norway finished third, 0.27 back, and slammed his poles on the snow angrily after seeing his result.

''It's not as bad as I felt coming into the finish,'' Jansrud said. ''I would like to apologize for what I did with my poles. The feelings just rushed out. I'm normally a calm guy.''

The source of Jansrud's frustration came in realizing that, combined with his 14th-place result in Saturday's downhill, he hadn't gained as many points as he expected this weekend in the race for the overall World Cup title - 78 to be exact.

''You go into the weekend aiming for 200 points but that's difficult to achieve,'' Jansrud said.

What's more, overall leader Marcel Hirscher finished a respectable 17th Sunday in a discipline that is not his specialty. Hirscher, attempting to become the first man to win four consecutive overall titles, leads Jansrud by 116 points with one more month of racing remaining.

''I've been chasing Marcel for the entire season and I'll chase him some more,'' Jansrud said.

Jansrud at least extended his lead in the super-G standings to 73 points ahead of Italy's Dominik Paris, who had a good run going until a major mistake forced him to break hard on the lower section. Paris finished 14th.

It was the first super-G win for Mayer, adding to his two World Cup downhill victories, the second of which came Saturday.

Theaux took the bronze medal in super-G at the world championships in Colorado earlier this month and this result matched his career best in the event.

Clearly feeling good all week, Theaux grabbed attention in downhill training when he performed a spread eagle over the final jump, which took skiers over a sponsor's car wedged into the snow.

''I like this slope,'' Theaux said. ''I like when it's very steep.''

The super-G course went around the car jump, making for a narrow gate that several skiers had trouble with. But the toughest part of the super-G appeared to be the middle section, which was full of turns and bumps.

World champion Hannes Reichelt also struggled and skied off course on the lower section.

While it snowed throughout the race and visibility was difficult, there were no major delays.

The top American finisher was Travis Ganong of Squaw Valley, California, in ninth.

Ted Ligety, who won the super-G at the 2013 worlds, was having a decent run until he fell down on his hip briefly midway down. Ligety finished 35th but wasted an opportunity for more on a technical course that suits his style and that was set by his coach.

''It was just pretty dark and I hit a couple of bumps and fell on my side,'' Ligety said. ''It would have been nice to capitalize on a super-G that's actually a real super-G.''

Meanwhile, Andreas Romar of Finland will miss the rest of the season after injuring his left knee during a crash in the finish area of Saturday's downhill.

The men's circuit moves to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, next weekend.


Andrew Dampf can be followed at www.twitter.com/asdampf

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)