Young Swiss Skier Janka Captures First Win

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on December 15, 2008 10:00 am

The men’s World Cup at Val d’Isere turned into the ski racing version of Crash Up Derby.  Last Friday, Austria’s Benjamin Raich won the super-combined by remaining upright, unlike a whopping 39 of his competitors.  Saturday’s GS (giant-slalom) took out 36 racers on the Face de Bellevarde.  Conditions were sketchy, ranging from sheer ice to soft snow with little forewarning.  "No one really knew what to expect, essentially, we were skiing sort of blind because we couldn’t see a lot this morning during inspection because of the fog," explained tour leader Aksel Svindal. "I was pushing hard to check my limits on this course which I did not race last season. It surely didn’t work out the way I hoped."  Svindal’s result?  Not a time, but the three letters ski racers dread next to their name: DNF as in Did Not Finish.

Carlo Janka of Switzerland overcame the elements and the rest of the field to beat out Massimiliano Blardone of Italy by two-tenths of a second. "All the pieces went perfectly together. The course suits my style. It was just a case of going for it and showing my true potential."  That potential is in the middle of full-on realization.  Janka started 65th two weeks ago in Lake Louise and finished second in the World Cup downhill.  Saturday in Val d’Isere, the 22-year-old captured his first win on the World Cup.

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