This morning I was lucky enough to find a stable proxy server with pretty decent fidelity so that I could watch the mens DH live on Eurosport 1 / France. I even considered live-blogging the race, but I was reasonably sure my proxy would shit the bed after a few racers, so I just watched. Miraculously, I made it from bib 3 to bib 30 with only one refresh.
A really fascinating race, although a bit strange. First of all, the only guys in the field who had run DH races at Pissler were the Canadians and the old guy Patrick Jaerbyn, and, surprisingly, they all did pretty lousy. So much for the home court advantage. Second of all , there were about 7 or 8 guys who I though had near-perfect runs, and the times between them varied widely, so there was some “X” factor going on I didn’t understand. Wax?
I have a sneaking suspicion that the Canadians just got their ski prep wrong. Osborne-Paradis was just a little bit ragged, but that should have put him out of the top 5, not 17th. Dixon was clearly going for it, but pushed a little too hard. He hit a gate and got twisted around at I1, recovered, then eventually planted face near I4. Eric Guay skied as well as anyone, and he’s not even really a downhiller, so congratulations to him. Of the others, Heel looked really smooth to me, and only finished 12th. Walchhofer looked strong and smooth, but his time didn’t reflect it. Cuche, after the race, pretty much said what I just did – he felt smooth, he executed his game plan, and he couldn’t figure out for the life of him how he lost half a second in the last 20 seconds of the race. Walchhofer said the same thing in his post-race press conference. He just can’t figure out what he didn’t do right.
Anyway, Defago is a worthy champion, he won Wengen and The Hahnenkamm back to back last year, so congratulations to him.
The secret, super-fast downhill suit Spyder claims to have developed was a load of bullshit. Eric Guay and Bode were the only Spyder athletes in the top 15, so the rumours about the Spyder suit were wrong.
The “meat” of the threats to win are racers 15-22, but I didn’t declare the race over until Jan Hudec came down. Hudec was bib 31 and ostensibly not in the hunt, but more than anybody I can think of (except maybe Bode), Hudec consistently pulls amazing races out of his ass, so Defago wasn’t the winner in my mind until after #31.
All in all, it was a really fun race for me to watch, because I know the course well and I never get to watch races when I’m working at them. Fun to kick back with a cup of tea (sweetened with Trampass’ homemade North Carolina honey) and actually watch a race carefully.
The weather is supposed to be crappy again tonight, warmer and raining, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow with the womens DH training.