LAKE LOUISE – Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde had a golden season opener at the Lake Louise Alpine World Cup on Saturday (Nov. 26).
Hitting his top speed of 134 km/h, Kilde won the men’s downhill at a time of 1:47.98 at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Finishing in second was Austria’s Daniel Hemetsberger (1:48.04) and in third was Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt (1:48.08).
“It was a lot of weight off my shoulders,” said Kilde. “Coming from a really good season last year and taking the globe comes with a lot of pressure.
“You know the speed is there, you know you’re doing something right and you can just keep on going.”
Canada’s Brodie Seger (1:50.35) and Jeff Read (1:50.40) finished 26th and 27th, respectively, and were the only Canucks in the points.
Olympic bronze medallist James Crawford finished 47th, Broderick Thompson was 50th, Trevor Philp was 57th, and Sam Mulligan did not finish.
During the first training run, Read wiped out, but walked away with just a few bumps and bruises. The crash didn't bother the 25-year-old from Canmore on the big stage as he sped to his best world cup opener.
“To start here with a race in the points, something I haven’t been able to do in the past, it’s a good start and I think that just builds confidence and I think it’s just a springboard from there,” said Read.
Weather has been on everyone's mind this week following three cancelled world cup events in Europe due to poor weather and safety concerns. Friday was supposed to start men's downhill in Lake Louise, but heavy fog and snow flurries forced organizers to rescheduled the race to Saturday.
As a result, only one super-G race will take place, Sunday (Nov. 27) at 12:30 p.m. MST.
Saturday's downhill champion Kilde is racing in the super-G and is already eyeing more hardware.
“I’m ready for tomorrow and let’s try it again,” said Kilde.