Aksel Lund Svindal wins Val Gardena super-G by wide margin
Norwegian skier extends overall World Cup lead
Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal extended his recent dominance in speed races with a super-G victory at Val Gardena on Friday, winning by a large margin despite a major mistake three gates from the finish.
The Norwegian clocked one minute, 36.95 seconds down the Saslong course under a light snowfall that made for flat light.
Italians Matteo Marsaglia and Werner Heel finished second and third to the delight of the local fans in the Dolomite Range.
Marsaglia was a distant 1.07 seconds behind and Heel was 1.12 back.
It was Svindal's third win in five speed races this season. He finished second in the other two.
Svindal would have won by an even larger margin had he not nearly gone down with his legs in a split within sight of the finish line. But he recovered by the next-to-last gate and lost only 0.08 of his advantage from the final split time.
It was the 19th win of Svindal's World Cup career, moving him past Lasse Kjus into second place among Norwegian skiers, trailing only Kjetil Andre Aamodt's 21 victories.
Marsaglia won the previous super-G in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for his first career victory.
Heel won this race four years ago but hadn't been on the podium in any event in three seasons.
Svindal's Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud finished fourth, missing the podium by just 0.06 seconds. Jansrud and Svindal were 1-2 in downhill training Thursday and will be the favourites for Saturday's downhill on the Saslong.
Svindal moved 132 points ahead of American rival Ted Ligety in the overall standings, as Ligety finished 25th on a course that doesn't really suit him.
Svindal could widen his margin again in the downhill, since Ligety isn't racing, while the American will be favoured in Sunday's giant slalom in nearby Alta Badia.
Svindal also leads the super-G standings.
With Bode Miller still out recovering from knee surgery, the top American finisher was Travis Ganong in 24th.