Kueng takes super-G race for first World Cup victory

The Canadian Press

12/7/2013 4:27:42 PM

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. -- Patrick Kueng of Switzerland was nearly flawless as he captured his first World Cup and halted Aksel Lund Svindal's streak of four straight super-G victories on Saturday.

Kueng finished early and withstood a late charge from Otmar Striedinger of Austria, beating him by 0.24 seconds. Hannes Reichelt of Austria and Peter Fill of Italy tied for third.

"Unbelievable," Kueng said. "This is just unbelievable."

As racer No. 28 out of the starting gate, Kueng rushed down the course, making very few mistakes, and then glanced up at the scoreboard, expecting a good result but hardly his name at the top of the leaderboard.

Usually, he wouldn't have anything to worry about, especially with the best of the best in the event already down the mountain.

But he had to hold his breath as Striedinger, the 45th racer to take the course, nearly eclipsed his time.

"This just feels really good," Kueng said.

Funny, Striedinger said the same thing despite being runner-up.

"When I saw second place, I just couldn't believe it," Striedinger said after his first podium finish. "Amazing."

A day after winning the downhill, Svindal just never found his rhythm, which doesn't happen often on a hill that's always been kind to him.

"I haven't been off the podium in super-G for almost two years," Svindal said. "The other guys are too good, so if you make a mistake you're not there."

Fill is having quite a weekend at Beaver Creek, with his second straight podium finish.

"Two days ago, I'd say it's not my favourite course," Fill said. "Now, it's one of my favourite courses."

American Ted Ligety had an impressive run and finished fifth. Bode Miller showed signs of returning to form with a stellar start to the super-G, only to make a costly error. Miller was 14th, but said this was "encouraging" after missing all of last season with a knee injury.