The second day in Val Gardena will see men compete in the 3rd Downhill event of the season and 9th race in this year’s World Cup. Looking at the first race in Val Gardena, men competed in Super-G, where we saw Aksel Lund Svindal winning his first race of the season, after finishing on the podium twice (Downhill and Super-G in Beaver Creek). He was only a fraction of a second faster than Christof Innerhofer who finished on the podium for the 2nd time this season after the 2nd place on 24th of November in Downhill race (Lake Louise). At third place, we saw Kjetil Jansrud who achieved his 2nd podium finish this season after winning the opening Super-G event in Lake Louise. Our predictions for this race went very well, as we saw a nice profit with Svindal, Innerhofer and Jansrud all on the podium, however, we sadly did not see Paris Dominik finishing the race.
Being that we have a Downhill race in front of us, we need to check how the athletes performed in the most recent event in that discipline. The most recent Downhill event for men took place in Beaver Creek on 30th of November. In that race, it was Beat Feuz, last season Downhill champion, who won his 1st race of this season. He was only 0.07s faster that Mauro Caviezel who up until now has 3 podium finishes; 1 in Downhill (2nd place) and 2 in Super-G (2nd and 3rd place). At the 3rd place, Aksel Lund Svindal finished only 0.08s behind Feuz and was 0.01s too slow to reach the 2nd place. Apart of the top 3 skiers, all others were well behind, with 4th placed Adrien Theaux finishing 0.21s behind Feuz. Last season at this venue, we saw Aksel Lund Svindal winning with a 0.59s lead in front of Kjetil Jansrud and 0.85s in front of Max Franz. This marked his 2nd Downhill win of the season and 3rd time he stood on the podium.
On 12th and 13th December, men had 2 training runs. In the first one, Ganong Travis finished 1st, over half a second in front of Franz Max (+0.68) and 0.72s in front of 3rd placed Bennet Bryce. As for the second training, Max Franz finished 0.66s in front of Steven Nyman and 0.86s in front of Beat Feuz. The winner of the first training, Travis Ganong finished 6th, 1.11s slower than Max Franz. With Super-G behind us and both training runs successfully finished, the athletes are ready to go down the slope, but who will end up victorious?
With his win in Beaver Creek, Beat Feuz has now 8 Downhill wins in his career. If he wins in Val Gardena, Feuz could become the 1st man to win 2 consecutive Downhill races since Aksel Lund Svindal last season (Beaver Creek – Val Gardena). He would also become the first Swiss skier to do so since Didier Cuche achieved 2 consecutive DH wins in 2012. Last season, Beat Feuz finished 8th in Val Gardena (1.17s) and has not yet won a downhill event on this venue. He did, however, win a Super-G event in Val Gardena in 2011. The last seasons Downhill champion will look to win his 2nd Downhill event today and with his good performance in the 2nd training run, we do believe it is highly likely we will see him finishing on the top. With the high odds of 10.00 offered on Beat Feuz to win, we must take the bet.
In total, Aksel Lund Svindal has won twice in Val Gardena (Downhill) and with another win here, he would become the first man to win 2 consecutive downhill races in Val Gardena since Michael Walchhofer (2007-2008). With 14 downhill wins in his career, Aksel Lund Svindal is only 1 shy of reaching the 4th place in all-time WC Downhill wins standings. His performances in Downhill races are phenomenal, as he has finished on the podium in 9 out of the last 13 races, with only 2 exceptions being 2 4th places and 2 8th places. A bet on Aksel Lund Svindal to finish on the podium would be a reasonable one, however, the odds offered (1.50) are far too low for us to consider it.
With 4 World Cup wins in Val Gardena Downhill events, Kjetil Jansrud has joint-most wins in a single ski resort alongside Kvitfjell. In his career, Jansrud won 8 Downhill races in the World Cup, which is 3rd most among Norwegian men. He is, however, still behind Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10). Looking at last season, Jansrud finished 7th in Downhill standings, as he has not won a single race, which was surprising, as he has won at least one ever since 2013/14 season. Nonetheless, we won’t be betting on him this race, as his results and performances in Downhill are just not up to par with the rest of the competition.
This venue has a special meaning to him, as Max Franz has won his first World Cup race in a downhill race in Val Gardena back in 2016. Val Gardena, alongside Lake Louise, are 2 of the ski resorts where Max Franz performs the best, and with his great showing in the training runs, it becomes clear we can expect a good result from him today. Max Franz has already won 1 Downhill race in Lake Louise this season, where he was 0.28s faster than Innerhofer and 0.54s faster than Dominik Paris. Franz, however, finished 13th in Beaver Creek, almost a second behind Beat Feuz (+0.90). Odds on Max Franz to win are high (6.00) in fact we feel like they are too high, considering what we expect from him. With that, we will bet on Max Franz to win his 3rd race of the season and 2nd Downhill race of 2018/19 season.
|Market||Prediction||Pinnacle Odds||Bet 365 Odds||Stake||Won / Lost|
|Outright||Max Franz||/||6.00||1 Unit||Lost|
|Outright||Beat Feuz||/||10.00||1 Unit||Lost|