Racing through consistent light snow showers and low hanging clouds, the Swiss posted a time of 1:18.71 to bump Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal to the second step of the podium by two-tenths of a second, while Swiss teammate and Birds of Prey Downhill runner-up Beat Feuz finished in third, 26-hundredths of a second off the pace.
All the more impressive was the fact that Viletta roared out of the 30th start position to unseat Svindal when many in the crowd assumed the race had already been conceded to the Norwegian. Ironically, Viletta credited his race strategy to American Bode Miller, who captured the Birds of Prey Downhill crown on Friday.
“I heard Bode say that he had to risk it all yesterday in the Downhill,” offered Viletta, “and I decided that I would risk everything today. I couldn’t believe it when I crossed the finish line and saw that I was in the lead. It’s just an incredible feeling.”
While Svindal was never convinced that he had the win in the bag, he admitted that he was beginning to think a victory was possible until Feuz came down from the 22nd start position and moved into second. Then it was Viletta’s turn.
“I was standing with Beat in the finish,” explained the Norwegian, “and when Sandro’s first interval time was one second faster than mine, I told him that we were in trouble. What people don’t know is that Sandro is a very good Super-G skier. He proved it today.”
Top American finish on the day came courtesy of Andrew Weibrecht’s 10th place result, a little over one second off Viletta’s time. Other U.S. Ski Team finishes included Tommy Ford tied for 27th, Ryan Cochrane-Siegle in 29th and Will Gregorak tied for 36th.
Racing continues at the 2011 Audi Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week Sunday with Men’s Giant Slalom. The first run is slated for a 9:45 a.m. start, with the second run on tap for 12:45 p.m.
The Audi Birds of Prey Race Week will continue into next week with a second set of World Cup men’s and women’s races. The events have been relocated to Beaver Creek from Val d’Isere, France where unseasonably warm temperatures have prevented organizers from making enough snow on the racecourses.
The transplanted races will include Men’s Giant Slalom on Tuesday, December 6; Women’s Super-G on Wednesday, December 7; and Men’s Slalom on Thursday, December 8.
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, and the Heavenly Ski Resort and Northstar California in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort property and hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.