Lake Louise, Nov 27: Didier Cuche won the downhill season-opener Saturday, giving Switzerland a 1-2 finish in the World Cup race at Lake Louise.
The 37-year-old Cuche finished in 1 minute, 47.28 seconds. He also won at Lake Louise in 2009.
“Actually, I always struggle to be fast here in Lake Louise, especially in the downhill,” Cuche said.
“I was on the podium three or four times in the super-G, but before the win two years ago I was maybe once top five. It's a hard course to be fast. You need to attack. You need to glide. You need find a good mix between pushing hard and letting the ski goes. Today, I had a lot of help with my skis and my material.”
Beat Fuez was second in 1:47.34, and Austria's Hannes Reichelt was third in 1:47.36.
“It's one race where the Swiss guys are better,” Reichelt said. “We'll try tomorrow, or at Beaver Creek (next week), to kick the Swiss off the podium.”
A super-G is scheduled for Sunday.
What keeps Cuche going is driving across the finish line to see his name light up in green letters at the top of the leaderboard, instead of red letters below.
“If it's green, it's perfect,” said Cuche, the defending downhill and super-G season champion. “If it's red, you start to focus on the next day and hope you get the green light.”
Cuche is a hero to Fuez.
“He's the old guy and I'm the young guy so we complete each other,” the 24-year-old Fuez said. “Of course he's a ski legend and a great guy and to be second behind him, it gives an even sweeter taste to my podium finish.”