Conditions help Heel claims World Cup super-G
ITALY'S Werner Heel took advantage of worsening conditions to win a home World Cup super giant slalom in Val Gardena.
Favourites Hermann Maier, Didier Cuche and Bode Miller all struggled as a swirling headwind made life difficult for the later starters in the Italian Dolomites. Norwegian World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal had to settle for 28th place.
But while conditions conspired against the big names, Heel was already safely at the bottom of the Saslong course - his time of 1.35.04 was good enough to secure his best result since winning a World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell last year.
Switzerland's Dider Defago was second while Sweden's Patrick Jaerbyn, who turns 40 in less than four months, became the oldest podium finisher in World Cup history by claiming third place.
"My start bid was certainly not a disadvantage because the conditions changed so much," said Heel.
"It's a fantastic feeling and a great present for Christmas. I am lost for words, it's so hard to take in."