Ski racer Andreas Sander has impressively ended the three-year dry spell of the German speed athletes and achieved a World Cup podium for the first time in his career.
The 33-year-old from Ennepetal raced to second place in the Aspen Super-G and, after winning downhill silver at the 2021 World Championships, celebrated the greatest success of his long alpine career. In the Rocky Mountains, the veteran only had to admit defeat to Swiss high-flyer Marco Odermatt.
Sander attacked right from the start and looked for the narrow, aggressive line around the gates. The DSV athlete was able to play to his strengths as a speed specialist, especially in the gliding passages. Up to the last split, Sander was even ahead of the Swiss Alpine dominator Odermatt. In the end, just five hundredths of a second separated him from victory. Third was the Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
In the descent the day before, Sander had already achieved his best result of the season in the supreme discipline in ninth place and gained self-confidence for the more winding discipline. "I'm just trying to go all in. It's easier when you're in good shape," Sander had announced. He delivered.
The lull in the German Ski Association ended
For the German Ski Association, Sander's success ended a lull that had lasted since the 2021 World Cup without a podium finish. The last top 3 ride in the World Cup was even longer ago: Thomas Dreßen was the last German on the podium in 2020. "In terms of the result, we lost the absolute top speed in the world," Alpine Director Wolfgang Maier said recently.
Sander's strong performance in the 180th World Cup race outshined the overall result in the US state of Colorado, which was weak from a German perspective. Romed Baumann (13th) and Josef Ferstl (34th) missed the top ten, Dominik Schwaiger was eliminated.
Odermatt drove to his fifth win of the season in Super-G and secured the small crystal globe in the discipline ranking early. The all-rounder is still about 400 points short of breaking the 2000-point mark set by Hermann Maier more than 20 years ago in a World Cup season.