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Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Kjetil Jansrud can pass downhill test

Swiss dark horse Mauro Caviezel is worth watching

Kjetil Jansrud during downhill training at Jeongseon Alpine Centre
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BBC & Eurosport, 2am Thursday

The blue riband event of alpine skiing is set to take place in the early hours of Thursday - just four days after it was postponed due to high winds.

It should be worth waiting for, however. It's a fascinating event and the competitors say they expect a tight result on a course where clean skiing is essential as any mistakes will be punished, not necessarily with falls, but with slower times at the finish.

The most solid bet looks to be Norwegian veteran Kjetil Jansrud. The Super-G gold medallist from Sochi won the World Cup test event downhill in South Korea in 2016 and finished second in all three practice runs this week.

In the first session Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada, who went fastest, admitted he had missed a gate and would have been disqualified had it been the real thing.

The shortened second run saw Jansrud beaten only by Christof Innerhofer of Italy, although both said they had been assisted by a strong tailwind and that the result could be false.

The third run was won by Austria's Vincent Kriechmayr with Jansrud just 0.12 seconds behind.

The Norwegian got another run on the mountain when second in the downhill section on the combined event (when the downhill course was shortened due to the conditions).

Jansrud is fifth in the downhill World Cup standings this year but his clear liking for the course makes him a strong candidate for gold.

World Cup leader Beat Feuz of Switzerland is favourite. He was only 15th in the first practice run but improved to be third in the second session. He took it easy in final practice and was 45th.

Sochi gold medallist Mathias Mayer is a fair each-way prospect after finishing fourth in the first two training runs, while those looking for a bigger-priced candidate in a competitive field could do worse than look to Mauro Caviezel of Switzerland.

He was a sold third and seventh in the first two training runs and 19th in the third run. He has little pedigree in downhill events and mainly competes in the combined (he was sixth in the downhill run of the combined) but his impressive form in South Korea has won him one of the three Swiss starting spots and it may be worth taking notice.

He's a top-priced 66-1 and while most firms are win only, Caviezel is 25-1 for a top-three finish with Ladbrokes, which may be the smart approach to take.

Recommendations Advised on February 10
K Jansrud
1pt 4-1 general
M Caviezel top-three finish
1pt 25-1 Ladbrokes

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Jansrud's liking for the course makes him a strong candidate for gold
E.W. Terms
Sky bet