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Podium double for Swiss skiers

Beltrametti and Cuche celebrate Friday's performances Keystone

Swiss skiers Didier Cuche and Silvano Beltrametti have made an impressive start to the speed season, finishing second and third respectively in the opening World Cup super-G race.

Cuche and Beltrametti were beaten only by Austria’s Stephan Eberharter who won the Val d’Isère event in bright conditions with a time of 1’26″53.

Cuche, the 1998 Olympic silver medallist, was just four hundredths of a second behind the Austrian while rising star Beltrametti was a further six tenths of a second back.

“It was already very icy in training and today was no different,” Cuche later commented. “I like it like that – I like it when it’s an ice rink.”

The 27-year-old from Neuchâtel added that he was hoping for more of the same in Saturday’s downhill.

“I hope it will be very cold tonight and that the piste remains like it is,” Cuche said. “But with Val d’Isère you never know. Conditions change so quickly it’s sometimes hard to understand.”

Prior to Eberharter’s descent, Switzerland had briefly held the top three positions with Cuche, Beltrametti and Paul Accola heading the early standings.

Accola eventually slipped down to 11th place with Didier Defago completing a very good day for the Swiss team by coming in ninth.

Friday’s race replaced one originally scheduled for Beaver Creek, Colorado, last month but postponed due to lack of snow. The action in Val d’Isère is set to continue this weekend with the first downhill race of the season taking place on Saturday, followed by a giant slalom on Sunday.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR