Aksel Lund Svindal wins record 7th World Cup race in Val Gardena

SELVA DI VAL GARDENA, Italy -- Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal narrowly edged Italian rival Christof Innerhofer to win a World Cup super-G on Friday and extend his record to seven career victories in Val Gardena.

In sub-freezing conditions, Svindal finished 0.05 seconds ahead of Innerhofer and 0.27 seconds in front of Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud.

Svindal has now won five super-Gs and two downhills on the Saslong course, and he can add to his record by defending his downhill title on Saturday.

It was Svindal's first win of the season and the 36th of his World Cup career, tying him with retired Austrian racer Benny Raich for seventh place on the all-time list.

The victory moved Svindal to the top of both the overall World Cup standings and the super-G standings.

In the overall, Svindal leads seven-time defending champion Marcel Hirscher by 17 points. Hirscher, a technical specialist who did not enter the race, will be expected to reclaim the lead during a stretch of five giant slalom and slalom events over a seven-day span beginning on Sunday in Alta Badia.

In the super-G standings, Svindal moved 19 points ahead of Jansrud.

Competing in his home region, Innerhofer's run prompted large cheers, but Svindal came down seven racers later and quieted the crowd.

Svindal trailed Innerhofer by almost a full tenth of a second at the final checkpoint, but the big Norwegian found more speed on the steep finishing turns. With a velocity of 115.3 kph (72 mph), Svindal was significantly faster than Innerhofer at the last speed reading.

Johan Clarey of France posted an impressive fourth-place finish with the No. 50 bib, and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde placed fifth to make it three Norwegians in the top five and four in the top 10, with Adrian Smiseth Sejersted eighth.

Olympic super-G champion Matthias Mayer of Austria finished seventh.

American skier Steven Nyman, who was 26th, will be among the favorites in Saturday's downhill on the Saslong, a race that he has won three times.