Two starting positions in Downhill next season!
A season overview – 2018-2019
What a crazy season I have had. So many things has happened. Trying to summarize it all, this is my first whole World Cup Season. I have been to all of the places on the World Cup tour. I have raced many of them but trained on all the slopes and I have gathered extremely valuable experience for the future. I am already well prepared mentally for next season.
In the beginning of the year we raced some weeks in North America. Already in Lake Louise we were close to score our first World Cup points in Super-G. Beaver Creek wasn´t that good but it was the first time in a very difficult race-track. When we got back to Europe it was time for Gröden/Val Gardena where my back started to give me some problems. I didn´t qualify for Gröden. After that I raced in the Europa Cup and I was top-5 during the race when I hurt my back. I had to stop.
With good rehab-sessions, thank goodness, I could control the pain and my back was better. I was ready for the Wengen/Lauberhornrennen in January. My condition was improving and I made a good run in the combination slalom. I got to start as no 1 in the downhill. Not so much to talk about maybe, but a great feeling knowing a lot of people around the world will sit and watch you starting the race. It´s not always an advantage to start a race but I had the 22nd time in Downhill and finished of as no 32 in the combination just outside the WC points scoreboard.
After Wengen it´s always time for the classical Hahnenkammrennen. I still had some pain in my back. The first training was painful so we decided to go to Innsbruck to have an injection for the pain. Normally downhill isn´t that hard for your back but Kitzbühel this year was extremely icy and bumpy. When the first training day had ended six racers was injured. Among them Kjetil Jansrud, Steven Nyman and Felix Monsén and Aksel Lund Svindal didn´t start at all to save his body.
When the injection was beginning to have some affect on the pain I made my second training and was just outside top-30. I was feeling I had a great run coming that might give points and better ranking. Many friends and family and a really big group from Skåne and Landskrona with sponsors and supporters came with bus from Matrei to cheer on the race-day. It feels like that day in some ways changed my career. I gave it all and a little more than that and I felt I was really fast. Before the last traverse I wa stop-30 and was thinking “It´s all or nothing”. In many splits I was even top 10-15. In the traverse I lost control, my body was pressed together and when trying to get around the gate on the right side the skis just went in the air and I flew 30 metres in 110 km/h. For all of you that has seen the crash I suppose it´s difficult to understand that I almost got away with some bleedings and bone bruises.
Later they discovered an injury in my knee, a rip in the quadriceps band and a foot that was inflammated. I wore those injuries all season through. But It could have been much worse of course. When I met my sponsors, Patrik and the family in Matrei a day after the crash it was a great feeling. Just 3 days later we were off to Åre for the World Championship and to train with the Norwegians. In training we really challenged Jansrud and Svindal that later was the World Champions. We got really aware about that we can go fast. We were faster during many of the training sessions.
The Super-G start in the World Championships was the first time I was on the line after the crash in Kitzbühel. I was really messed up in my head. Worried thoughts due to the crash but at the same time I felt very strong because I raced fast and got a lot of attention after Hahnenkammrennen. Then finishing on 20th place was an amazing feeling. Then Felix came in as no 19 and we were just a second behind the winner. That´s awesome. We are closing in on the best racers. I got to meet the Royal family of Sweden and we got alot of positive attention in Swedish television and in other media. The downhill in Åre was a big dissapointment. Bad skis under bad conditions. So I change my set up totally before the Combination, my serviceman didn´t agree on my new set up though, but my experience and feeling said something else. And it worked out. I was really fast ening up as no 10 only seven tenths of a second behind Dominik Paris that was in the lead. One of my best races in the career. I knew I was going to have some trouble in scoring a medal anyway and my team told me to go as safe as possible to secure the important points I would get from the 10th place. If I didn´t finish the slalom I wouldn´t be able to keep the downhill points I scored. I finished as 20th which I sthe best combination race I have ever done. The World Championships in Åre was a massive experience and I would really thank the medical staff to help me make it through all the way.
But in the last WC downhill race of the year, in Kvitfjell, the most important thing happened. My colleague Felix came in as no 20. That result means that we will have two starting positions in every downhill race the next season. Fantastiskt bra för oss. With good races in the NorAm finals in USA and also in the Slovenian Open Championship I improved my ranking even more. I will probably start with around position 45 in the WC downhill. That is an extremely important base for me.
When SM in Åre was cancelled I got two weeks well deserved rest. Now I am focusing on next season. We stilljust have one place in Super G but we are really sure that we will score some WC-points in Super-G as well and get that other starting position.
I can´t enough express how much all your support has meant to me. Thank you all for supporting and helping me to accomplish what I have done so far. I will be coming to Sweden soon and I hope to see a lot of you supporters and sponsors then. We will get back to you with exact time and dates. Now we are aiming higher and faster and I really wish that you would like to continue to join me on my journey towards the Top of the world!
From my heart