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Swiss skier Feuz shines again on home snow

© AFP / by Eric BERNAUDEAU | Switzerland's Beat Feuz in action during the World Cup downhill in Wengen, on January 13, 2018

WENGEN (SWITZERLAND) (AFP) - 

Home star Beat Feuz, the reigning world champion in the discipline, won the World Cup downhill at Wengen in Switzerland on Saturday.

On a sunny morning under a perfect blue sky, Feuz went first and flew down the Lauberhorn, the longest downhill on the circuit at 4.42km, in 2min 26.50sec, leaving his rivals with little chance.

It briefly looked as if Aksel Lund Svindal might threaten as he passed the final checkpoint with a faster time. But to the great satisfaction of a record crowd of 35,000 fans, the Norwegian lost time in the last few hundred metres and finished 0.18sec back.

The Austrian Olympic champion Matthias Mayer was third, 0.67sec behind Feuz.

Feuz's ninth World Cup victory continues his habit of racing well on Swiss snow.

He was first at Wengen in 2012 and was second in 2015. The race was cancelled last year because of heavy snow. He won his world title last year in St Moritz, where he had already won the World Cup downhill and Super-G in 2016.

The other favourites could not tame one of the most demanding and gruelling tracks on the circuit.

Austrian Hannes Reichelt, who won in Wengen in 2015 and had the best time in the first training run this year, was fourth 0.10sec off a podium place.

Dominik Paris, an Italian who won the Bormio downhill in December, was eighth, 1.22sec behind Feuz.

Frenchman Adrien Theaux, who had the best time in the second training run but is suffering from a back problem, was 11th, at 1.84sec.

by Eric BERNAUDEAU

© 2018 AFP