Italy's Paris racks up fourth straight Bormio downhill win
Bormio (Italy) (AFP)
Italy's Dominik Paris survived a late scare from unheralded Swiss Urs Kryenbuehl on Saturday to snatch a fourth straight men's World Cup downhill win on his home piste in Bormio, his second in 24 hours.
The 30-year-old battled the aches from his exertions of the previous day to lead the way in 1min 55.37sec and maintain his domination of the icy 'Stelvio', despite Kryenbuehl's late push which saw the Swiss finish just 0.08sec behind to take his first podium finish.
Defending World Cup downhill champion Beat Feuz of Switzerland had to settle for third, 0.26sec off the pace, for his fourth podium in as many races this season.
"It wasn't easy after yesterday to do another perfect run," said Paris, who moves top of the overall World Cup and downhill standings after his back-to-back wins.
"I was the lucky one with the wind, it was changing a bit.
"But conditions were perfect, better than yesterday, a little bit icier and harder."
Both Paris and Feuz had looked set to go 1-2 for the second consecutive day after Friday's downhill which replaced Val Gardena in the Italian Dolomites.
But Kryenbuehl, wearing the bib 25, blitzed down late in sunny conditions in the Italian Alps to move between the top two.
The 25-year-old Swiss had achieved the best result of his career on Friday when he finished 13th.
"It's an incredible day for me," said Kryenbuehl.
"It's amazing to share the podium with two such great skiers who manage to be consistent race after race."
- Bormio dominance -
Paris has now won six times in Bormio -- a record five times in the downhill and in the Super-G last season.
It was the Italian's 18th World Cup win, of which 14 are in the downhill, with a total of 36 podium career finishes.
"I'm so proud to have all these titles here, I got my first win here in Bormio (in 2012) and a lot of wins now," Paris said.
"I have a lot of confidence on this course."
Feuz, 32, had won in Beaver Creek earlier this month, but broke a finger in the Val Gardena Super-G last week.
"Dominic took a lot of risks, I knew I had to do the same, but it wasn't enough for a win," said the Swiss.
"I'm happy to be twice on the podium in such a difficult and hard race."
The 'Stelvio' is renowned for being one of the most technically challenging pistes, and covering 3,250 metres with a drop of 1,010 metres, it is notoriously icy.
- Paris leads the way -
The race was interrupted for several minutes as Austrian Hannes Reichelt, 39, was airlifted by helicopter after crashing into the safety netting and suffering a suspected knee injury.
Germany's Thomas Dressen, winner in Lake Louise, did not start because of a swollen right knee after finishing ninth on Friday.
Paris surges to first place in the overall World Cup standings and the downhill standing.
The Italian leads Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who finished fourth, by 55 points in the overall standings, and is four points ahead of Feuz in the downhill.
Paris's best World Cup season was last year, when he was fourth overall, first in the super-G and second in the downhill.
World super-G champion Paris will be at the starting gate on Sunday for the combined event as he pushes for a first World Cup overall title for Italy since Alberto Tomba in 1995.
The event has been revamped with the best skiers from the morning's super-G starting first in the afternoon slalom, reversing the usual order with the aim of favouring the speed specialists.
"For sure it's better for us downhillers to start first in the slalom," said Paris.
"We are happy to make more bumps for the slalom guys," he smiled.
© 2019 AFP