Local boy Dressen claims "dream" maiden Garmsich downhill victory
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Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) (AFP)
The dream came true for local boy Thomas Dressen on Saturday as he won the men's World Cup downhill at his home town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the first time.
"For me, it was always a childhood dream to win in Garmisch. It's amazing that it has finally happened," beamed the 26-year-old, who was born in the Bavarian Alpine town.
"I felt that it was fast," Dressen added, "I don't know how I could have skied it any better."
Dressen clocked 1min 39.31sec as the first skier down the 2.92km Kandahar course, which softened as the race progressed in relatively warm, sunny conditions.
Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who finished second in the super-G in Kitzbuehel last weekend, had to again settle for second.
He is also second in the overall rankings behind leader and slalom specialist Henrik Kristoffersen.
Kilde clipped a gate on the mid-section of the course which cost him time as he finished 0.16sec back.
"He (Dressen) didn't make any mistakes, he is big and his technique is very clean, which is a dangerous mix," said Kilde.
France's Johan Clarey, 39, was third at 0.17sec, giving Dressen a few nervous moments with a quicker pace at the top of the course before losing time in the final sections.
"I was not far from winning, but I made a small mistake in the final section", said Clarey, who has never won a World Cup race.
"One day I might be first, but for the moment it's a podium (place), so I am very happy."
Having won the fabled Kitzbuehel downhill in 2018 for the first World Cup win of his career, Dressen had never previously finished on the podium in Garmisch.
The downhill victory on home soil was his second of the winter, the first having come at Lake Louise last November - exactly a year after he suffered a serious knee injury which cut short his 2018/19 season.
"It's just a great feeling," beamed Dressen, after the fourth downhill win of his career.
"Kitzbuehel is always a special atmosphere, but I was a bit annoyed with my performance," he said, having finished 26th in last week's downhill at the Austrian resort.
"So I just went back to the roots, relaxed again and enjoyed the whole thing, have a bit of fun".
"It's something special to win here."
He is the first German male to win on the Kandahar since Markus Wasmeier in 1992.
Swiss Beat Feuz, the overall downhill leader, finished sixth, 0.35sec behind Dressen.
None of the top five had a start number higher than 10 as the mild weather played a key factor in the final placings.
© 2020 AFP