Feuz wins Kitzbuehel downhill marked by two heavy crashes

Kitzbühel (Austria) (AFP) –

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Switzerland's Beat Feuz fell back on all his experience to blitz Kitzbuehel's famed World Cup downhill on Friday, but in-form American Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Swiss racer Urs Kryenbuehl both crashed heavily in the wind-interrupted race.

Feuz, who won two medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics (super-G silver, downhill bronze) and was world downhill champion in St Moritz in 2017, timed a scorching 1min 53.77sec down the wind-swept 3.3km-long Streif course on the Hahnenkamm mountain.

There were no speeding tickets issued as Feuz raced in excess of 145 km/h (90 mph) in what is widely regarded as the most prestigious and demanding race on the World Cup circuit.

Last year's winner, home favourite and double Olympic medallist Matthias Mayer, came in second at 0.16sec, paying a high price for one minor error when he strayed just a few metres too wide negotiating a turn.

Italian Dominik Paris, a four-time winner in Kitzbuehel (downhill in 2013, 2017 and 2019; super-G in 2015), rounded out the podium of established skiers (+0.56) just a year after rupturing knee ligaments on the same slope in training.

"I'm very happy," Feuz said, after breaking a run of four second places in Kitzbuehel. "Everyone on the podium skied very well."

Mayer's result took him atop the downhill standings ahead of Feuz and defending overall World Cup champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, the Norwegian having been ruled out for the rest of the season after sustaining a knee ligament injury in training last week.