KITZBÜHEL, Austria (AP) – For the second time in three days, Beat Feuz to the title in a race he has failed to win in a decade.
The Swiss skier won the second men’s World Cup this weekend at the Streif pitch on Sunday, repeating his win from the previous two days.
The successive victories came after Feuz, who first raced here in 2010, finished runners-up in traditional races four times in the last five seasons.
“This is very special. “Two wins in Kitzbühel this week, that’s incredible, and a very nice feeling,” said Feuz.
No Swiss skier has won a typical Austrian ski race since Didier Cuche grabbed his last of five wins here in 2012.
Sunday’s race was interrupted for several minutes due to flat light as low clouds moved in just before Feuz prepared to start.
Undisturbed by added waiting time, he took the lead especially at the bottom of the pitch as he beat Johan Clarey by 0.17 seconds.
“Running is good, but I don’t think it’s enough,” said Feuz.
The 2017 Swiss world champions trailed Clarey by 0.42 halfway through her journey before she took control of the final leg.
The 40-year-old Frenchman became the oldest skier on the podium down the hill in 54 years of World Cup history.
“Winning would have been better but I was behind the best downhiller in the last five years,” said Clarey, who has an eighth career podium but has never won a World Cup race.
In Thursday’s final training session, Clarey fell at full speed to boarding near the finish, but he escaped unscathed and finished fourth in the race the following day.
Austria’s Matthias Mayer, who won last year’s race and was runner-up against Feuz on Friday, finished 0.38 behind in third.
Working back from injury, Christof Innerhofer was placed fourth and Italian teammate Dominik Paris, who had won the race three times, was seventh.
Travis Ganong leads the US ski team at 12th, 1.35 behind.
While Friday’s race on the same track was marred by a severe accident involving Swiss skiers Urs Kryenbühl and Ryan Cochran-Siegle from the United States, only three out of 52 riders failed to complete Sunday’s race and all injuries were avoided.
Organizers had dropped the final jump, where Kryenbühl crashed in Friday’s race, which had been rescheduled from another iconic resort, Wengen in Switzerland.
As the sky cleared again at Sunday’s event, some of the late players had clearer visibility and were closer to the time of the top-ranked riders, especially Florian Schieder.
The Italian, wearing a bib No. 50, led by more than a quarter of a second for the first four splits but ended up trailing 1.43 seconds in 14th.
These results made Feuz the first downhiller to win two races this season, after Martin Cater from Slovenia, overall champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Mayer won another event.
Feuz and Mayer are 1-2 in the standings this season with Kilde in fourth, although the Norwegian is sidelined this season after picking up a knee injury in a training accident a week ago.
Feuz won all season downhill titles in the last three seasons.
“I’m not looking back at the results, I’m just enjoying the way I ski again now,” said Feuz, who was 10th in the previous race, in Italy in December.
The races in the Austrian Alps are one of the marquee events on the men’s World Cup calendar and usually have up to 50,000 spectators, although no fans have been allowed this year amid strict anti-coronavirus measures.
The race was postponed by one day due to bad weather on Saturday, pushing the Super-G back to Monday.
There will be one more World Cup in decline, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on 6 February, before next month’s world championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
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