Feuz wins last men’s downhill World Cup before Olympics
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — Beat Feuz won the last men’s World Cup downhill race before the Olympics to underline his status as a gold-medal favorite on Saturday.
The world champion, second in Kitzbuehel, Austria last week, completed the 3.3-kilometer (2-mile) Kandahar course in 1 minute, 55.39 seconds, beating both Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr and Italy’s Dominik Paris by 0.18 seconds.
It was the third win of the season for Feuz, his 15th overall, and it ensured the Swiss took the lead in the downhill standings from Aksel Lund Svindal. Feuz, who was 10 points behind the Norwegian, now leads him by 40.
“I go as the downhill World Cup leader to the Olympic Games. It couldn’t be nicer,” Feuz said two weeks before the Pyeongchang Games commence.
“The World Cup will be decided in Are [Sweden] and not in Garmisch. But it’s nice to be able to discuss such performances and finishes at the moment,” the 30-year-old Feuz said, looking ahead to the last competition of the season in March.
Svindal’s wait for a podium finish in Garmisch-Partenkirchen continues after placing fourth in his eighth race on the Kandahar course, 0.28 behind Feuz.
Svindal was the first to go and seemed to be safe as Feuz was slower at the intervals, but the Swiss made up a lot of time after the final jump.
“It wasn’t bad but I’m not in the top three,” Svindal said. “I wasn’t fully balanced after the landing from the free fall [jump]. There were little things at play. It wasn’t a bad run, but not good enough for the win.”
Home favorite Thomas Dressen, who ended Germany’s 13-year wait for a men’s downhill win in Kitzbuehel, finished 0.53 behind in seventh, while another German, Andreas Sander, was on course to beat Feuz but lost time after the final jump and finished 11th.
The 24-year-old Dressen was happy with his performance.
“The most important thing is the consistency and I can be satisfied with seventh place. The ones that are before me are no losers.”
A mistake after starting cost Christof Innerhofer any chance of winning. The Italian, who was quickest in both training sessions, finished 1.15 off the pace.
“I really feel sorry for him,” teammate Paris said. “After the wins in both training runs he definitely could have won.”
Americans Steven Nyman, Jared Goldberg and Wiley Maple skipped the race to rest ahead of the Olympics.
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