Italian Dominik Paris upset Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal in the first World Cup downhill race of the season at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Saturday.
Paris, 24, completed the course in 1 minute, 49.90 seconds, which was .03 better than Austrian Klaus Kroell. France’s Adrien Theaux was third, followed by Svindal in fourth.
Paris is one of the world’s best downhill racers. He’s the reigning World Championships silver medalist, was third in last year’s World Cup standings and won two World Cup downhills last season.
But Svindal was considered the man to beat in Lake Louise, given he’s the reigning world champion, World Cup champion and won both speed races at the Canadian track last year.
Bode Miller finished 16th, the top American, in his first downhill race after sitting out all of last season following knee surgery. Miller, 36, is the most decorated active U.S. Winter Olympian with five medals.
“Bode’s result was OK,” U.S. Ski Team coach Sasha Rearick said, according to a press release. “He made some mistakes in a few critical spots, and that cost him some time. In general though, I’m happy with the progression he’s made after missing all of last season.”
Ted Ligety, who won three gold medals at the World Championships in February, did not ski Saturday. Ligety has said he plans to enter every Alpine skiing event except the downhill at the Sochi Olympics.
The Lake Louise World Cup stop concludes with a super-G on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on Universal Sports.
Lake Louise Downhill
1. Dominik Paris (ITA) 1:49.90
2. Klaus Kroell (AUT) 1:49.93
3. Adrien Theaux (FRA) 1:50.01
4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1:50.13
5. Johan Clarey (FRA) 1:50.64
6. Georg Streitberger (AUT) 1:50.93
7. Werner Heel (ITA) 1:50.94
8. Erik Guay (CAN) 1:50.98
9. Max Franz (AUT) 1:51.00
10. Carlo Janka (SUI) 1:51.14
16. Bode Miller (USA) 1:51.29
19. Steven Nyman (USA) 1:51.55
24. Travis Ganong (USA) 1:51.80
26. Erik Fisher (USA) 1:51.86
38. Marco Sullivan (USA) 1:52.75
52. Jared Goldberg (USA) 1:53.86
DNF. Andrew Weibrecht (USA)
U.S. Ski Team depth on display in Beaver Creek, Lake Louise