Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

Italy’s Dominik Paris gets downhill World Cup win

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Entering the day, Italy’s Dominik Paris was ranked second in downhill World Cup points, more than 100 points behind the season leader, Switzerland’s Beat Feuz.

Feuz, skiing two racers ahead of Paris in Kvitfjell, Norway today, laid down a run more than a second faster than then-current leader, Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. Paris stepped into the gate knowing he had to be on the podium — preferably on top of it — if he wanted a chance to win his first World Cup crystal globe as the season draws to a close.

Paris fearlessly attacked the course, and crossed the finish .25 hundredths of a second ahead of Feuz and picked up his third World Cup downhill win of the season.

Full results are here.

With the win, Paris earned 100 World Cup points. However, Feuz held on to the lead in the downhill point standings, earning 80 points for his second place finish. Things could get interesting with one final downhill race remaining on the schedule for the season. Both men will need to be at their best if they hope to walk away with the crystal globe in Soldeu, Andorra on March 13.

The U.S.’ Steve Nyman had his best downhill race since December, finishing seventh on the day, while his teammate, and frequent top-10 finisher, Bryce Bennett ended up in 12th place.

On Sunday, the men are scheduled to race in the Super-G. Watch live beginning at 5:00 a.m. ET on TV and streaming on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold.   

The women’s World Cup tour was supposed to race this weekend in Sochi, Russia, but snow and wind have kept athletes off the mountain since Wednesday. It’s the first World Cup event in Sochi since the 2014 Olympics. Despite the lack of racing, the U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin, not even entered in the events this weekend, had enough points banked from previous racing to mathematically win her third-consecutive overall World Cup title.

Efforts are now focused on salvaging what’s left of the weekend, with race officials hoping to have a skiable Super-G course ready for Sunday at Rosa Khutor. If successful, racing is set to begin at 2:30 a.m. ET, with live coverage on TV and streaming on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold.   

Vincent Kriechmayr picks up World Cup downhill win

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“Mammas don’t let your babies grow up to be downhillers” was the sentiment offered by NBC Sports’ Steve Porino as the most experienced alpine racers attacked the downhill course in Wengen on Saturday.

Skiers like reigning Olympic downhill champion, Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, in his 18th World Cup season, continue to find ways to will their bodies past pain to compete for the podium. After taking 10 days off to rest an ailing right knee, Svindal, skiing third, looked fresh and took the early lead.

Two skiers later, the reigning world champ and current World Cup points leader in downhill, Swiss skier Beat Feuz, thrilled his home-country crowd by bumping Svindal off the top spot by .38 hundredths of a second.    

But it was Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr who ultimately mastered the treacherous hairpin turns and narrow snowy chutes in Wengen to win his second-career World Cup downhill race. Kriechmayer was in a dead heat with Feuz as he neared the finish, but commanded his skies into two near-perfect turns to claim the lead by .14 hundredths of a second.

Rounding out the podium behind Kriechmayr and Feuz was Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde in third. Full results are here.

Even the best downhillers in the world struggled to reach the finish line in Wengen. Austria’s Max Franz, second in the downhill World Cup point standings, crashed in his run, as did his countryman two-time Olympic champion Matthias Mayer.

The U.S.’ Steve Nyman gave spectators and fellow skiers a scare when he lost control during his run, going airborne for a moment, before coming to a stop in the middle of the course. Luckily, Nyman avoided becoming entangled in the protective fencing and was able to ski away seemingly unscathed.

Bryce Bennett continued to be the bright spot for the U.S. downhill skiers, finishing his day in fifth, .63 hundredths of a second behind Kriechmayr. Bennett has flirted with downhill podiums as of late, finishing fourth in two previous races this season.

Tomorrow the men’s World Cup wraps up its weekend in Switzerland with the slalom. Stream the first run live on OlympicChannel.com or on NBC Sports Gold starting at 4:15 a.m. EST. Watch the second and deciding run on TV on Olympic Channel or stream it on NBC Sports Gold at 7:15 a.m. ET.

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