Dominik Paris

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Paris caps ‘magical’ season with super-G title

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ARE, Sweden (AP) — Dominik Paris crowned what was already a stellar season by winning the super-G at the world championships on Wednesday.

Despite a few wild turns on the lower section of a technical course, the Italian finished 0.09 seconds ahead of Johan Clarey of France and Vincent Kriechmayr of Austria, who tied for silver.

Paris won the World Cup downhills in Bormio, Italy, and Kitzbuehel, Austria — considered the two toughest races on the circuit — over the last two months. He’s had six World Cup podium results overall this season.

“It’s really a magical year,” Paris said.

Norwegian great Aksel Lund Svindal, who is retiring after the worlds , shrugged his arms after finishing 16th. A lot was expected from the Norwegian team on a course set by one of its coaches but Kjetil Jansrud, who is recovering from a broken hand, also struggled and placed 22nd.

“It turned out to be a much more difficult race than I expected,” Svindal said. “The body feels good. I’m ready for another week and good for the downhill.”

Paris’ only previous medal at a worlds or Olympics was a silver in the downhill at the 2013 worlds in Schladming, Austria.

“He is the best guy in the world balancing the tactical side with the speed and the risk,” Jansrud said of Paris. “This is a course where you need to have that ability to do that. He does that the best in the world, so it’s a fair and deserved win.”

Paris was an early starter with the No. 3 bib and was shaking his head after crossing the finish. But his time stood up.

“I wasn’t sure if I had done enough,” Paris said. “I went full gas but I had to make some corrections toward the end, where I lost time and speed. Then it was a long wait to see if anyone was better than me.”

Clarey was faster than Paris through the first two checkpoints but couldn’t match the Italian on the twisty lower section.

Olympic super-G champion Matthias Mayer was also faster through the second interval but then flew wide off a jump and missed a gate.

Kriechmayr trailed Paris by nearly a half-second midway down but nearly clawed it all back the rest of the way — drawing applause from Paris in the leader’s spotlight.

Clarey and Kriechmayr each earned their first major championship medals.

Clarey has five World Cup podium results — but no victories — while Kriechmayr has four wins, two of which came when he swept the speed events at last season’s finals in Are.

Bode Miller 5th in final Bormio downhill training

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For the second straight day, Bode Miller turned in a solid downhill training run in Bormio, Italy, finishing fifth in Saturday’s final tune-up.

Miller, who finished second in the opening training run on Friday, found himself about a half-second behind Canada’s Erik Guay, who had the fastest time of the day at 1:52.81. Austria’s Hannes Reichelt was second, followed by 2013 world champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and David Poisson of France, the 2013 Worlds bronze medalist.

Miller is coming off his best performance in a downhill this season, having placed fifth in Val Gardena a week ago. He was just .15 seconds off landing on the podium at the Saslong classic, which was won by Guay.

Behind Miller, the next highest finisher among Americans were Marco Sullivan in 13th, Travis Ganong in 15th, and Steve Nyman in 21st.

Not surprisingly, skiers amped up the level of aggressiveness in their second trips down the Stelvio, which has also seen tremendous improvements in course conditions a day after a heavy snow storm. Guay’s winning time was nearly a full second faster than the winning time put down by Italy’s Christof Innerhofer on the first training run.

“The top part is a little bit easier than in previous years with the fresh snow, but the middle and bottom sections are typical Bormio – rock hard, pretty icy, bumpy and hard on the legs as usual,” Guay told the FIS. “It still feels better than in the past years to me. Some years I was quite intimidated by it while this year I feel ready for it.

“In the first training run I skied well but was missing a bit of intensity. That is what training runs are for. Today the goal was to be a little more active and tomorrow I want to stick to the same plan, I’ll try not to do too much and ski a clean run top to bottom.”

Guay and Poisson have never landed on the podium in Bormio. Reichelt won the downhill there in 2012 and a super-G on the course in 2008. Svindal’s lone podium there came in 2012 when he finished behind Reichelt and Italy’s Dominik Paris, who is not racing this weekend while nursing an injury. Miller has been solid throughout his career on this slope, winning the downhill in 2007. He has also finished fourth twice and fifth twice, most recently in 2011 which is the last time he raced there.

“The conditions are getting better, especially the upper part and traverse,” Reichelt told FIS. “I like it here, I like the challenge this slope puts ahead of you. Training was good and I wouldn’t complain about a run like today’s in the race.”

The race is slated for tomorrow beginning at 5:45 am ET.

Dominik Paris takes Lake Louise downhill; Bode Miller 16th (video)

Dominik Paris
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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