There’s no better way to start the World Cup Finals with two nail-biting downhill races. The men’s race had four guys all challenging for the cup title, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), Beat Feuz (SUI), Matthias Mayer (AUT) and Dominik Paris (ITA), however only one of them made it on the podium. The women’s race was ultimately a head-to-head battle between reigning downhill World Cup champion, Sofia Goggia (ITA) and Olympic downhill champion, Corinne Suter (SUI).
Racing to retain his downhill World Cup title, Feuz tackled the course first and set an impressive time of 1:50.97, which Kilde could not beat. Kilde finished 0.31 seconds behind Feuz which put his chances of winning the downhill globe at risk. After having a troublesome season, Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) gave it his all in the final downhill of the season and clocked in the fastest time of the day, winning his second downhill race of the season. Marco Odermatt (SUI) who was still chasing his first downhill victory finished 0.34 seconds off the leader, claimed his fourth downhill podium finish of the season. Luckily for Kilde, having both Odermatt and Kriechmayr finish ahead of Feuz, secured the downhill globe for the Norwegian by 13 points. However, having not won today’s race, Kilde lost all chances of winning the overall globe.
Paris and Mayer both needed to win the race of having a chance to win the downhill globe, however, they placed 6th and 12th, respectively.
With the men’s downhill race completed, it was time for both Goggia and Suter to go head-to-head for the title. To win the downhill globe, Suter was obliged to win the race and claim the 100 points to go ahead of Goggia. However, it was not her day as she bottled it and finished 19th. Goggia, who tackled the course after Suter knew that she just needed to finish the race to claim the downhill globe and finished 12th. After having a rollercoaster of a season and coming back from a big injury, the sheer determination Goggia showed to claim the title was remarkable. The race victory, however, was won by no other than Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), who claimed her third downhill in her career. Already at the top of the overall standings, another 100 points put her 156 points ahead of Petra Vlhova (SVK) with only three races to go. Finishing tied 2nd, were Christine Scheyer (AUT) and Joana Haehlen (SUI), lacking only 0.10 seconds off Shiffrin. It was Scheyer’s first downhill podium finish since 2017, and Haehlen’s best downhill result.
World Cup Finals racing continues tomorrow as athletes compete in the Super G. Both the men’s and women’s Super G globes have already been won by Kilde and Federica Brignone (ITA) respectively. The women’s race is scheduled to start at 10:00 CET, whilst the men’s is scheduled to start at 11:30 CET.