Alpine

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — After Saturday’s World Championship men’s downhill was postponed until after the women’s race on Sunday, a little help from the weather gods was needed in order to get two full races off back-to-back. Ultimately, organizers decided to lower the start and cut out the iconic “Free Fall” section of the course and use the start for the alpine combined after a high cloud enveloped the top in fog, with racing getting underway at 1:30pm CET. To the delight of the Swiss crowd, Beat Feuz captured the championship title with a time of 1:38.91 seconds, besting Canada’s Erik Guay by 0.12 seconds and Austrian Max Franz by 0.37 seconds.

With varying levels of fog rolling in and out of the top section of the course for the first several racers, there were many lead changes until Feuz kicked out of the gate with bib 13 and delivered his trademark smooth, solid, and powerful skiing in order to capture the win. Guay, with bib 17, challenged Feuz’s lead on the top and middle before sliding well back at the last interval. Miraculously, the Canadian clawed back most of his deficit and slid into second place, only 0.12 seconds shy of another gold medal for the Quebec native. Franz also challenged Feuz on the top sections before settling for third and his first World Championship medal.

Feuz bettered his bronze medal performance from the downhill in Vail-Beaver Creek in 2015 and managed to claim his first World Championship title. A feat made even sweeter given that it came on home snow in St. Moritz. He admitted that he felt a lot of pressure after winning both the downhill and super-G at last season’s World Cup finals in St. Moritz and was very happy to deliver for the Swiss fans.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said after the race. “In Switzerland, the World Championships, and I can win here in Switzerland.”

Guay now has a silver to go with his super-G gold from earlier in the week, bringing his Worlds medal count to three — two of them gold.

ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND Ð FEBRUARY 12: Home crowds cheer on Beat Feuz during the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships Men's Downhill on February 12, 2017 in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Photo by Giovanni Auletta/Agence Zoom)

Photo by Giovanni Auletta/Agence Zoom

“It’s absolutely wonderful, you know?” a gracious Guay explained. “Again, everything that’s happened in these last 10 days, going from Garmisch to winning the super-G to coming to the downhill, canceling the downhill, today with some fog in and out. You know, it was a quite stressful week for me, but I’m happy with the way things worked out and you know, I have to thank everyone behind the scenes. Manny (Osborne-Paradis) gave me a call up, let me know how the jumps were running, how the track was feeling. My coaches, my staff, everybody for getting me here. It’s incredible.”

Franz has shown some serious speed in downhill this season after taking the win in Val Gardena in December. The Austrian was gunning for the win today after a lackluster performance in the super-G, but was very pleased to walk away with a medal.

“I’m very happy,” Franz said. “The super-G didn’t go as I imagined, but after today’s race, of course, I’m happy, but there were a few turns that I knew I could have done better.”

It was another less than ideal day for the American contingent as Jared Goldberg led the way for the American Downhillers in 20th. Defending 2015 downhill silver medalist Travis Ganong ended the day in 25th, followed by Bryce Bennett in 26th and Thomas Biesemeyer in 29th.

“I was 20th two years ago in my last downhill World Champs,” said Goldberg. “It was good. I mean, it’s been a really fun week running this track, and I got a couple days in the full sun, and that was awesome. It was a lot of fun. I mean that’s all I can say. I obviously was hoping for more, but wasn’t expecting much today. It’s been a comeback year for me from an injury, and I’ve finally started to ramp it up the last couple weeks, and I’m really figuring out a lot in my skiing, so I’m happy with that. I’m not letting one day hurt the progress. There’s a lot of progress, so that’s what I’m happy with. It was a good day.”

Goldberg added that he felt lowering the start put the Americans at a disadvantage as the shortened course benefited skiers with more gliding skills than if racers were entering the top sections at full speed.

“I think moving it down probably hurt us a little bit,” he said. “A lot of us are a lot more willing to put our nose in it when it’s bumpy. I think moving it down kind of let some of the glider guys, that are just good gliders, have a little advantage, so I was really hoping to go from the top, but I knew I’d be okay from there, but it was just kind of more like the course just deteriorated a little bit after having three runs down it.”

The men now race alpine combined on Monday, Feb. 13.

View the photo gallery from today’s race here.


Top 10

1. Beat Feuz (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
2. Erik Guay (CAN) – Head/Head/Head
3. Max Franz (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4. Patrick Kueng (SUI) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
6. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7. Bostjan Kline (SLO) – Stoeckli/Head/Atomic
8. Andreas Sander (GER) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9. Peter Fill (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10. Brice Roger (FRA) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look


Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  13  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:38.91  0.00
 2  17  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN  1:39.03  +0.12  1.52
 3  18  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:39.28  +0.37  4.68
 4  10  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI  1:39.30  +0.39  4.93
 4  9  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:39.30  +0.39  4.93
 6  20  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:39.40  +0.49  6.19
 7  8  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:39.43  +0.52  6.57
 8  16  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:39.47  +0.56  7.08
 9  7  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:39.56  +0.65  8.21
 10  21  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:39.73  +0.82  10.36
 11  19  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:39.77  +0.86  10.87
 12  24  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:39.79  +0.88  11.12
 13  5  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:39.80  +0.89  11.25
 14  34  561310 HROBAT Miha 1995 SLO  1:39.97  +1.06  13.40
 14  4  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA  1:39.97  +1.06  13.40
 16  38  501987 MONSEN Felix 1994 SWE  1:39.98  +1.07  13.52
 17  15  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:39.99  +1.08  13.65
 18  28  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:40.04  +1.13  14.28
 19  6  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:40.06  +1.15  14.53
 20  25  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:40.10  +1.19  15.04
 21  29  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:40.14  +1.23  15.54
 22  26  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:40.21  +1.30  16.43
 23  23  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  1:40.26  +1.35  17.06
 24  22  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:40.46  +1.55  19.59
 25  11  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  1:40.50  +1.59  20.09
 26  12  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:40.53  +1.62  20.47
 27  3  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:40.63  +1.72  21.74
 28  1  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:40.64  +1.73  21.86
 29  27  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:40.65  +1.74  21.99
 30  43  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DEN  1:40.82  +1.91  24.14
 31  2  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:40.84  +1.93  24.39
 32  39  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI  1:41.09  +2.18  27.55
 33  46  20398 VERDU Joan 1995 AND  1:41.54  +2.63  33.24
 34  40  481730 KUZNETSOV Ivan 1996 RUS  1:41.79  +2.88  36.40
 35  35  502004 KOELL Alexander 1990 SWE  1:41.83  +2.92  36.90
 36  36  20324 OLIVERAS Marc 1991 AND  1:41.87  +2.96  37.41
 37  44  430429 BYDLINSKI Maciej 1988 POL  1:42.03  +3.12  39.43
 38  30  561067 PERKO Rok 1985 SLO  1:42.06  +3.15  39.81
 39  32  102271 HUDEC Jan 1981 CZE  1:42.09  +3.18  40.19
 40  31  310426 VUKICEVIC Marko 1992 SRB  1:42.64  +3.73  47.14
 41  33  700878 BENDIK Martin 1993 SVK  1:42.66  +3.75  47.39
 42  47  350095 PFIFFNER Marco 1994 LIE  1:42.85  +3.94  49.79
 43  41  150743 BERNDT Ondrej 1988 CZE  1:43.09  +4.18  52.83
 44  45  151238 ZABYSTRAN Jan 1998 CZE  1:43.27  +4.36  55.10
 45  48  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier 1980 ARG  1:43.95  +5.04  63.69
 46  56  460071 ACHIRILOAIE Ioan Valeriu 1990 ROU  1:44.73  +5.82  73.55
 47  37  151215 FOREJTEK Filip 1997 CZE  1:44.97  +6.06  76.58
 48  50  310421 STEVOVIC Marko 1996 SRB  1:44.98  +6.07  76.71
 49  51  670037 ZAKURDAEV Igor 1987 KAZ  1:45.07  +6.16  77.85
 50  49  110383 VON APPEN Sven 1997 CHI  1:45.60  +6.69  84.55
 51  55  942023 TAHIRI Albin 1989 KOS  1:46.86  +7.95  100.47
 52  53  240139 KEKESI Marton 1995 HUN  1:47.76  +8.85  111.84
 53  54  110409 HORWITZ Kai 1998 CHI  1:48.29  +9.38  118.54
Did not finish 1st run
 52  240149 NAGY Bence 1998 HUN
 42  430472 KLUSAK Michal 1990 POL
 14  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA

 

 

Article Tags: Alpine , Top Rotator , Top Story
Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
-
A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American status in 2013. Prior to coming to SkiRacing.com, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.

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