After a morning delay due to a brief but intense snowstorm, the 2018 World Cup men’s downhill season went out with a bang on Wednesday as Swiss World Champion Beat Feuz took home his career-first crystal globe and the Austrian duo of Matthias Mayer and Vincent Kriechmayr tied to the hundredth for the win at World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden.

Feuz held a 60-point lead in the downhill standings over Norwegian rival Aksel Lund Svindal heading into the final race and needed to finish no worse than sixth to guarantee that the crystal globe would be coming home with him. When all was said and done, Feuz did enough with a third-place finish, finally tasting what it’s like to be a World Cup champion.

“To have this globe is a dream come true,” he explained after the race. “I knew I had the 60-point advantage over Svindal but I still tried to focus on my own race. I knew I needed a sixth place to win the globe so when I came down and saw the green light it was a really big relief. I was nervous, of course, for the race and couldn’t say from the training what could happen today. It feels unbelievable for me, I got pretty close in 2012 and now I finally have the globe.”

Svindal was unable to muster any late-season magic and settled for fourth place on the day.

With Kriechmayr sitting comfortably in the lead after his buttery smooth run, Mayer took full advantage of an opening of perfect on-course visibility and was able to match his teammate turn for turn, using a blazing final section to cross the finish line in a dead heat for the victory.

“At the start I saw that Vincent was in the lead and I was happy about that so I tried to give everything to be as fast as he was and, yeah, I was,” Mayer said. “The snow was really well prepared today and saw that I had good light at the start and I think it was a good race.”

“I first saw the green light so for a second I thought, ‘Ahh second place!’ but then I saw we got the same time so I’m really proud to be with him on the first place,” added Kriechmayr. “(Tying for the win has) never happened to me before, we needed this downhill win for the Austrian Ski Team and now we are both on the first place so it’s awesome.”

Feuz now has a crystal globe to go with his World Championship downhill gold. Image Credit: GEPA Pictures/Andreas Pranter

The lone American to qualify for the Finals downhill was Californian Bryce Bennett. Bennett was definitely feeling the effects of a long season on the World Cup and could only manage a 24th-place finish, 1.77 seconds back of the leaders.

“I’m tired,” admitted Bennett. “It took a lot of mental energy to make it to this point and I still have a lot to learn in my career and I’m not quite there but it’s a good experience to move forward and make a plan and learn from it and do it better, hopefully next year. I set a plan last spring and I knew what I needed to do to be consistently fast on the World Cup and I followed that and I trusted in that plan and it seemed to work out. I just need to refine it some more; no drastic changes but just make it a little bit better and hopefully take the next step.”

The men now close out the World Cup speed season on Thursday, March 15, with the final super-G of the season.


Top 10

1. Matthias Mayer (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
1. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
3. Beat Feuz (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
5. Thomas Dressen (GER) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
6. Maxence Muzaton (FRA) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
7. Max Franz (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8. Johan Clarey (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
9. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
10. Brice Roger (FRA) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look


Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  17  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:20.21  0.00  100
 1  11  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:20.21  0.00  100
 3  7  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:20.25  +0.04  0.62  60
 4  9  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:20.33  +0.12  1.87  50
 5  5  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:20.45  +0.24  3.74  45
 6  23  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:20.51  +0.30  4.68  40
 7  10  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:20.53  +0.32  4.99  36
 8  8  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:20.63  +0.42  6.55  32
 9  15  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:20.64  +0.43  6.70  29
 10  14  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:20.65  +0.44  6.86  26
 11  1  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:20.71  +0.50  7.79  24
 12  25  512269 ODERMATT Marco 1997 SUI  1:20.85  +0.64  9.97  22
 13  13  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:20.91  +0.70  10.91  20
 14  3  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:20.92  +0.71  11.06  18
 15  18  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:20.93  +0.72  11.22  16
 16  16  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:21.02  +0.81  12.62  0
 17  24  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:21.05  +0.84  13.09  0
 18  2  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:21.08  +0.87  13.56  0
 19  19  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:21.35  +1.14  17.77  0
 20  22  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:21.40  +1.19  18.55  0
 21  12  512039 ROULIN Gilles 1994 SUI  1:21.41  +1.20  18.70  0
 22  20  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:21.49  +1.28  19.95  0
 23  4  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:21.60  +1.39  21.66  0
 24  6  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:21.98  +1.77  27.58  0
Did not finish 1st run
 21  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA  0
Article Tags: Premium World Cup

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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 honors in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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