Dark, bumpy, and intimidating. That’s how the downhill in Bormio, Italy, has often been described by the men of the World Cup. After a four-year absence from the calendar due to a scheduling dispute with the host resort’s lift operation company, the pre-New Year’s downhill that had taken place since the 1993 season was finally put back on the schedule.

It almost didn’t happen again this year due to steady snowfall since Wednesday morning. The second training run was cancelled and race crews were forced to work around the clock to ensure Thursday’s race would happen despite 20 centimeters of snow falling overnight. A dedicated crew of slippers worked through the night and a snow cat pushed snow off the track to make sure Bormio’s return to the World Cup would be a go. After an initial delay for additional course preparations in the morning, racing got underway at 12:30pm local time.

Dominik Paris grabbed his first win of the season and treated Italian fans to a late Christmas present with the home win. The performance matched his win in Bormio from 2012 and edged out the Norwegian juggernaut of Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud who finished in second and third, 0.04 and 0.17 seconds back, respectively.

“The training run two days ago was pretty OK,” Paris said after the race. “I tried to have the same line and attack but also have some smooth parts and not be too aggressive. I had to fight back to get my confidence up after the start of the season so this result today was a dream come true.”

Svindal is the last winner in Bormio from 2013 and said his previous experience on the Stelvio definitely plays to his advantage, especially when there is only one training run before race day.

“It’s a tough course but it’s crazy how year after year it’s a tight race,” Svindal shared. “Tight racing and a long course, so that’s strange. For me, I know this course, I’ve done it before. If I don’t have to ski a lot of days in a row, I don’t ski that much now; I’m old and not as healthy as I used to be.”

The American Downhillers were once again led by cool Californian Bryce Bennett in 16th place, followed by Jared Goldberg in 18th. Wiley Maple scored the first points of his season in 24th and Thomas Biesemeyer, who finished 3rd in a Europa Cup super-G in Reiteralm, Austria, just before Christmas, finished 34th. Ryan Cochran-Siegle finished 44th, Sam Morse 52nd, Florian Szwebel 55th in his first World Cup start, and Drew Duffy 59th to round out the Americans.

Bryce Bennett led the American Downhillers for the third time this season. Image Credit: Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom

“This whole week has been a little bit tough mentally coming off Christmas not at home,” Bennett said. “We have a good time over in Europe but when we roll into Bormio, the first training run we’re in Christmas mode still and we gotta wake up. For me, today was pretty tough mentally, I couldn’t quite find where I wanted to be. I had a plan; I was a little bit indecisive of my plan on the course, but when you get in the start, it kinda goes away and you just commit so it ended up being OK.”

Unfortunately, it was another tough day for the veterans of the team as Steven Nyman and Andrew Weibrecht both elected not to start in favor of more rest and training heading into a dense January of racing. Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong took a hard fall into the nets as he was entering the lower portion of the course, but was able to get up and walk off under his own power even with pain in his knee. Ganong is headed home to undergo further evaluation and assess the situation.

Not racing at such a demanding venue in four seasons made for some challenging racing for competitors further back in the field as four other racers found themselves on the DNF list with Ganong. A postponed start and numerous delays after each crash made for a long day of racing. France’s Matthieu Bailet was helicoptered off the hill after a harrowing crash on the upper portion of the course and suffered a dislocated and broken shoulder.

The men will race alpine combined in Bormio on Friday.

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Top 10

  1. Dominik Paris (ITA) – Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  2. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  3. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Beat Feuz (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
  5. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  6. Matthias Mayer (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
  7. Adrien Theaux (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  8. Max Franz (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  9. Patrick Kueng (SUI) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  10. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Head/Head/Head

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  11  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:56.95  0.00  100
 2  7  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:56.99  +0.04  0.43  80
 3  5  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:57.12  +0.17  1.82  60
 4  9  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:57.26  +0.31  3.31  50
 5  19  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:57.34  +0.39  4.17  45
 6  3  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:57.56  +0.61  6.52  40
 7  15  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:57.80  +0.85  9.09  36
 8  1  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:57.83  +0.88  9.41  32
 9  8  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI  1:57.98  +1.03  11.01  29
 10  17  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:58.07  +1.12  11.97  26
 10  6  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:58.07  +1.12  11.97  26
 12  2  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:58.11  +1.16  12.40  22
 13  13  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:58.24  +1.29  13.79  20
 14  25  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:58.26  +1.31  14.00  18
 14  18  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:58.26  +1.31  14.00  18
 16  21  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:58.29  +1.34  14.32  15
 17  45  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT  1:58.63  +1.68  17.96  14
 18  27  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  1:58.64  +1.69  18.06  13
 19  36  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:58.78  +1.83  19.56  12
 20  40  512031 BARANDUN Gian Luca 1994 SUI  1:58.82  +1.87  19.99  11
 21  42  512042 KRYENBUEHL Urs 1994 SUI  1:58.94  +1.99  21.27  10
 22  38  194368 RAFFORT Nicolas 1991 FRA  1:58.99  +2.04  21.80  9
 23  14  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:59.02  +2.07  22.12  8
 24  46  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA  1:59.11  +2.16  23.09  7
 25  30  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:59.14  +2.19  23.41  6
 26  23  512039 ROULIN Gilles 1994 SUI  1:59.17  +2.22  23.73  5
 26  20  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:59.17  +2.22  23.73  5
 28  4  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:59.30  +2.35  25.12  3
 29  12  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:59.37  +2.42  25.87  2
 30  10  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:59.38  +2.43  25.97  1
 31  37  202525 SCHMID Manuel 1993 GER  1:59.39  +2.44  26.08  0
 32  31  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:59.47  +2.52  26.93  0
 33  28  54009 WALDER Christian 1991 AUT  1:59.51  +2.56  27.36  0
 34  48  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:59.52  +2.57  27.47  0
 35  24  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:59.64  +2.69  28.75  0
 36  26  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:59.80  +2.85  30.46  0
 37  43  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA  1:59.84  +2.89  30.89  0
 38  39  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:59.92  +2.97  31.74  0
 39  34  194298 GIEZENDANNER Blaise 1991 FRA  1:59.93  +2.98  31.85  0
 40  22  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  1:59.96  +3.01  32.17  0
 41  53  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  2:00.13  +3.18  33.99  0
 42  35  104096 THOMPSON Broderick 1994 CAN  2:00.20  +3.25  34.74  0
 43  41  512038 ROGENTIN Stefan 1994 SUI  2:00.24  +3.29  35.16  0
 44  61  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA  2:00.33  +3.38  36.13  0
 45  50  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  2:00.36  +3.41  36.45  0
 46  33  53968 BERTHOLD Frederic 1991 AUT  2:00.68  +3.73  39.87  0
 47  64  194858 ALLEGRE Nils 1994 FRA  2:00.72  +3.77  40.29  0
 48  55  501987 MONSEN Felix 1994 SWE  2:00.73  +3.78  40.40  0
 49  57  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DEN  2:00.82  +3.87  41.36  0
 50  32  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  2:00.92  +3.97  42.43  0
 51  56  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN  2:00.98  +4.03  43.07  0
 52  52  292514 HEEL Werner 1982 ITA  2:01.08  +4.13  44.14  0
 52  51  6531520 MORSE Sam 1996 USA  2:01.08  +4.13  44.14  0
 54  59  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN  2:01.24  +4.29  45.85  0
 55  60  6531726 SZWEBEL Florian 1996 USA  2:01.25  +4.30  45.96  0
 56  58  6290393 CAZZANIGA Davide 1992 ITA  2:01.41  +4.46  47.67  0
 57  44  380292 ZRNCIC DIM Natko 1986 CRO  2:01.84  +4.89  52.27  0
 58  72  54117 HOERL Christopher 1989 MDA  2:01.98  +5.03  53.76  0
 59  63  6531127 DUFFY Drew 1995 USA  2:02.85  +5.90  63.06  0
 60  67  303758 SUGAI Ryo 1991 JPN  2:03.16  +6.21  66.37  0
 61  66  561214 DEBELAK Tilen 1991 SLO  2:03.64  +6.69  71.50  0
 62  62  202602 LAENGST Heiner 1994 GER  2:04.55  +7.60  81.23  0
 63  71  422082 FOSS-SOLEVAAG Sebastian 1991 NOR  2:04.74  +7.79  83.26  0
 64  65  151238 ZABYSTRAN Jan 1998 CZE  2:05.65  +8.70  92.99  0
 65  69  460071 ACHIRILOAIE Ioan Valeriu 1990 ROU  2:06.89  +9.94  106.24  0
 66  70  660021 DANILOCHKIN Yuri 1991 BLR  2:08.22  +11.27  120.46  0
 67  68  430640 BABICKI Pawel 1994 POL  2:33.42  +36.47  389.80  0
Did not finish 1st run
 54  6190176 BAILET Matthieu 1996 FRA  0
 49  53936 DUERAGER Markus 1990 AUT  0
 47  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik 1991 GER  0
 29  192932 FAYED Guillermo 1985 FRA  0
 16  530874 GANONG Travis 1988 USA  0
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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
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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 Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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