The Kandahar track at Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a different kind of war zone. While its name pays homage to the city in Afghanistan, it’s not located in the Middle East. Instead the run, which was named after English commander and “the Earl of Kandahar” Frederick Roberts, lives in the middle of the ski world. When it comes to the battle, it’s just the athlete versus the dark, rugged slope, and Saturday’s World Cup downhill was no exception.

Swiss speed star Beat Feuz ended the day triumphantly with a final time of 1:55.39, becoming the first Swiss man to win three World Cup downhill races in a season since Didier Cuche did so in 2011-12. It also marked his first victory on the German track to accompany the two third-place downhill results from earlier in his career.

With the win, the reigning World Champion in downhill surged ahead of Aksel Lund Svindal in the discipline standings with 542 points. The Attacking Viking took fourth in the race and slipped into second in the rankings with 502 points. The Swiss skier also moved up a spot to fifth in the overall standings where Austrian Marcel Hirscher leads.

Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr and Italy’s Dominik Paris tried to catch Feuz, but tied for second place, 0.18 seconds off the winning pace. Kriechmayr was in the green for the majority of the course until the final split where Feuz made up time. The Austrian was clearly happy with second place–his first World Cup podium in downhill–as he thrusted his fist in the air in the finish area.

“I’m glad that I brought it down, but again I had a mistake,” he said.

On the other hand, Paris is no stranger to the World Cup podium, earning 22 top three finishes in his career including a win last month at Bormio. However, this was the first he had earned at this venue.

“Today I felt good and, apart from the passage where Feuz made the difference, I skied fast and I finished a good race,” the Italian shared. “Certainly this podium is a good injection of confidence for the Olympics. I know I am again fast, after a period when I did a little more effort. Now a bit of rest and then a couple of days of slalom training for the Olympic combo, then the start.”

The American field was small, but solid in the race. Bryce Bennett and Thomas Biesemeyer were the only starters as teammates Steven Nyman, Wiley Maple and Jared Goldberg decided not to start in order to let their bodies recover from various recent crashes in time for the Games. Bennett finished in 16th place while Biesemeyer finished in 29th.

This was the final men’s downhill race before the Winter Olympic Games next month, and surely, these men hope to turn their momentum into medals. Interestingly enough, it is rare for the person who wins the final World Cup downhill before an Olympic Games to win Olympic gold. Pirmin Zurbriggen was the last man to pull off that feat in 1988. According to Gracenote, the only other skier to achieve this was Franz Klammer, who won the World Cup in Kitzbuehel before winning downhill gold in the 1976 Innsbruck Games.

Racing continues on Sunday with the men’s giant slalom at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.


Top 10

1.Beat Feuz (SUI) – Head / Head / Head
2.Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
2. Dominik Paris (ITA) – Nordica / Nordica / Marker
4. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) –  Head / Head / Head
5. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) – Salomon/ Salomon/ Salomon
6. Peter Fill (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7. Thomas Dressen (GER) –  Rossignol/Lange/Look
8. Mattias Mayer (AUT) – Head / Head / Head
9. Brice Roger (SLO) –  Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
10. Emanuele Buzzi (ITA) – Head / Head / Head


Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff.
 1  5  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:55.39
 2  19  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:55.57  +0.18
 2  7  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:55.57  +0.18
 4  1  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:55.67  +0.28
 5  15  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:55.75  +0.36
 6  9  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:55.88  +0.49
 7  13  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:55.92  +0.53
 8  11  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:56.03  +0.64
 9  29  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:56.22  +0.83
 10  44  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA  1:56.38  +0.99
 11  16  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:56.45  +1.06
 12  20  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:56.47  +1.08
 13  17  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:56.51  +1.12
 14  18  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:56.54  +1.15
 15  32  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:56.56  +1.17
 16  23  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:56.63  +1.24
 17  6  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  1:56.64  +1.25
 18  39  54157 DANKLMAIER Daniel 1993 AUT  1:56.71  +1.32
 19  2  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  1:56.78  +1.39
 20  50  103271 THOMSEN Benjamin 1987 CAN  1:56.83  +1.44
 21  48  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  1:56.89  +1.50
 21  26  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:56.89  +1.50
 23  43  512042 KRYENBUEHL Urs 1994 SUI  1:57.03  +1.64
 24  33  53981 KROELL Johannes 1991 AUT  1:57.17  +1.78
 25  34  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:57.20  +1.81
 25  28  512031 BARANDUN Gian Luca 1994 SUI  1:57.20  +1.81
 25  10  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:57.20  +1.81
 28  8  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:57.23  +1.84
 29  46  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:57.26  +1.87
 30  25  512039 ROULIN Gilles 1994 SUI  1:57.31  +1.92
 31  38  104096 THOMPSON Broderick 1994 CAN  1:57.38  +1.99
 32  42  512038 ROGENTIN Stefan 1994 SUI  1:57.43  +2.04
 33  22  194368 RAFFORT Nicolas 1991 FRA  1:57.53  +2.14
 34  35  54080 NEUMAYER Christopher 1992 AUT  1:57.54  +2.15
 35  27  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:57.56  +2.17
 36  4  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  1:57.67  +2.28
 37  40  202525 SCHMID Manuel 1993 GER  1:57.68  +2.29
 38  41  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:57.69  +2.30
 38  36  53968 BERTHOLD Frederic 1991 AUT  1:57.69  +2.30
 40  30  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:57.83  +2.44
 41  56  202566 BRANDNER Christof 1994 GER  1:57.88  +2.49
 42  31  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  1:57.92  +2.53
 43  58  104272 SEGER Brodie 1995 CAN  1:58.18  +2.79
 44  52  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DEN  1:58.31  +2.92
 45  47  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  2:00.16  +4.77
Did not finish 1st run
 60  54117 HOERL Christopher 1989 MDA
 57  20324 OLIVERAS Marc 1991 AND
 55  6292181 PRAST Alexander 1996 ITA
 54  561310 HROBAT Miha 1995 SLO
 53  194650 PICCARD Roy 1993 FRA
 51  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN
 49  501987 MONSEN Felix 1994 SWE
 21  54009 WALDER Christian 1991 AUT
 14  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI
 12  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT
Did not start 1st run
 59  202469 RENZ Fabio 1992 GER
 45  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA
 37  194298 GIEZENDANNER Blaise 1991 FRA
 24  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA
 3  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR
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Gabbi Hall
Digital Content Editor
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A California native, Gabbi moved to Vermont to ski on the NCAA circuit for St. Michael’s College, where she served as team captain and studied journalism. Before joining Ski Racing, she worked as a broadcast TV producer and social media manager in higher education. She can be reached via email at gabbi@skiracing.com
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