Alexa

Walchhofer ends Austria's 13-race winless streak with downhill victory

Walchhofer ends Austria's 13-race winless streak with downhill victory

Michael Walchhofer ended a 13-race winless streak by the Austrian men's team Thursday, winning a World Cup downhill by 0.01 seconds.
Walchhofer skied the 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) Stelvio course in 1 minute, 51.90 seconds for his first podium finish of the season.
Didier Cuche of Switzerland was second by the slimmest of margins, while Walchhofer's teammate, Mario Scheiber, was third, 0.14 back.
Andrej Jerman of Slovenia finished fourth to equal his best career result.
Benjamin Raich's win in the season-opening slalom in Levi, Finland, on Nov. 12 was the last victory for the Austrian men.
"We were under pressure, so this was an important victory," Walchhofer said. "Before some of the other races I was not nervous. Today, I was more nervous and that was good for me. All the Austrians were waiting for a victory in downhill."
Walchhofer won the World Cup downhill title the past two seasons. This was the 10th World Cup victory of his career and seventh in downhill.
Cuche retained his lead atop the downhill standings with 285 points, followed by Marco Buechel with 212 and Walchhofer with 186.
Walchhofer said his goal this season is to win a third straight downhill title.
"Now I'm back in the hunt," he said. "It was just a matter of confidence."
Cuche has now finished second in the last three downhills.
"Obviously, to lose a race by one-hundredth is difficult, but I'm still pleased with this result," Cuche said, adding that he'd lost 0.20 seconds with an error at the start. "I've finished second 14 times in my career. I hope I have a faster start tomorrow."
Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway placed 14th and retained his lead atop the overall standings with 539 points. Cuche moved into a tie for second with Bode Miller, with 490 points each.
American skier Bode Miller failed to finish a downhill for the first time this season after going off course near the top of the run. He appeared to lose his edge as he negotiated a turn, fell down and got right back up. He appeared uninjured.
Miller won the downhill and super-G on this course at the 2005 World Championships, while his former teammate, Daron Rahlves, took the World Cup downhill at this site last season.
On Thursday, Walchhofer used a pair of skis that once belonged to either Miller or Rahlves.
"I'm not really sure which race, but I know these skis have won races before," Walchhofer said.
Thursday's race was moved from Val d'Isere earlier this month due to a lack of snow in the French resort. Another downhill is scheduled here Friday.


Updated : 2021-03-06 13:30 GMT+08:00