Dominik Paris Dominates: A Day of Celebration in South Tyrol
This day will be etched into the history books of South Tyrolean sport: Dominik Paris from Ulten clinched a sensational victory in the downhill classic on the Saslong on Saturday, turning the finish stadium at the foot of the Sassolungo/Langkofel into an absolute madhouse.
After a disappointing performance in the super-G, Paris poured everything into the downhill and produced a time of 1:59.84 minutes on the track, leaving the competition scratching their heads. The 34-year-old's dream run, his 250th World Cup race and 25th race on the Saslong, marked his 22nd victory in the highest international race series. The first place also ended a 15-year drought in Val Gardena/Gröden since Werner Heel's last victory in 2008 and Herbert Plank's in the distant 1977.
The powerhouse's emotional release was evident as soon as he crossed the finish line. He cheered enthusiastically for seconds and was celebrated by the enthusiastic crowds in the packed stands.
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Bryce Bennett completed the top three.
Second place in the downhill classic went to Aleksander Aamodt Kilde from Norway, who lost 44 hundredths to the day's winner, Paris. Third place went to Bryce Bennett from the USA, who beamed from the podium for the second time in 48 hours after winning Thursday's sprint downhill. Cyprien Sarrazin from France, James Crawford from Canada, and Nils Allegre, who finished fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively, also delivered convincing performances. The "Azzurro" Mattia Casse finished in seventh place, tied with the overall World Cup leader Marco Odermatt, confirming his solid form after twelfth place in the downhill and eighth place in the super-G.
South Tyroleans Florian Schieder from Kastelruth and Christof Innerhofer from Gais also secured points: Schieder finished in 17th place, and Innerhofer finished the downhill in 21th place one day before his 39th birthday.
The complete results list of the downhill classic can be found here.