The favorites opt for higher bib numbers
Early on Friday evening, bib numbers for the downhill classic on the Saslong were announced during the team captains' meeting.
The highlight of the Val Gardena/Gröden racing week will be opened by Austria's Otmar Striedinger. The runner-up in the final training session will be the first of a total of 65 racers starting at 11:45 am. While the co-favorites Max Franz (#5), Romed Baumann (#7) and Johan Clarey (#9) appear in the first half of the top group, the stronger candidates for victory have opted for higher bib numbers.
Defending champion and super-G winner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde will wear bib #11, ushering in the second half of the world's top 20 downhillers. The best-in-class Norwegian is the top favorite to win the classic, not least because of his strong performances in training. South Tyrol's favorite’s Dominik Paris follows with bib 13, Beat Feuz from Switzerland leaves the start house with bib 15th. Immediately after the reigning winner of the downhill crystal globe, local favorite Christof Innerhofer (#16) will tackle the 3.446-meter Saslong.
Two of the strongest contenders in the fight for the day's victory, the Austrians Vincent Kriechmayr (No. 17) and Matthias Mayer (No. 19) follow at the end of the top group. A preliminary decision will have been made by the time the fastest of the first training run, American Ryan Cochran-Siegle (#20), has completed his race.
The complete starting list for the downhill is available here.