Victory in the downhill: Kilde's fifth triumph on the Saslong
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is the big winner of this year's downhill classic on the Saslong. The Norwegian lived up to his role as favorite in fantastic external conditions and raced to first place for the fifth time in Val Gardena/Gröden.
Two days after his fifth place in the shortened downhill, Kilde set a winning time of 2:02.35 minutes in front of a packed crowd and under a bright blue sky. The competition was unable to keep up primarily due to the Scandinavian's sensational Ciaslat domination, where he clearly distanced himself from the rest of the crowd. This was Kilde's fifth gold on the Saslong - the third in the downhill. Thanks to this victory, the 30-year-old also consolidated his lead in the discipline World Cup.
Second place in the downhill classic went to veteran Johan Clarey. The almost 42-year-old French extended his record as the oldest ski racer to achieve a World Cup podium finish with second place. Third place went to 32-year-old Mattia Casse from Italy, who confirmed his strong form after finishing second in training and capturing his first World Cup podium result in front of his home crowd.
Casse the only "Azzurro" to score points
Adrien Theaux of France, James Crawford of Canada and Cyprien Sarrazin of France also put in a convincing performance, finishing the race in fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively. Overall World Cup leader Marco Odermatt of Switzerland, in his second downhill start on the Saslong - the first over the original course - finished seventh, tied with American Travis Ganong. Jared Goldberg (USA) and Adrian Smiseth Sejersted (Norway) completed the top ten.
Except for Mattia Casse, local racers fell short of expectations in the downhill classic and had to settle for a finish beyond the fastest 30. The South Tyrolean trio of Christof Innerhofer (Gais), Dominik Paris (Ulten) and Florian Schieder (Kastelruth) finished the race in 36th, 42nd and 50th place, respectively.