The Italian men's team had much to celebrate on Wednesday in Aspen, Colo., as Dominik Paris won the last downhill race of the season and his teammate Peter Fill claimed his second consecutive discipline crystal globe, edging out Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud by just 23 points in the final standings. Paris also finished the season ranked third in downhill.
With the race kicked off at an early 9:30 am local time in hopes of beating the relentless spring sun, running with bib one was clearly an advantage for Paris as he held the lead at each interval throughout the race. A big man known for his incredible touch and smoothness on the world’s roughest courses, Paris made easy work of the challenging Aspen track and apart from a small bobble heading into the finish, never looked in doubt en route to his second win of the season. Fill also chose to run early with bib three and almost edged out his compatriot in the final turn before sliding into second, mere hundredths shy of the win. Janka, who ran with bib number 16, managed to charge through the quickly deteriorating conditions and punch in a podium performance, his second of the season.
Despite claiming his second Hahnenkamm title this January, Dominik Paris admitted to some late-season struggles and was delighted to end his downhill season on a high note.
"The last race wasn’t too easy for me. I was far behind the other guys, which actually probably motivated me for this race", he said. "I knew it would be warm, and so I’m happy I made the decision to take number one. The snow only got softer. It was a great season, I ended up third in the standings. I had some bad races, but was happy to end well".
Peter Fill, who is the only Italian man to win the World Cup downhill title, managed to accomplish the feat for the second year in a row despite not winning a single downhill all season, proving that consistency is indeed king when it comes to the hunt for the crystal globe.
"It was hard", Fill admitted after the race. "It was good skiing. Again, I was every time close on the victory. No victory this year in downhill, but in the end, I pick up the thing that counts and that’s the nicest thing. And today, a special day for the Italians with Dominik’s win and to have second and then, the globe. I think we have the best team — small team, but a good team. Thank you to the whole team. They work really well and they love, and they push us to go faster, and we see the results. So, thank you all the team, service guys, sponsors, thank you!".