The slope "Stelvio" is the perfect venue for the annual men's downhill race. By unanimous opinion, alongside Kitzbuhel, this is absolutely the most spectacular and technically difficult course. The "Stelvio", which is almost 3,230 meters long with a 986-meter difference in altitude and a maximum gradient of 60%, is a notoriously unforgiving track and is the only one where the finish area can clearly be seen from the starting gate.The long and challenging course was covered with approximately 20 centimeters of fresh snow overnight, which caused a delay of 45 minutes, but the course crew worked hard to clean it and prepare a fair track for the top athletes.
Italian Dominik Paris was able to clinch a downhill win in front of a home crowd in Bormio, as he did already in 2012. After a challenging start in the season, he stepped up his game to find the top of the podium again and celebrate his 8th downhill win in career.
"It’s a very important victory that lifts spirits. When you’re faster than the Norwegians you know your performance was a great one. 0,04? It’s enough…This result gives me strength on my way towards the Winter Olympics, I only hope that this good feeling continues in January and in February in particular. No, mine was not a perfect race: on a slope like Stelvio it’s practically impossible to be perfect, but it was a beautiful fight. Tomorrow I will take part in the Alpine Combined ", said Paris.Defending champion Aksel Lund Svindal, who’s the last athlete to have won on the Stelvio, brought down one of his impressive strong runs and finished only +0.04 behind the winner of the day. A 73rd podium for the Norwegian also the 10th out of his last 12 participations in a downhill, which showcases his fantastic shape despite many serious injuries.
"I skied well, I have nothing to blame myself. This slope has always been very difficult and in the past, I learned to ski on ice right here. This time the snow was softer and I could be more aggressive. Being behind Paris is not something strange: one who wins twice in Bormio and Kitzbuehel is a great downhiller, that’s for sure", said SvindalAnother Norwegian rounds up the podium; it’s Kjetil Jansrud. The downhill standings runner-up from last season was already second in the previous downhill in Val Gardena / Gröden and is eager for more solid performances like this.
"I’m happy, this third place is a great result, it tells me I’m in good shape. Because this is a difficult slope, perfection isn’t possible, but I didn’t make big mistakes. This time Stelvio was not as frozen as it was in the past, and they did a miracle to prepare it so well after the snowfall. Congratulations to Paris, it’s not a surprise at all. Indeed, Dominik is sometimes an underrated athlete. Taking part in the Alpine Combined tomorrow will give me the possibility to grow in condition", said Jansrud.