Paris wins race as Kilde extends lead in downhill standings

KVITFJELL, Norway (AP) — Dominik Paris dominated a men’s World Cup downhill Saturday as a decision in the discipline title fight was postponed until the season-ending race in France.

The Italian skier mastered the Olympiabakken course to beat home crowd favorite Alexander Aamodt Kilde by 0.55 seconds.

Paris, who was also the fastest in Thursday’s final training, became the first skier to win the downhill in Kvitfjell more than twice, following his earlier victories in 2016 and 2019.

“I didn’t know that, it’s nice. But I’m just super happy that I was skiing fast today, really fast,” he said.

The runner-up finish helped Kilde stretch his lead in the downhill standings to 23 points from Olympic champion Beat Feuz, who shared third in Saturday’s race with Swiss teammate Niels Hintermann. They trailed Paris by 0.81 seconds, a day after Hintermann had won a downhill on the same course.

Paris, who earlier this season won his home race in Bormio, is 88 points behind Kilde in the standings. It leaves him with only an outside chance to win the globe when the downhill season ends in Courchevel on March 11.

It would be Kilde’s first downhill title after Feuz won the crystal globe in the past four seasons.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle was 1.06 behind in fifth as he led two U.S. ski team members in the top 10, with Travis Ganong sharing eighth place with Maxence Muzaton of France.

Overall World Cup leader Marco Odermatt finished 1.75 off the lead in 13th, but still held a healthy 286-point lead over former champion Kilde.

Paris, who wore bib No. 9, had a gutsy run down the bumpy course, benefiting from good visibility for the first 10 starters before more clouds moved in.

The weather vastly differed from Friday’s downhill, when the sunny conditions throughout the race allowed late starters to challenge for a top finish and Canadian racer Cameron Alexander, who started 39th, shared the victory with Hintermann.

Alexander finished 16th in Saturday’s race.

It was Paris’ 21st career win and 17th in downhill, leaving him one short of Stephan Eberharter in third place of the World Cup downhill winners list, which is led by another Austrian great: Franz Klammer, with 25 wins.

Kjetil Jansrud competed in the 358th and final race of his career. A popular character on the Alpine skiing circuit for nearly two decades, Jansrud was celebrated in the finish area by skiers from many different nations.

Jansrud racked up 23 World Cup wins and has eight medals from major championships: five from three different Olympics, including super-G gold in 2014; and three from world championships, crowned with the downhill title in 2019.

His farewell from the sport came three years after the retirement of fellow Olympic champion Aksel Lund Svindal, who was attending the race.

The race weekend concludes with a super-G on Sunday.

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More AP skiing: https://apnews.com/hub/skiing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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