PARIS, crowned in Chamonix
Second in the Combined yesterday, the Italian won the 5th victory of his career by dominating the Downhill.
After a slightly mad first day of competition, which saw a great Victory for Adrien Pinturault (FRA) in the Alpine Combined, it was time, this Saturday morning, for the Queen of the event, The Downhill, with the French team back in the starting blocks !
As of 8.00 this morning, crowds of spectators began to arrive. Club fans, tourists and alpine skiing enthusiasts, more than 20 000 had made the trip to watch the best downhillers in the world. With even more spectators than yesterday, the car-parks were very soon full and the edges of the run and finishing area were jam-packed.
The favourites were present : Steven Nyman, Dominik Paris, Erik Guay, Guillermo Fayed... Fine snow was falling and the light was flat when the first skier launched himself, facing a Mont-Blanc hidden in the clouds. It was necessary to wait for bib number 12, the American, Steven Nyman before getting a glimpse of the finishing podium. He realised an almost exemplary descent, carving the advantage in the second part of the run. But, five bibs later, the Italian, Dominik Paris did better : by skiing with commitment on the technical upper section and, with an advantageous build for the lower part, he gained precious hundredths and climbed to the top position.
In 1’58’38’’, he took his fourth victory in World Cup Downhill, and his first this season, making a total of 13 podium finishes in World Cup (including GS). « I am a little surprised by this win, because one never knows if it is good or not. There were also a lot of favourites and they were all there. It was really necessary to take the good line, and a single detail was enough to fail you. So when I saw the green light below, I understood that I had had good race and that I had taken a good line. ».
When Guillermo Fayed went through the starting gate, the public were over excited. On a run, that he knows by heart, his descent was almost perfect with a fast lower part, though not good enough to take the lead. He was however on the podium and hoped to keep his third place until the end of the race.
The Chamonix crowd were delirious and Guillermo's dream was almost realised. But this third place was short lived. The Swiss, Beat Feuz, who started three bibs later, was going to have a 45 hundredths advantage. For Guillermo, at the foot of the podium, the deception was real.
With three in the top 10 and five in the top 15 in this Chamonix stage, the French team showed that they have a promising fast team, revealing a fantastic succession. Valentin Giraud Moine 14th place, confirmed his very good times realised in training and the 9th place of the youngster from Chamonix, Blaise Giezendanner, is witness to the work accomplished. Starting with bib number 40, Blaise was only 34th at the intermediary point. He only had to gain places in the lower half and his ranking was in the top 10. It is worth noting his achievement yesterday when « at home », he had the best time in the Combined descent !
The young in the 'speed' team are growing stronger, and being at home is even more encouraging ! The only Downhill to be held in France has kept its promise. The general public were present and gave this great ski event a delirious atmosphere. Even with the snow and the capricious weather conditions, they were all at the rendezvous.
We all hope for another event, very soon !