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Hannes Reichelt leads from start to win World Cup downhill

Austria’s Hannes Reichelt takes a jump on his way to win an alpine ski, men’s World Cup downhill race, in Garmisch-Panterkirchen, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2017. (Marco Tacca / Associated Press)
Austria’s Hannes Reichelt takes a jump on his way to win an alpine ski, men’s World Cup downhill race, in Garmisch-Panterkirchen, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2017. (Marco Tacca / Associated Press)
Associated Press

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Hannes Reichelt led from the start to win a downhill race for his first World Cup victory of the season on Saturday.

The Austrian went first and completed the Kandahar course in 1 minute, 53.83 seconds, beating Italy’s Peter Fill by 0.16 and Switzerland’s Beat Feuz by 0.52.

Dominik Paris of Italy was fourth, 0.76 back, ahead of Kjetil Jansrud of Norway.

“It was a good decision tactically to take the No. 1,” said Reichelt, who could also have chosen bibs 17 or 19. “With the numbers further back, it’s even harder.”

The 36-year-old Reichelt is the first skier to win a downhill World Cup with the No. 1 bib since Christof Innerhofer in Bormio in 2008.

“I knew in Kitzbuehel and yesterday that, if I made it down without any mistakes, I’d surely be up front if I ski normally. It’s the art of finding the happy medium between giving it gas and going safely, not risking everything without a thought. It worked out perfectly,” Reichelt said of his 12th World Cup win overall. “It’s very good for the confidence with regard to the world championships.”

The super-G world champion added: “I’ve now gone down the course twice. You have to have enough confidence in yourself to know how the course will develop,” the super-G world champion said.

Friday’s winner Travis Ganong finished 1.31 seconds off the pace in 12th.

There were no major crashes in contrast to the day before when Valentin Giraud-Moine and Steven Nyman were airlifted to the local hospital in Garmisch with serious knee injuries.

Giraud-Moine dislocated both knees while Nyman’s season was also ended. Guillermo Fayed of France also suffered a knee injury. Erik Guay of Canada skipped Saturday’s race after his spectacular crash on Friday. Changes were made to the course for Saturday.

Fill’s second-place finish was enough to claim the lead in the downhill standings from Jansrud. The Italian leads with 279 points after five races, ahead of Jansrud on 247, Paris on 218 and Reichelt on 200. A giant slalom race is scheduled for Sunday.

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