BORMIO, Italy: Italian Dominik Paris snatched his first win of the season at home as the men´s World Cup downhill saw some spectacular crashes as it returned to Bormio on Thursday.
The 28-year-old clocked 1min 56.95sec, finishing ahead of Norwegian pair Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud at .04sec and 0.17sec respectively.
Despite the race being pushed back nearly an hour to clear overnight snowfall, the technically difficult Stelvio proved treacherous with Germany´s Dominik Schwaiger airlifted off the piste after losing control and tumbling down the slope.
He escaped serious injury, sustaining bruising to the right side of his body.
France´s Matthieu Bailet suffered a dislocated and broken left shoulder with compatriot Guillermo Fayed and American Travis Ganong also crashing out but without serious injury.
Paris however stormed down the piste claiming his second win in the Italian Alpine resort he knows well after 2012 — and the ninth World Cup victory of his career.
“I had a good run, the track was in a good condition, but it was difficult,” said Paris whose last win was in Aspen last March.
“I hope to be able to continue like this in January and heading towards the Olympics.”
It was the Italian men´s team´s first podium finish of the season, with their women´s team on six, as they prepare for the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang from February 9 to 25.
The 34-year-old Svindal — winner in Beaver Creek and Val Gardena and the last time the race was held in Bormio four years ago — extended his lead in the World Cup downhill standings.
“Bormio is always tough. I´m happy with my race, but the fresh snow slowed it down a bit,” added the 2010 Olympic downhill champion, making his way back this season after a knee injury.
Olympic champion Matthias Mayer of Austria finished sixth fastest, with the next men´s World Cup downhill race in Wengen, Switzerland on January 13. The competition continues on Friday with the men´s combined — a downhill run and slalom.