Feuz braves 'Stelvio' and Italy's Paris with fractured hand
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Bormio (Italy) (AFP)
World Cup downhill leader Beat Feuz will brave the legendary 'Stelvio' piste and Italian speed star Dominik Paris looking to make it back-to-back wins in the discipline this season despite competing with a broken finger in two downhill races scheduled for Bormio starting on Friday.
The 32-year-old Olympic bronze medallist picked up the break in his left hand during the super-G in Val Gardena last week, with the subsequent downhill in the Dolomites postponed because of heavy snowfall, and now set for the Italian alpine resort of Bormio on Friday, followed by a second on Saturday.
"The hand is currently steady and I hope that I can ride a special track in Bormio again," said the two-time defending World Cup downhill champion, who finished third at Bormio last season for his first podium finish on the piste.
Feuz won in Beaver Creek, Colorado, last time out and and also finished third in the season-opener at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies, where Germany's Thomas Dressen won.
Paris was runner-up in Lake Louise, and wants to climb back on the top of the podium he dominated last season with wins in both the downhill and super-G in Bormio.
The world super-G champion stood on top of the podium seven times last season -- four times in the downhill -- only bettered by Austrian great Marcel Hirscher.
Hirscher's retirement has thrown the field wide open in the battle for the overall World Cup title.
"For the general classification my favourites are (Alexis) Pinturault and (Henrik) Kristoffersen," insisted Paris.
"But I will certainly try.
"I prefer ice pistes, it's the condition in which I feel most comfortable, in which I know I can go faster."
The 32-year-old will be at home in all senses on the spectacular Stelvio piste.
Renowned for being one of the most technically challenging, covering 3250 metres with a drop of 1,010 metres, it is notoriously icy.
A win would help the Italian climb up the standings.
Feuz leads the downhill standings with 160 points followed by Austria's Vincent Kriechmayr on 116, with Paris fourth on 104.
Paris is sixth in the overall World Cup standings where Kristoffersen (379) leads the way ahead of Kriechmayr (312) and Pinturualt (302).
Dressen won in Lake Louise, for his third World Cup downhill win after Kitzbuhel and Kvitfjell last season, on his return from injury.
Pinturault is fighting to be fit after picking up a thigh injury at the World Cup parallel slalom at Alta Badia.
Many of the skiers were unhappy with conditions during the Alta Badia event with rising Swiss star Marco Odermatt undergoing surgery on a knee injury on Monday.
Pinturault, the French federation said, suffered a "6mm muscle injury to the long adductor muscle of his left thigh".
"Everything has been put in place so he can take part in Bormio," it added.
Sunday will feature the alpine combined, a discipline in which Pinturault is reigning world champion.
World Cup programme at Bormio (all times GMT)
Friday: First downhill at 1030
Saturday: Second downhill at 1030
Sunday: Combined - super-G at 1000, slalom at 1300
© 2019 AFP