Paris leads Italian 1-2 in Bormio downhill

Bormio (Italy) (AFP) –


Dominik Paris stormed to a second consecutive victory in the men's World Cup downhill in Bormio on Friday ahead of fellow Italian Christof Innerhofer.

The 29-year-old Paris -- also winner on the icy Stelvio piste last season and in 2012 -- clocked 1min 55.21sec with Innerhofer second fastest at 0.36sec.

Switzerland's Beat Feuz, joint leader of the overall World Cup downhill standings which he won last season, was third fastest at 0.52sec.

It was Paris' first World Cup win this season, tenth of his career and 25th podium, after two third-place finishes at Lake Louise in the downhill and the Super-G in Beaver Creek.

"I gave it everything I had," said Paris, who matches the record of three wins on the Stelvio held by Austrian legends Hermann Maier and Michael Walchhofer.

"I always say that I like difficult conditions, and being able to show it here is wonderful. It was confirmation that the most difficult pistes are really mine."

The Stelvio -- almost 3,230 meters long with a 986-meter vertical drop and a maximum gradient of 60 percent -- is a notoriously unforgiving track and considered the most difficult along with Kitzbuehel's Streif which Paris has also conquered.

Slovenian skier Klemen Kosi however was airlifted by helicopter to hospital after crashing towards the end of the course, while American Travis Ganong did not start after crashing in training on Thursday.

Innerhofer, starting with Bib No. 2, seemed to have the perfect run on the track made even more icy than normal by freezing temperatures and windy conditions of recent days.

But Paris, in Bib No. 7, blitzed down the piste, making up the difference in the lower part, as Innerhofer had to settle for second for the third time this season after the downhill in Lake Louise and Super G in Val Gardena.

Norway's "Attacking Vikings" struggled on the Stelvio with Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finishing ninth, veteran Aksel Lund Svindal 12th with Kjetil Jansrud skiing off the piste.

Austria's Max Franz, who shares the World Cup downhill lead with Feuz, finished joint 12th fastest with Svindal.

The Norwegians will be looking to fight back on Saturday in the Super-G which they have dominated all season.