Dressen edges favorites Feuz, Svindal to win WCup downhill
KVITFJELL, Norway (AP) — Thomas Dressen won a men’s World Cup downhill race on Saturday, less than two months after he became the first German winner in the discipline in 13 years.
Dressen edged world champion Beat Feuz of Switzerland by 0.08 seconds, while Olympic gold medalist Aksel Lund Svindal finished 0.17 back in third. Svindal’s Norwegian teammate Kjetil Jansrud was fourth.
“It’s crazy. Before the season I expected a lot but not that things would go so well,” said Dressen after his second career win.
Dressen and Feuz also came 1-2 at the classic race in Kitzbuehel in January, which was the first German downhill victory in the men’s World Cup since 2005.
In a similar scenario to January’s race, Dressen started after most pre-race favorites had completed their runs. He trailed Feuz by 0.09 at the final split time but gained nearly two tenths at the bottom section of the Olympiabakken course.
Dressen had his first top-10 result on the same hill a year ago.
“From then on, I have been more relaxed,” said the German.
Svindal called Dressen’s victory “no coincidence. He is one of the best downhill racers.”
In his breakthrough season, Dressen also reached the podium in Beaver Creek in December, and finished fifth in the Olympic downhill in Pyeongchang after leading one of the training runs.
While the 24-year-old Dressen could be a future candidate for the downhill season title, this season’s globe will be contested between Feuz and Svindal.
Saturday’s result boosted Feuz’s chances as he extended his lead in the downhill standings over the Norwegian to 60 points with only the season-ending race at the World Cup finals in Sweden on Wednesday remaining.
“It’s been a cool fight between us all year,” said Feuz, who won three downhill races this season, one more than Svindal.
If Feuz can hold on to his lead, he will earn his first crystal globe after finishing runner-up three times — in the downhill, combined and overall standings, all in the 2011-12 season.
“Of course you think about (the globe) but at the start of a race you have to get it out of your mind,” Feuz said. “In Are it will be real final. (Svindal) will be fighting for the victory and I can’t take it easy, either.”
Svindal, who is a two-time overall champion, has won the downhill title twice but not since 2014.
A super-G on the same course is scheduled for Sunday.