(Soldeu) Slovenian Ilka Stuhec and Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr dominated the downhills of the Alpine Skiing World Cup finals on Wednesday in Andorra.
While the big globe (for Mikaela Shiffrin and Marco Odermatt) and the small downhill globes (for Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Sofia Goggia) had already been awarded, the race offered no suspense for the various classifications.
Under a bright sun, Stuhec and Kriechmayr knew how to tame a track which did not succeed with the main favorites.
At the end of a very tight race, Kriechmayr, world champion 2021, beat two Germans, Romed Baumann by nine hundredths of a second and Andreas Sander by thirteen hundredths.
Kriechmayr thus won his fourth downhill of the winter, the other six were won by Kilde.
World champion in the specialty, the Swiss Marco Odermatt missed him with only 15th place.
With 16 additional points, he reaches 1842 points in the general classification. He has two races left (a super-G on Thursday and a giant on Saturday) to beat the men’s points record set 23 years ago by Austrian Hermann Maier (2,000 points).
For this, Odermatt must sign two second places or at least a victory and a third place, which he is capable of in his two strong disciplines.
American Mikaela Shiffrin, the new record holder for victories on the world circuit (87), skipped the downhill on Wednesday. Already guaranteed to win the general classification, she should compete in the last three races of the season this week (super-G on Thursday, slalom on Saturday, giant on Sunday).
Without her, Ilka Stuhec managed a perfect passage to largely dominate her competitors, pushing Goggia back to 51 hundredths of a second and the Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami to 81 hundredths.
Double world champion in the specialty (2017 and 2019), Stuhec has returned to the highest level this season after a long crossing of the desert, marred by several injuries. The 32-year-old Slovenian won her second win of the winter in Andorra.
Wednesday’s descents were marked by the farewell to the circuit of American Travis Ganong (34) and Frenchman Johan Clarey.
At 42, Clarey, Olympic vice-champion of the specialty, took the 12th place of his 240th and last start in the World Cup, after being virtually in the lead of the race at mid-slope.
The late-performing Frenchman pushed all age boundaries, becoming the oldest world medalist, oldest Olympic medalist and oldest skier to stand on a World Cup podium. He had again finished second in the legendary descent of Kitzbühel (Austria) in January.