Cuche triumphs in Kvitfjell ahead of Svindal and Kroell
Didier Cuche won the FIS World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell (NOR) in a dominating fashion and thereby secured his third victory in the World Cup downhill standings.
Cuche had already been the fastest in both of the training runs earlier this week. It was his fifth victory this winter, the third in a downhill after he won in Lake Louise and Kitzbuehel. Cuche, who already collected the World Cup downhill globes in 2007 and 2008, beat the second-placed Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal by almost half a second. Austrian Klaus Kroell took 3rd, 0.57 behind.
"Winning a World Cup title four years in a row is a proof of consistency," said Cuche, who took the giant slalom trophy last season.
"It is just a pity that I did not perform well at the Olympics," added the Swiss, who finished sixth in the Olympic downhill in Whistler.
"I am very proud of winning here but I did not have revenge in my mind when I started this race."
Svindal, the super-G Olympic champion, said Cuche was simply too strong on Saturday.
"It was nice to ski on home snow in beautiful weather after the Games," he said. "Didier was unbeatable today."
Carlo Janka finished sixth, behind Hans Olsson (4th, SWE) and Andrej Sporn (5th, SLO) and made up some ground against Benjamin Raich in the overall World Cup standings. Janka reduced the gap to current leader Raich by 40 to 70 points. Raich failed to score any points, as in all the downhill races this season, finishing 38th.
For Svindal, his 2nd place was the season's best performance in a World Cup downhill. Klaus Kroell, who scored his only World Cup victory in the downhill so far in Kvitfjell last year, brought some solace to the battered Austrian team that has yet to score a downhill win this season.