Dominik Paris wins first downhill of the season
LAKE LOUISE, Canada – It has been an eventful week of training in terms of weather changes in Lake Louise and Saturday proved no different. Early Saturday morning things looked far from promising – what started as a light snowfall seemed to pick up on intensity by the minute and a tick layer of clouds lingered on the race course. It all suggested the first downhill race of the season might take place from a lower star. But as we have learned from the past, Lake Louise can be unpredictable and by the time the Jury met at the bottom of the course after inspection, it was clear that conditions were quickly improving and by the time the first racer, Peter Fill left the starting gate it was clear it would be a good day for a full length race.
The different conditions racers find at each venue is one of the things which makes is so interesting and today Dominik Paris showed he was in no way affected by the changing conditions. He crossed the finish line in 1 minute, 49.90 seconds and took home his first victory of the season. Austrian Klaus Kroell was not far behind as he finished only 0.03 seconds behind the winner’s time. Adrien Theaux had an outstanding run as well and ended up taking the last spot on the podium, only 0.11 seconds behind the winning time.
“I am very happy but it has been a difficult run for me,” a beaming Paris said in the finish area.
“The middle section of the course was really bumpy but I am glad I figured out a way to keep pushing. It’s a great way to start the season and now all I can hope is that I keep skiing like this in the next races and once the Olympics in February come around we will see how things go..”
Klaus Kroell is a veteran in Lake Louise, this being his 12th year of racing at the Canadian resort. But despite the many starts, today was only the second podium here for him and he couldn’t hide his happiness.
“It was such a tight race,” Kroell said. “It always seems to be tight when I’m on the podium. I can’t say I like it, it would have been better to be at the front of those few hundreds but it was a good race and I am happy to start with a podium.”
Lake Louise has always been known as a rather ‘simple’ downhill, but with the work done over the summer a few “hot spots” became clear already during the training runs.
“We could tell already during the first training that this year Lake Louise was going to be a different race than what we saw in the past. There are more jumps, more air time and definitely more bumps than in the past. Also with the weather changing all the time you never knew if someone from the back was going to do a crazy run and get me off the podium,” Theaux said after the last racer crossed the finish line and it became clear he would remain on the podium.
The first race of the season proved to be as exciting as expected and we can’t wait to see how things play out in tomorrow’s super-G.
Here are today’s results and don’t forget to tune in for Sunday’s race, it starts at 11 CET!