Fantastic Franz Finishes First
It was a wild ride in today’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup men’s downhill as the Saslong course in Val Gardena/Groeden (ITA) provided plenty of drama in one of the most competitive races of this season.
In the end, it was a fairy tale finish for Austrian Max Franz, who earned his first career World Cup victory, after coming down with bib #26 and barely edging Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal by 0.04 seconds. Third place went to American Steven Nyman, who trailed by 0.41 seconds.
It was a day full of twists and turns as there were a number of racers that could have taken home bragging rights with less than a second separating the first 15 finishers. Svindal looked like he had the victory wrapped up with the most dangerous opponents down in the finish area when Franz laid down a blistering run. It was tight the entire way down as all waited on the edge of their seat to see if the Austrian would pull off the upset.
But all of the top three were all smiles as Svindal found himself back on the podium in another strong comeback bid, while Nyman continued to show his strength on one of his best courses in Val Gardena.
The entire men's tour now moves to Alta Badia, one valley away, for a giant slalom tomorrow and parallel giant slalom on Monday evening.