World Cup skiing: Tight at the top in Bormio
Last Updated: December 29, 2012 7:09pm
Hannes Reichelt and Dominik Paris shared victory in Bormio in the closest finish to a World Cup downhill.
The top four were separated by 0.02 seconds, with Austrian Reichelt and Italian Paris both registering a time of one minute and 58.62 on the demanding Stelvio course.
Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal finished third, 0.01 seconds behind, a result that stretches his lead in the overall World Cup standings. Austrian Klaus Kroell was fourth.
"I didn't ski as well as I did in practice but I gave it my all and in the strong downhill team we have this season, I knew I would have my turn," said Paris after his maiden World Cup success.
Reichelt, whose win was the sixth of his career but first in the downhill discipline, said: "I'm proud to join the list of Austrian downhill winners. It's something that's very important back home. And I picked the right one, the most difficult downhill on the circuit after Kitzbuehel."
Svindal's third place means he is now 114 points ahead of defending overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher.
"I missed yesterday's practice because I was sick. I was a little bit better today but to be on the podium in these conditions on a piste that never suited me is great, said Svindal.
"Hirscher is so consistent in technical events that every point will count, not only for the big globe but also for the downhill globe, which is becoming one of my goals."
Worth the wait
Meanwhile over in Austrian resort of Semmering, Veronika Velez Zuzulova became the first Slovakian woman to win a World Cup race.
After having achieved 13 podium finishes in 10 years, the former junior world champion finally broke through when she clocked a combined time of one minute 37.28 seconds for her two slalom runs.
The 28-year-old, who married her French coach Romain Velez earlier this year, finished 0.10 seconds ahead of Austrian Kathrin Zettel.
Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze was fastest on the first run but failed to match that effort in the floodlit second leg and had to be content with third place, 0.20 off the pace.
It was the Slovenian's 11th podium finish of the season and lifted her overall points tally to 1,059, giving her a lead of 427 points over second-placed German Maria Hoefl-Riesch who ended up fourth on the day.