Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Wins Downhill in Kitzbühel
Updated: Jan 22
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde claimed today, under challenging conditions, his second career win on the Streif. He finished ahead of Johan Clarey (+0.67) and Travis Ganong (+0.95). The Attacking Viking put together a confident, nearly flawless run. It was a huge bounce-back performance after a jaw-dropping save ended with a disappointing 16th place finish in the first Downhill race on Friday.
Kilde has won five of the eight men's World Cup Downhill races in the 2022-2023 season. The last male skier to win at least five World Cup Downhill events in a single season was Stephan Eberharter in 2001-2002 (6).
It is his 20th victory in the World Cup and his 38th career podium (9th on the season).
With 11 Downhill wins Kilde is second among Norwegian men for most World Cup Downhill wins, only behind only Aksel Lund Svindal (14).
Now two time winner in Kitzbühel, Kilde is one of four Norwegian skiers to have won the World Cup Downhill event on the Streif. The other three are Lasse Kjus (1999 and 2004), Atle Skårdal (1990) and Kjetil Jansrud (2015).
"I feel incredible. It was a really tough day yesterday with my run and a painful hand. It was a tough day for Team Norway yesterday. So, we had to dig deep to get it going today. I am really happy with my run", said Kilde.
Johan Clarey finished in second place. It's his fourth World Cup podium in the Downhill in the Streif (2017, 2021, 2022, and now 2023) and third time he is second in Kitzbühel. The 42-year-old finished inside the top five in six of the last seven World Cup Downhill events on the Streif (2020-2023): 4-4-2-2-5-2. Yesterday was the exception after finishing in 18th position. He is now breaking his own record for oldest podium finisher.
Only Heinrich Messner has recorded as many World Cup podium finishes in the men's downhill without ever winning as Clarey, both 10.
"I pushed more than yesterday. I knew I made a good run, but you never know if you are fast or not. When I crossed the finish line and saw the green light, it was the best feeling ever. I am a little disappointed but Alex was so strong today that I could not beat him. I am very happy about my last run in Kitzbühel. This is for sure my last race here. I wanted to end my career when I was still skiing strong and I am looking for the World Championships in France now. I will end my career in Andorra and it has been a good year so far. I try to enjoy every minute of ski racing", said Clarey.
Travis Ganong finished in third place. It is his sixth podium in the World Cup. Before today he had finished in 7th position in 2014, 2022, and yesterday, as his best result in a Downhill in Kitzbühel.
"Conditions were really tough today. It was a good run, a great run down the Streif. If that was my last run down I am really happy. I love this hill. My goal was always to win in Kitzbühel but to be on the podium is pretty good too", said Ganong.
In the 2022-2023 men's World Cup, 19 of the 22 victories were divided among skier representing Norway (12) or Switzerland (7). The exceptions were the three Downhill victories by Vincent Kriechmayr (in Val Gardena, Bormio, and yesterday in Kitzbühel).
Today was the farewell race for Beat Feuz. The Swiss has been the best and, above all, the most constant Downhill skier in the World Cup for years. He said goodbye in a place where he won three times
The 35-year-old ski ace was the fourth man to complete the Downhill set of an Olympic title, World title, Crystal Globe, and a win on the Streif in Kitzbühel, after Jean-Claude Killy, Pirmin Zurbriggen, and Franz Klammer.