Vincent Kriechmayr continues stellar form in Saalbach downhill

The two-time world champion was peerless on home snow, as second-placed Beat Feuz took big step towards a fourth downhill crystal globe.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Vincent Kriechmayr kept up his stunning recent form with victory in the men's downhill Alpine Ski World Cup race in Saalbach, Austria on Saturday (6 March).

The Austrian - who won two gold medals at the 2021 World Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo - finished in 1:53:07 to claim his first World Cup downhill win of the season.

Switzerland's Beat Feuz (+0.17s) was second to increase his lead at the top of the downhill standings rankings to 68 points as he seeks a fourth consecutive discipline title.

Kriechmayr's compatriot Matthias Mayer was third to keep his chances of winning the downhill crystal globe alive.

A fourth-place finish for Italy's Dominik Paris means his chances of winning the downhill World Cup title are over.

In-form Swiss skier Marco Odermatt finished tied for fifth with Max Franz to consolidate his second place in the overall World Cup standings behind Alexis Pinturault.

Kriechmayr's previous downhill World Cup victory came in 2019.

But he has now won his last three races, and is clearly the top speed skier in the world right now.

Today's triumph saw him become the first downhill world champion to take the following World Cup downhill event since Franz Heinzer in 1991.

"I made a fantastic run, the feeling was pretty good," Kriechmayr said afterwards. "But tomorrow is a new race, a new day, a new challenge, and we will see what happens."

As the reigning world champion, the 29-year-old is the strong favourite to win tomorrow's Super G World Cup event.