Matthias Mayer wins World Cup downhill opener at Lake Louise

Double Olympic champion led home Austrian team-mate Vincent Kriechmayr with defending World Cup downhill champion Beat Feuz third.

By Rory Jiwani
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Matthias Mayer triumphed in the first Alpine Skiing World Cup downhill of the season at Canada's Lake Louise resort on Saturday (27 November).

The 31-year-old double Olympic champion glided longer than anyone on a demanding course, and won from Austrian team-mate Vincent Kriechmayr (+0.23s) who was the first man to descend.

Four-time reigning downhill Crystal Globe winner Beat Feuz was 0.35s off the pace in third ahead of fellow Swiss Marco Odermatt (+0.40s).

It was Mayer's 11th World Cup win, his seventh in downhills, and one that shows he is more than capable of winning gold at three consecutive Olympic Winter Games at Beijing 2022 in February.

He won the downhill title at Sochi 2014 and Super-G gold at PyeongChang 2018.

Adverse weather meant the start was lowered to where the women downhill racers normally set off, but plenty of skiers still managed to find trouble at Coaches Corner midway down the run.

Deteriorating visibility, especially at the top, made things harder for the later starters with another Austrian, Max Franz, doing well to take fifth with start number 15.

Germany's Romed Baumann, who represented Austria at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, was sixth.

Mayer will be hoping to make it a weekend double in the Super-G on Sunday.

Before the main event, Manny Osborne-Paradis had a farewell ski in front of his fans.

The 37-year-old Canadian - a four-time Olympian, three-time World Cup race winner and World Championship bronze medallist - announced his retirement earlier this year having failed to make a full recovery from breaking his leg in training at Lake Louise three years ago.

GO OLYMPIC. GET ALL THIS.

Free live sport events. Unlimited access to series. Unrivalled Olympic news & highlights.