Peter Fill, Ilka Stuhec Claim Downhill Crystal Globes
The Italian men's team had much to celebrate on Wednesday in Aspen, Colo., as Dominik Paris won the last downhill race of the season and his teammate Peter Fill claimed his second consecutive discipline crystal globe, edging out Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud by just 23 points in the final standings. Paris also finished the season ranked third in downhill.
"The last race wasn't too easy for me, I was far behind the other guys which actually probably motivated me for this race," said Paris, who selected bib No. 1 due to the weather. "I knew it would be warm, and so I'm happy I made the decision to take No. 1. The snow only got softer."
Fill finished the race in second place to secure the second downhill title of his career after Jansrud, who led the standings heading into the day, finished 11th in the race and second in the discipline standings. Swiss Carlo Janka rounded out the race podium in third.
"It was hard. It was good skiing. Again, I was every time close on the victory. No victory this year in downhill, but in the end, I pick up the thing that counts, and that's the nicest thing," said Fill. And today, a special day for the Italians with Dominik's win and to have second and then, the globe. I think we have the best team – small team, but a good team. Thank you to the whole team. They work really well and the love, and they push us to go faster, and we see the results. So, thank you all the team, service guy, sponsors, thank you!"
For the Americans, Travis Ganong (Sqauw Valley, CA) was 17th, and Sam Morse, who won the Junior World Downhill title last week in Are, Sweden, finished 21st in his World Cup debut.
“What an unbelievable experience,” said Morse, who heads off to Mont Ste-Marie, Quebec for the NorAm finals this weekend and then U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf, Maine, next week before planning a full World Cup season next year. “This is great! It’s an honor just to be here, to be even within the same ballpark with these guys is incredible.”
In the ladies' downhill Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec won the overall World Cup downhill title after winning her fourth downhill of the season as temperatures reached into the upper 50s. Italy’s Sofia Goggia was third. Stuhec trails Mikaela Shiffrin by 273 points in the battle for the overall World Cup title with three races remaining.
"It’s amazing. I mean it’s been an incredible season and right now that this [globe] is here, it’s heavy. Everything else will come later, I guess," said Stuhec. "I wanted to do like every other time this season like ski the best way possible and do my best and we’ll see what comes. And ending the season with a win and a globe, it’s pretty good."
Lindsey Vonn slid into the air fence in the finish and had to be extricated by race staff but not before she claimed the second spot on the podium.
Other U.S. finishers included, Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) in fifth; Jackie Wiles (Aurora, OR) 14th; Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 16th; and newly crowned Junior World Downhill Champion Alice Merryweather (Hingham, MA) in 19th.
Vonn was happy with her second-place result, especially as she fought off a cold and fatigue following her return to the World Cup this past January after a pair of injuries.
“I have to put everything into perspective. I am really happy to be second, coming back from this injury … so I’m very appreciative of being on the podium,” said Vonn, who slid into the finish corral pads following her run. “I was so tired. I just couldn’t stop fast enough. That’s one of the first times I’ve done that and I’m happy that (no injuries) happened.”
Despite not participating in the end of the winter due to injury, Lara Gut finished third in the downhill season standings.