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Kvitfjell: Kroell snags win, Walchhofer second

Klaus Kroell collected his first career World Cup downhill win and kept his slim chances alive for the downhill title, but veteran teammate Michael Walchhofer placed second for the second straight day and all but wrapped that coveted trophy.

The Canadians blasted four into the top 10 for the second straight day, led once again by Manuel Osborne-Paradis, this time on the third step of the podium.

Hans Olsson finished fourth. Combined with a third from Lake Louise in November now owns the top two World Cup downhill finishes ever for a Swedish male.

The race for the big Crystal Globe came no closer to being decided. Both skiers tied for first overall failed to gain a point. Benjamin Raich failed to finish and Ivica Kostelic finished out of the points in 43rd. Aksel Svindal finished a disappointing 14th, yet made up chunks of real estate on the leaders and is now eight points behind them. With five races remaining there are still 22 skiers with a mathematical chance to take home the prize.Klaus Kroell collected his first career World Cup downhill win and kept his slim chances alive for the downhill title, but veteran teammate Michael Walchhofer placed second for the second straight day and all but wrapped that coveted trophy.

The Canadians blasted four into the top 10 for the second straight day, led once again by Manuel Osborne-Paradis, this time on the third step of the podium.

Hans Olsson finished fourth. Combined with a third from Lake Louise in November now owns the top two World Cup downhill finishes ever for a Swedish male.

“I was lucky to start just before the fog got heavier,” said Kroell who ran in bib 16.

“To win my first race in Kitzbuehel (SG Jan. 23) was already a climax to my season and this is a bonus, but a brilliant one,” Kroell told Rueters reporter Manuele Lang.

Walchhofer has a tidy 75 point lead for the downhill title going into the last test of the season. “On paper I am the favorite to win the globe, but I should beware of Klaus. He is in great shape and robbed me of victory at Kvitfjell,” he told Lang.

That larceny particularly rankled Walchhofer. Though he owns 11 World Cup downhill victories he has never won at Kvitfjell and finished second two days in a row.

Kroell, however, was not optimistic about his chances to overtake his teammate for the crown. “It’s 75 points,” Kroell told AP. “I don’t think it is in my hands.”

The race for the big Crystal Globe came no closer to being decided. Both skiers tied for first overall failed to gain a point. Benjamin Raich failed to finish and Ivica Kostelic finished out of the points in 43rd. Aksel Svindal finished a disappointing 14th, yet made up chunks of real estate on the leaders and is now eight points behind them. With five races remaining there are still 22 skiers with a mathematical chance to take home the prize.

Raich, for one, was stunned to still be in the lead. “I would not have imagined that after two downhills I would be the World Cup leader,” he told Austrian reporters.

It was a second consecutive days of feeding from the back for the U.S. skiers. Marco Sullivan led the way in 19th and he was all alone up that high in the order. Kevin Francis was 45th, Steven Nyman 54th with Andrew Weibrecht and Erik Fisher both failing to finish.


The SCOOP
By Hank McKee


Equipment
Men’s Downhill, Kvitfjell, Norway, March 7, 2008

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Kroell, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2 Walchhofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Osborne-Paradis, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Olsson, Head/Head/Tyrolia
5 Heel, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Fill, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Dixon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Kucera, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Guay, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Jerman, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic

Men’s Downhill, Kvitfjell, Norway, March 7, 2009. … It is the 32nd race of the men’s 37 race 2009 World Cup schedule. … The eighth of nine scheduled downhills. … It is the 36th World Cup race held at Kvitfjell and the 18th downhill.

It is the second career World Cup win for Klaus Kroell, the first in DH. … He also won the Kitzbuehel super G Jan. 23. … It is his fourth podium result of the season.

It is the 40th World Cup podium for Michael Walchhofer. … the 31st in downhill. … He leads the downhill standings and is looking to ice his third DH title having won in ’06 and ’05. … It is his fifth podium of the season and fourth in downhill. … It is his third second place finish of the season, and second in two days.

Manuel Osborne-Paradis followed up his first Cup win March 6 with his sixth Cup podium March 7. … All of them have come in DH. … three of them this season. … The one not from Kvitfjell was a third at Val Gardena Dec. 20.

It is the fourth best career World Cup placing for Robbie Dixon. … three of them have come at Kvitfjell including a fourth in super G March 2, 2008 and a fifth in DH yesterday. … John Kucera matches his 14th best career placing. … It is his fifth best Cup result of the season and his one placing below his result of yesterday. … It is the eighth top 10 result of the season for Erik Guay, the sixth in DH. … It is the second straight day the Canadians have pushed four skiers into the top 10. … It is the eighth best of 11 scoring results this season for Marco Sullivan.

Benjamin Raich (DNF in race)  and Ivica Kostelic (43rd in race) remain tied for the lead of the men’s overall standings at 837. … Aksel Svindal (14th in race) closes the gap at 829 and Jean-Baptiste Grange remains at 777. … Top American on the overall list is Bode Miller (DNS) in tenth with 517pts.

Walchhofer holds the downhill standings lead 470-395 for Kroell who leap-frogs Didier Defago (11th in race) with 337. … Manuel Osborne-Paradis steps past the idle Bode Miller into fourth with 299. With one race remaining Walchhofer can win the title by placing second in the finale.


Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time FIS Points
 1  16  50753 KROELL Klaus  1980  AUT   1:32.12  0.00
 2  22  50041 WALCHHOFER Michael  1975  AUT   1:32.39  3.87
 3  19  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel  1984  CAN   1:32.58  6.59
 4  5  501076 OLSSON Hans  1984  SWE   1:32.67  7.88
 5  12  292514 HEEL Werner  1982  ITA   1:32.69  8.17
 6  9  292455 FILL Peter  1982  ITA   1:32.75  9.03
 7  3  102961 DIXON Robbie  1985  CAN   1:32.81  9.89
 8  8  102873 KUCERA John  1984  CAN   1:32.82  10.03
 9  10  102263 GUAY Erik  1981  CAN   1:32.97  12.18
 10  13  560332 JERMAN Andrej  1978  SLO   1:33.03  13.04
 11  20  510727 DEFAGO Didier  1977  SUI   1:33.12  14.33
 12  41  561067 PERKO Rok  1985  SLO   1:33.17  15.05
 13  18  510030 CUCHE Didier  1974  SUI   1:33.26  16.34
 14  17  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund  1982  NOR   1:33.40  18.34
 15  23  510747 GRUENENFELDER Tobias  1977  SUI   1:33.45  19.06
 16  21  350032 BUECHEL Marco  1971  LIE   1:33.49  19.63
 16  7  192746 THEAUX Adrien  1984  FRA   1:33.49  19.63
 16  1  51215 BAUMANN Romed  1986  AUT   1:33.49  19.63
 19  14  533131 SULLIVAN Marco  1980  USA   1:33.53  20.20
 20  28  510890 ZURBRIGGEN Silvan  1981  SUI   1:33.54  20.35
 21  15  511313 JANKA Carlo  1986  SUI   1:33.58  20.92
 22  36  511139 KUENG Patrick  1984  SUI   1:33.71  22.78
 23  6  50858 STREITBERGER Georg  1981  AUT   1:33.72  22.93
 24  26  191116 DALCIN Pierre-Emmanuel  1977  FRA   1:33.79  23.93
 25  43  150421 ZAHROBSKY Petr  1980  CZE   1:33.80  24.07
 26  11  293006 INNERHOFER Christof  1984  ITA   1:33.83  24.50
 27  44  511142 LUEOEND Vitus  1984  SUI   1:33.85  24.79
 28  27  50423 MAIER Hermann  1972  AUT   1:34.05  27.66
 29  33  201606 KEPPLER Stephan  1983  GER   1:34.10  28.37
 30  38  192932 FAYED Guillermo  1985  FRA   1:34.12  28.66
 31  24  191964 POISSON David  1982  FRA   1:34.14  28.94
 32  30  510767 HOFFMANN Ambrosi  1977  SUI   1:34.20  29.80
 33  35  290998 STAUDACHER Patrick  1980  ITA   1:34.23  30.23
 34  40  50831 GRAGGABER Thomas  1981  AUT   1:34.30  31.24
 35  54  380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko  1986  CRO   1:34.37  32.24
 36  37  191591 BERTRAND Yannick  1980  FRA   1:34.39  32.53
 37  48  201542 STRODL Peter  1982  GER   1:34.42  32.96
 38  4  292291 THANEI Stefan  1981  ITA   1:34.45  33.39
 39  52  421400 MYHRE Lars Elton  1984  NOR   1:34.52  34.39
 40  34  50761 ALSTER Christoph  1980  AUT   1:34.55  34.82
 41  47  294911 PATSCHEIDER Hagen  1988  ITA   1:34.72  37.26
 42  25  50451 GRUBER Christoph  1976  AUT   1:34.79  38.26
 43  32  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica  1979  CRO   1:34.85  39.12
 44  62  50600 GOERGL Stephan  1978  AUT   1:34.92  40.12
 45  55  533842 FRANCIS Kevin  1982  USA   1:34.95  40.55
 46  45  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo  1985  ITA   1:34.98  40.98
 47  46  561087 MARKIC Gasper  1986  SLO   1:35.12  42.99
 48  51  40171 BRANCH Craig  1977  AUS   1:35.13  43.13
 49  56  103375 NELLA Tyler  1988  CAN   1:35.16  43.56
 50  60  220656 DRAKE Edward  1986  GBR   1:35.18  43.85
 51  58  501230 ERICSSON Daniel  1987  SWE   1:35.29  45.42
 52  42  192122 PITTIN Alexandre  1983  FRA   1:35.46  47.86
 53  49  561006 GLEBOV Alek  1983  SLO   1:35.87  53.73
 54  29  533866 NYMAN Steven  1982  USA   1:35.95  54.88
 55  61  191778 PICHOT Sebastien  1981  FRA   1:37.20  72.79
Did not finish 1st run
   59  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil  1985  NOR     
   57  561085 KRIZAJ Andrej  1986  SLO     
   53  103090 HELIE Louis-Pierre  1986  CAN     
   50  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew  1986  USA     
   39  50919 STRUGER Peter  1982  AUT     
   31  50625 RAICH Benjamin  1978  AUT     
   2  534939 FISHER Erik  1985  USA     

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