KITZBUEHEL, Austria — It was another postcard-perfect day in Kitzbuehel, Austria, as hordes of ski-mad fans packed the stadium to watch the fastest men on two skis take on the one and only Hahnenkamm downhill on Saturday. When the snow-dust had settled, it was Italy’s Dominik Paris who emerged victorious with a winning time of 1:55.01 seconds, beating out a pair of Frenchmen with Valentin Giraud Moine in second, 0.21 seconds back, and Johan Clarey in third, 0.33 seconds off the pace.

With a relatively early start number of nine, Paris charged the notoriously icy track and risked it all on the bottom sections of the Hausberg and traverse in order to take the lead and hold it through many tough challengers, particularly that of Swiss racer Beat Feuz, who was well ahead of Paris at the Hausberg before getting a little too greedy on the traverse and finding himself in the net. Thankfully, the Swiss escaped from the fence with only a bruised ego, and fans can look forward to seeing him back in the starting gate soon.

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Saturday’s victory is Paris’ second Hahnenkamm downhill title, as he claimed his maiden Kitzbuehel victory in 2013. Despite his size, the big Italian has incredible touch on his skis, allowing him to power through the toughest sections yet also have the delicacy of one of the best gliders on the circuit.

“I pushed it so hard to the bottom,” an exuberant Paris explained in the finish. “In the bottom, from the Hausberg to the finish line, I was pushing so hard because I had a good feeling on the top. I don’t know, I’m so happy. I like going fast, as fast as I can, and this happened. You are a little bit scared in the start, for sure, but you have to push it. When you push it to the first gate, then the feeling comes a little bit better, and you are skiing only fast.”

Giraud Moine took to the course with bib 24 and even had the lead over Paris at the final interval before sliding into second place. Saturday’s result is the 24-year-old’s second career World Cup podium after his second-place finish last season in the Kvitfjell downhill.

KITZBUEHEL, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 21: Valentin Giraud Moine of France competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Downhill on January 21, 2017 in Kitzbuehel, Austria (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom)
Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom

“I felt confident after the summer,” said Giraud Moine. “I was not very lucky at the start of the season, but now it is paying off, and I am really happy to make a good run today and I am really, really, happy to make it here in Kitzbuehel. There are like, fifty times more people than the other races. It’s the most dangerous race in the world, and it’s incredible to be here.”

In contrast to his compatriot’s youth, the 36-year-old Clarey was flirting with retirement at the end of last season, but decided to put it off for another year for another opportunity to race Kitzbuehel after several strong finishes in recent years.

“I’ve had some good results here; I was fourth last year and fifth a few years ago,” he explained. “I said to myself last year when I was fourth, ‘You have to be on the podium.’ I was almost retired at the end of last season, and I said to myself that I have to do one more season to live Kitzbuehel again and weeks like this and now I’m on the podium. I’m speechless. We are two French on the podium, it’s the best day I have lived on the World Cup circus.”

The American Downhillers were led by Steve Nyman in 10th place after kicking the race off with bib one. The tall Utahn had been the fastest racer in the opening training run, but hooked a tip and failed to finish the second day of training. Although a podium place was the goal on Saturday, Nyman was nonetheless content with his overall execution, despite an ill-timed error on the Hausbergkante.

“It was really cool starting number one,” Nyman explained. “They have the big dong doing up there, the countdown, and everybody is psyched to see the first guy kick out of the gate. I definitely had some nerves, but I executed really well until the Hausberg. I landed off that and ground (my edges) and that’s a long sidehill traverse and not carrying that speed across that cost me a lot of time. I was happy with the execution and this year, the piste is so icy and brutal. Yeah, it was fun, and I’m glad I’m in one piece!”

Andrew Weibrecht was the next Amercian in 19th place. Thomas Biesemeyer, in his first downhill start at Kitzbuehel, managed to claw his way from the 50th start position to finish an impressive 23rd, well after the best light had left the hill, and Travis Ganong rounded out the American point scorers in 29th. Jared Goldberg finished in 40th place and Bryce Bennett ended the day in a three-way tie for 41st.

Hahnenkamm week wraps up on Sunday, Jan. 22 with the slalom.

Fans can stay up to date on World Cup by  downloading the U.S. Ski Team – Ski Racing app for iOS and Android.


Top 10

  1. Dominik Paris (ITA) – Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  2. Valentin Giraud Moine (FRA) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  3. Johan Clarey (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Peter Fill (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  5. Carlo Janka (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  6. Erik Guay (CAN) – Head/Head/Head
  7. Adrien Theaux (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  8. Matthias Mayer (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
  9. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  10. Stevem Nyman (USA) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Official Results

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationTotal TimeDiff.FIS PointsWC Points
 1 9 291459PARIS Dominik1989ITA 1:55.01 0.00 100.00
 2 24 194542GIRAUD MOINE Valentin1992FRA 1:55.22 +0.21 2.28 80.00
 3 20 191740CLAREY Johan1981FRA 1:55.34 +0.33 3.59 60.00
 4 5 292455FILL Peter1982ITA 1:55.41 +0.40 4.35 50.00
 5 15 511313JANKA Carlo1986SUI 1:55.45 +0.44 4.78 45.00
 6 17 102263GUAY Erik1981CAN 1:55.50 +0.49 5.33 40.00
 7 3 192746THEAUX Adrien1984FRA 1:55.72 +0.71 7.72 36.00
 8 18 53902MAYER Matthias1990AUT 1:55.76 +0.75 8.15 32.00
 9 6 50742REICHELT Hannes1980AUT 1:55.83 +0.82 8.91 29.00
 10 1 533866NYMAN Steven1982USA 1:55.85 +0.84 9.13 26.00
 11 10 53980KRIECHMAYR Vincent1991AUT 1:56.06 +1.05 11.41 24.00
 12 30 191964POISSON David1982FRA 1:56.33 +1.32 14.35 22.00
 13 21 200379SANDER Andreas1989GER 1:56.35 +1.34 14.56 20.00
 14 54 194167MUZATON Maxence1990FRA 1:56.36 +1.35 14.67 18.00
 15 47 422310SEJERSTED Adrian Smiseth1994NOR 1:56.42 +1.41 15.32 16.00
 16 11 192932FAYED Guillermo1985FRA 1:56.50 +1.49 16.19 15.00
 17 23 50753KROELL Klaus1980AUT 1:56.54 +1.53 16.63 14.00
 17 16 293006INNERHOFER Christof1984ITA 1:56.54 +1.53 16.63 14.00
 19 27 102899OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel1984CAN 1:56.60 +1.59 17.28 12.00
 19 25 530939WEIBRECHT Andrew1986USA 1:56.60 +1.59 17.28 12.00
 21 45 990081CASSE Mattia1990ITA 1:56.65 +1.64 17.82 10.00
 22 22 194298GIEZENDANNER Blaise1991FRA 1:56.71 +1.70 18.48 9.00
 23 50 531452BIESEMEYER Thomas1989USA 1:56.77 +1.76 19.13 8.00
 24 19 422139KILDE Aleksander Aamodt1992NOR 1:56.83 +1.82 19.78 7.00
 25 49 54157DANKLMAIER Daniel1993AUT 1:56.84 +1.83 19.89 6.00
 26 8 51215BAUMANN Romed1986AUT 1:56.86 +1.85 20.11 5.00
 27 14 561216KLINE Bostjan1991SLO 1:56.92 +1.91 20.76 4.00
 28 35 511981WEBER Ralph1993SUI 1:56.94 +1.93 20.98 3.00
 29 2 530874GANONG Travis1988USA 1:56.96 +1.95 21.19 2.00
 30 32 194190ROGER Brice1990FRA 1:56.99 +1.98 21.52 1.00
 31 37 194368RAFFORT Nicolas1991FRA 1:57.01 +2.00 21.74
 32 52 180570ROMAR Andreas1989FIN 1:57.05 +2.04 22.17
 33 46 561067PERKO Rok1985SLO 1:57.06 +2.05 22.28
 34 33 202059FERSTL Josef1988GER 1:57.10 +2.09 22.72
 35 4 511139KUENG Patrick1984SUI 1:57.12 +2.11 22.93
 36 7 421483JANSRUD Kjetil1985NOR 1:57.19 +2.18 23.69
 37 43 512124HINTERMANN Niels1995SUI 1:57.33 +2.32 25.22
 37 29 103271THOMSEN Benjamin1987CAN 1:57.33 +2.32 25.22
 39 51 561255CATER Martin1992SLO 1:57.41 +2.40 26.08
 40 56 934643GOLDBERG Jared1991USA 1:57.56 +2.55 27.71
 41 42 561217KOSI Klemen1991SLO 1:57.68 +2.67 29.02
 41 39 103512FRISCH Jeffrey1984CAN 1:57.68 +2.67 29.02
 41 26 6530104BENNETT Bryce1992USA 1:57.68 +2.67 29.02
 44 36 53968BERTHOLD Frederic1991AUT 1:57.74 +2.73 29.67
 45 40 51327PUCHNER Joachim1987AUT 1:57.87 +2.86 31.08
 46 34 6290985BUZZI Emanuele1994ITA 1:58.13 +3.12 33.91
 47 55 104096THOMPSON Broderick1994CAN 1:58.16 +3.15 34.24
 48 57 502004KOELL Alexander1990SWE 1:58.61 +3.60 39.13
 49 28 54005STRIEDINGER Otmar1991AUT 1:58.88 +3.87 42.06
 50 61 6291029BATTILANI Henri1994ITA 1:59.02 +4.01 43.58
 51 48 294904PANGRAZZI Paolo1988ITA 2:01.32 +6.31 68.58
 52 59 512031BARANDUN Gian Luca1994SUI 2:01.84 +6.83 74.23
 53 62 460071ACHIRILOAIE Ioan Valeriu1990ROU 2:02.83 +7.82 84.99
Did not start 1st run
 63 700879ZAMPA Andreas1993SVK
 41 511513CAVIEZEL Mauro1988SUI
Did not finish 1st run
 60 202345SCHWAIGER Dominik1991GER
 58 20324OLIVERAS Marc1991AND
 53 202535DRESSEN Thomas1993GER
 44 512042KRYENBUEHL Urs1994SUI
 38 54009WALDER Christian1991AUT
 31 511847MANI Nils1992SUI
 13 511383FEUZ Beat1987SUI
 12 53817FRANZ Max1989AUT