Austria's Vincent Kriechmayr claims World Cup season's closing downhill

Soldeu (Andorra) (AFP) - Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr claimed the final men’s downhill of the season on Wednesday with freshly-minted overall World Cup winner Marco Odermatt failing to fire.

Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec nailed the closing women’s downhill, with US superstar Mikael Shiffrin keeping her powder dry for this week’s remaining three races of a season that delivered her an all-time record 87th World Cup win last weekend.

Kriechmayr’s fourth downhill win of the campaign was a tight affair, the 2021 world champion edging out German duo Romed Baumann by nine hundredths of a second and Andreas Sander by 0.13s.

Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, already assured of the discipline’s small crystal globe, came in sixth, with Odermatt, the downhill world champion, over one second adrift in 15th.

With his 16 points from the Andorran ski resort of Soldeu added to his overall tally Swiss star Odermatt moves on to 1,842 points and in with a shot of breaking the all-time men’s record of 2,000 points set by Hermann Maier 23 years ago.

Odermatt secured the overall title with his second giant slalom win inside 24 hours in Slovenia at the weekend.

He has two races left to beat Maier’s benchmark, a Super-G on Thursday and a giant slalom on Saturday.

Odermatt requires two second place finishes or a win and a third to overtake Maier.

Amongst the women, Shihuc shone in the Andorran sunshine to beat the discipline’s small crystal globe winner Sofia Goggia by 0.51s with in third Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland at 0.81.

With overall World Cup winner Shiffrin making history last weekend, overtaking Ingemar Stenmark’s record on the elite circuit that had stood for over 30 years, she is back on the slopes to add further gloss to a remarkable season in Thursday’s super-G, the slalom on Saturday, and the giant slalom 24 hours later.