Switzerland’s Didier Cuche won his second straight World Cup downhill, positioning himself as a strong favorite in Alpine skiing’s showcase event at next month’s world championships.
A week after taming the technically demanding Streif course in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Cuche showed his versatility in Chamonix, France, yesterday by capturing his ninth career Cup downhill on a course that favors gliding ability.
It was Cuche’s first win in the French Alps resort and his second victory of the season.
“The most important thing to win a World Cup downhill is to be consistent from top to bottom,’’ Cuche said. “Today, I achieved a perfect run.’’
In perfect conditions, Cuche clocked 1 minute 58.91 seconds down the 2.09-mile Verte course, with Dominik Paris of Italy 0.67 back in second.
Travis Ganong overcame a stomach bug to finish 35th for a depleted US squad. Teammates Steven Nyman and Wiley Maple also were sick, while Bode Miller and Ted Ligety skipped the races this weekend.
Cuche extended his lead in the downhill standings to 379 points, 65 ahead of Michael Walchhofer of Austria, who moved to second after finishing fifth in the race.
The race was interrupted after Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada crashed heavily and was evacuated by helicopter to a Geneva hospital with a broken fibula.
The women’s World Cup downhill was postponed because of snowfall and fog on the Kandahar Banchetta course in Sestriere, Italy. The race will be made up today, with the super-combined pushed to tomorrow.
Moguls — Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney of Norwich, Vt., won the women’s freestyle World Cup event in Calgary, Alberta. Audrey Robichaud of Canada was second and Ekaterina Stolyaroba of Russia third. Mikael Kingsbury of Canada won the men’s event.
Skicross — Andreas Matt edged Patrick Koller in a 1-2 Austrian finish at the freestyle World Cup event in Grasgehren, Germany.