Vincent Kriechmayr was unbeatable on the brand-new Vertigine race piste in Cortina d’Ampezzo to win downhill gold at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on Sunday (14 February), completing the speed double.
Having won the Super-G on Thursday, the Austrian came into the race full of confidence. He picked bib number one, becoming the first man to race a downhill on the Vertigine in competition, and dominated in clear conditions with hard, grippy snow.
With last year’s World Cup Finals (which should have served as a test event for the piste) cancelled, the field only had two training runs earlier this week to get used to the 2610m-long course, with its average slope of 31 per cent.
Kriechmayr, who won downhill bronze at the last world championships in Åre, skied a clean line and was only nearly caught out by a tricky control gate on the Canalone traverse section of the course, which would later prove the undoing of team-mate and another race favourite Matthias Mayer.