Kriechmayr leads Austrian 1-2 in last ski race before worlds

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Vincent Kriechmayr extended his lead in the season’s super-G standings on Saturday by winning the last World Cup race before the world championships.

Kriechmayr edged Matthias Mayer by 0.17 seconds for an Austrian 1-2 finish.

“I’m really proud about my skiing and about this result,” Kriechmayr said.

He led Mayer throughout his run, though the advantage was only two-hundredths at the final split. Mayer was slowed as he came wide in the final turn before the finish.

It was the eighth career win for Kriechmayr, and the sixth consecutive podium result in a speed race for Mayer, who is the Olympic super-G champion.

Swiss skier Marco Odermatt was 0.49 behind in third, followed by Nils Allegre of France in fourth and Christof Innerhofer of Italy in fifth.

Kriechmayr will enter Tuesday’s super-G at the worlds in Italy coming off back-to-back wins in the discipline, following his triumph in Kitzbühel two weeks ago.

Still, he didn’t regard himself the favorite for gold in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

“The championships are always really unpredictable,” said Kriechmayr, who shared second place with Johan Clarey in super-G at the worlds two years ago.

“It’s a new day, it’s a new course, it’s a new slope,” he said. “I am in really good shape and I hope I can ski as fast as today.”

Dominik Paris, who is the defending world champion, finished eighth on Saturday, a day after winning the downhill on the same hill. That victory was the Italian’s first since blowing out his knee a year ago.

With two races remaining after the worlds, Kriechmayr holds a lead of 101 points over Mayer in the discipline standings. A race win is worth 100 points.

The winners of the first three super-G races this season are all out with injuries: Mauro Caviezel, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Ryan Cochran-Siegle.

Caviezel initially intended to make his comeback from a month-long injury break in this race, but last season’s super-G champion from Switzerland opted not to start.

The Swiss ski federation said Caviezel’s knee had healed but that he was still suffering from the concussion he sustained at a training crash.

The federation didn’t rule out a start of Caviezel in Tuesday’s super-G at the worlds.

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