Kristian Ghedina of Italy posted the fastest time in men's World Cup downhill training on Thursday, then boarded a helicopter to fly to Italy to carry the Olympic torch.
The 36 year-old Ghedina finished the 3,455m Kandahar course in 1 minute, 58.92 seconds. Daron Rahlves, who grumbled about the lack of ice, was second in 1:59.36.
"It's a little more grippy than it normally is, the first couple turns," Rahlves said. "Downhill racing is changing these days. It's getting a little slower, bigger turns and softer snow, there's some ice in a few spots but not like Garmisch usually is."
Fritz Strobl of Austria, skiing with a plastic shell to protect his broken hand, finished third with a time of 1:59.76.
Strobl underwent surgery in Salzburg after breaking his left hand in Saturday's downhill on Kitzbuehel's treacherous Streif course.
He lost control after landing on the tails of his skis during a jump, but found his footing again after smashing through a gate.
After training, Ghedina flew to his home town of Cortina, Italy, where the women are racing and is scheduled to run a leg with the Olympic torch. Cortina is the only other Italian city to have been awarded the Olympics.
Ghedina will be flown back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in time for Friday's final training, with the race scheduled for Saturday. A super-G is scheduled for Sunday.
"I'm so proud that I can bring the torch to Cortina and happy to spread the Olympic spirit in my home town where I used to hear stories about the 1956 Olympics from my parents and people here," Ghedina said.