Michael Walchhofer became the first skier to win three downhills in Bormio, Italy, as he bid farewell to the Stelvio piste, the most difficult on the men’s World Cup circuit, yesterday.
“Now I can say goodbye Stelvio, I really had fun here,” said the 35-year-old Austrian, who retires at the end of the season.
Walchhofer, with a time of 1 minute, 59.66 seconds, earned his eighth podium place on the classic Italian course, seven of them in the World Cup and one at the 2005 world championships.
The experienced Austrian beat Swiss Silvan Zurbriggen by 0.08 seconds. Third place went to local favorite Christof Innerhofer, who finished 0.36 seconds behind Walchhofer.
Walchhofer, already the oldest winner of a World Cup downhill with his victory in Lake Louise, Canada, at the start of the season, bagged his 13th World Cup downhill in impressive fashion.
“I was not too confident at the start. I did not feel so good in training so I told myself: ‘This is your last time here, just enjoy it while it lasts.’ It was the key to my victory,” he said.
Back in the lead of the downhill World Cup, the Austrian failed to seize the overall World Cup leadby one point.
Top spot is in the hands of Zurbriggen, who confirmed his transformation from a slalom specialist to an all-rounder.
The next men’s World Cup fixture is a parallel slalom in Munich, Germnay on Sunday.