Manuel Osborne-Paradis (CAN) has won the Downhill race in Gardena/Groeden, thereby dethroning Michael Walchhofer who won the race the last two consecutive years. Osborne-Paradis won in front of Mario Scheiber (AUT; +0,13 seconds) and Ambrosi Hoffmann (SUI) as well as Johan Clarey (FRA) who are both tied 3rd with 0,25 seconds deficit.
The Canadian Manuel Osborne-Paradis beat all the favourites and won the Downhill race in Gardena/Groeden. In the two Downhill Trainings Osborne-Paradis only managed an 8th and 9th place, but in the race Osborne-Paradis left all other athletes behind, including Michi Walchhofer (AUT), Didier Cuche (SUI) and Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR), who dominated the training runs. Perhaps the twenty-five year old was spurred on by his disappointment in yesterday’s Super-G where he only reached 17th place.
Osborne-Paradis has shown his talent here in Gardena/Groeden before today. Last year the Canadian finished third, two years ago 6th and three years ago 5th. So a victory wasn’t to be excluded. This season Osborne-Paradis has alredy won the Super-G in Lake Louise.
The winner, who started with bib number 9, kept the ideal line at the key point, the entrance to the Ciaslat meadows. Lots of athletes had problems at this passage and didn’t meet the ideal line. The hot favourites who all started with bib numbers between 19 and 22 skied below expectations. Even Michael Walchhofer who was hoping for a third consecutive win, couldn’t keep up with the top racers and only finished 5th. The best Austrian racer in fact was Mario Scheiber who landed second place with bib number 25. The third place goes to the Swiss Ambrosi Hoffmann and the Frenchman Johan Clarey who finished with the exact same time. Particularly for Johan Clarey the podium finish is a huge satisfaction. At the press conference after the race he said: „Last year I was still sitting in a wheelchair while watching the Gardena/Groeden race .“
None of the local skiers managed to achieve anything here today. Fastest Italian skier was the young Dominik Paris in 28th place. Werner Heel couldn’t race due to an injury after yesterday’s fall and Patrick Staudacher, 3rd in yesterday’s Super-G, didn’t even earn any points here today.