This was the Gardena/Groeden Downhill race 2009

The online editorial team even this year commentated on the Downhill race even live and in three languages. Here you can reread about all the race action skier by skier.

09:00 | Good morning from Gardena/Groeden.

09:15 | Today, Saturday, there is the long-aswaited World Cup Men's Downhill Race on the Saslong.

09:25 | The race kicks off at 12.15.

09:35 | It has snowed slightly during the night.

09:40 | But now the weather is clearing up and the temperatures have risen slightly compared to the last few days.

09:42 | At the moment the thermometer is showing -11°C here in Santa Cristina.

09:43 | That's 6°C more than yesterday!

09:43 | Unfortunately Werner Heel (ITA) will not be racing today.

09:44 | The local hero and one of the top favourites injured his left knee during his fall in yesterday's Super-G.

09:44 | Heel has strained his left cruciate ligaments and will have to rest for three weeks.

09:45 | Francois Bourque had an even worse fate yesterday: He broke his cruciate ligaments at exactly the same place on the race course as Heel, but without even falling.

09:46 | We wish both racers and even Tobias Stechert who injured himself on Wednesday a speedy recovery.

11:25 | In 50 minutes the race begins.

11:27 | The athletes have just finished inspecting the race course.

11:29 | Patrick Staudacher's comment regarding the race course: The piste is in excellent condition, only the fresh snow in the top section is not ideal.

11:30 | There are already a number of fans in the finish area. More than 7000 spectators are expected in Santa Cristina today.

11:55 | Only 20 minutes till the start of the Men's Downhill.

11:55 | Not only Werner Heel, but also the Slovenian Andrej Jerman has been ruled unfit to race today.

11:55 | Jerman also fell during yesterday's Super-G.

12:02 | There was some light snowfall during the night here in Gardena/Groeden.

12:03 | Because of the overcast sky, temperatures have slightly risen.

12:04 | At the moment it is -11°C in the finish area.

12:05 | The first forerunner is at the starting gate.

12:07 | In exactly 8 minutes the first racer will be open the race.

12:08 | Patrik Jaerbyn will be the first racer today.

12:08 | And straight after the 40-year-old World Cup Oldie Patrick Staudacher will take to the piste.

12:08 | Yesterday the South Tyrolean managed third place.

12:10 | After having inspected the piste Staudacher thought that the first racers on the Saslong might be slightly disadvantaged because of the fresh snow in the upper section.

12:10 | The first forerunner has just crossed the finish line.

12:14 | Today the favourites are: Michael Walchhofer (bib number 19), Didier Cuche (20) and Aksel Lund Svindal (17).

12:15 | Patrik Jaerbyn has just started the race.

12:15 | The sun is shining.

12:16 | Conditions seem ideal!

12:17 | Patrik Jaerbyn is having slight difficulties on the Ciaslat meadows.

12:17 | Jaerbyn's time: 2:02.41 minutes.

12:18 | Patrick Staudacher is under way.

12:18 | He is skiing aggressively, but already trailing by 0,4 seconds.

12:19 | His deficit is growing, although he seems to be skiing perfectly.

12:20 | Perhaps he celebrated too much after yesterday's third place in the Super-G?

12:20 | Staudacher crosses the finish line 1,55 seconds behind Jaerbyn.

12:21 | The first Austrian enters the race: Andreas Buder.

12:21 | Andreas Buder also finishes behind Jaerbyn, but in front of Staudacher.

12:21 | Jaerbyn's time is 12 seconds slower than last year's Downhill winner.

12:21 | The reason: Last year the Downhill race began from the Super-G starting gate further down the hill.

12:22 | Erik Fisher is under way.

12:23 | He committed some big mistakes in the Ciaslat section.

12:24 | Nevertheless he is skiing very fast.

12:24 | Fisher finishes 0,26 seconds behind Jaerbyn.

12:24 | The next American on the piste is Marco Sullivan.

12:24 | Last year Sullivan finished fourth here in Gardena/Groeden.

12:24 | Even today he is leading at the intermediate time.

12:25 | Sullivan is skiing faster and faster.

12:25 | Marco Sullivan crosses the finish line with a new best time. He is 0,25 seconds in front of Patrik Jaerbyn.

12:26 | So far all the racers seem to have problems at the entrance to Ciaslat.

12:27 | Johan Clarey is having similar problems, but so far he is in the lead.

12:27 | The Frenchman Clarey finishes first: 0,64 seconds in front of Sullivan.

12:28 | Christoph Gruber is under way, but not very fast.

12:29 | Gruber finishes last with 2,73 seconds deficit at the finish line.

12:29 | The first Swiss, Ambrosi Hoffmann, is at the starting gate.

12:30 | Hoffmann is skiing very fast in the upper section.

12:30 | One thing is sure today: the tight entrance to the Ciaslat meadows will decide on victory or failure.

12:31 | Hoffman crosses the finish line with the same time as Johan Clarey.

12:31 | Clarey and Hoffmann are in the lead together.

12:32 | Will they manage to hold on to first place?

12:32 | Hardly, as Manuel Osborne-Paradis is already under way.

12:32 | The Canadian is leading in the top section.

12:33 | He mastered the entrance to the Ciaslat meadows with no problems.

12:33 | Osborne Paradis takes the lead by 0,25 seconds.

12:33 | In the lower section Osborne Paradis lost some time though.

12:33 | That means that there is still chance to recuperate after the Ciaslat section.

12:34 | Erik Guay can't keep up with his teammate. He lies 0,86 seconds behind Osborne Paradis.

12:35 | Attention: Now comes Hans Olsson.

12:36 | He was one of the fastest in the training runs.

12:36 | He is leading in the upper section.

12:37 | Olsson enters the Ciaslat section perfectly!

12:37 | But he has lost some time

12:38 | Unbelievable: After a perfect race in the top section Olsson fourth with 0,56 seconds deficit.

12:38 | Now Marco Buechel, the Gardena/Groeden winner in 2005 is on the race course.

12:39 | Buechel nearly fell on the Ciaslat meadows.

12:39 | He finishes 4th with the exact same time as Hans Olsson.

12:40 | Christof Innerhofer has started.

12:40 | The South Tyrolean has never got any points here in Gardena/Groeden.....

12:41 | .... and even this year he will go empty-handed: He finishes with a deficit of 4,19 seconds.

12:41 | Innerhofer seemed to be skiing fluidly. Perhaps his service man picked the wrong skis for him.

12:44 | After 15 racers Manuel Osborne Paradis (CAN) is leading with a time of 2:01.27 minutes in front of Ambrosi Hoffman (SUI) and Johan Clarey (FRA) who are tied second and just 0,25 seconds off the pace.

12:45 | Even Didier Defago didn't have a good day today. He finishes 12th with a deficit of 2,47 seconds.

12:46 | But now comes Aksel Lund Svindal.

12:47 | The winner of the Super-G is already trailing in the upper section.

12:47 | Did the first racers have an advantage today?

12:48 | Although Svindal has made no visible errors, he is losing time steadily.

12:49 | Svindal only finishes 9th.

12:49 | Svindal is shaking his head at the finish line and seems perplex.

12:50 | Klaus Kroell has started.

12:51 | He is also not very fast.

12:51 | Kroell is trailing 1,88 seconds.

12:51 | Now let's see what Walchhofer can do.

12:52 | Walchi is aspiring for a third consecutive win here.

12:52 | He has already lost time in the top section.

12:52 | Walchhofer is skiing a clean line.

12:53 | He is gliding over the piste, but he can't catch up.

12:54 | Walchhofer has been beaten!

12:54 | He finishes 4th, 0,48 seconds behind Osborne Paradis.

12:54 | Now Didier Cuche is ready to attack.

12:55 | But he is already 0,7 seconds behind.

12:55 | Cuche also can't catch the leading Canadian Osborne Paradis.

12:56 | Cuche finishes only 7th and seems disappointed.

12:56 | If Bode Miller can't beat Osborne-Paradis, then who???

12:57 | Miller is under way and is already trailing by 0,55 seconds.

12:58 | Miller fought, but finished 7th with 0,77 seconds deficit.

13:01 | The racers after bib number 12, apart from Michael Walchhofer, didn't manage to ski into top positions.

13:02 | The race seems to have been decided.

13:04 | Even the winner of 2006 achieved nothing here today.

13:04 | Nyman only finishd 13th after a big error on the Ciaslat meadows.

13:05 | Perhaps Mario Scheiber can achieve a podium position?

13:05 | He is skiing very well in the top section and is leading.

13:06 | The Austrian achieved 4th place here yesterday and showed he is a force to be reckoned with.

13:06 | Scheiber finished second!

13:06 | Everything is still possible.

13:07 | Scheiber is only 0,13 seconds slower.

13:08 | The Austrian is really happy! Scheiber is back, after not having achieved a podium position for over two years.

13:09 | Robbie Dixon is under way.

13:09 | Osborne-Paradis's teammate is skiing very well and is second in the top section so far.

13:10 | Dixon risks too much at the entrance to Ciaslat and nearly crashes.

13:11 | At the finish Dixon achieves a good 6th placing.

13:11 | Dixon is celebrating his top placing as if he had won!

13:14 | After these top athletes the racers appear to have big problems again at the entrance to Ciaslat.

13:20 | Andrej Sporn skis a good race.

13:20 | The Slovenian with bib number 31 is one of the best in the top section.

13:20 | But now he is losing and he only finishes 13th.

13:21 | He is very happy with his placing.

13:30 | The race hasn't finishd yet, but it seems the decision has been made.

13:31 | It seems unlikely that anyone will snatch Osboren-Paradis' victory from him.

13:32 | 40 of 60 racers have already crossed the finish line.

13:32 | So far none of the athletes have fallen.

13:32 | Let's hope it stays like that.

13:38 | Michael Walchhofer comments his run: "It didn't quite go as I had imagined."

13:58 | The last racer is under way.

13:58 | Frederik van Buynder (BEL) is the last racer to cross the finish line.

14:00 | The - Newsticker-Team thanks you for your interest and says goodbye until next year's races here in Gardena/Groeden in December 2010.