BEAVER CREEK, United States: Hannes Reichelt will go for his second title in three days while Mattias Mayer hopes to add World gold to his Olympic crown in Saturday’s alpine World Championships men’s downhill.
Reichelt topped the field in Thursday’s super-G, a bruising race day on the Birds of Prey course that took an injury toll on the world’s top male ski racers.
More than half a dozen athletes failed to finish the race, including American star Bode Miller, who likely saw his 2014-15 campaign end after a total of just 56 seconds.
Miller was making his season debut when he crashed heavily halfway down the course.
He sliced his leg open and had to be taken to hospital in Vail where he underwent surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon.
Norwegian star Kjetil Jansrud also hurt himself when he barged through a super-G gate, but he was back on the slopes for Friday’s downhill training run and was expected to compete Saturday.
Reichelt claimed the gold in the super-G by hurling himself head first down the icy Birds of Prey slope and the Austrian veteran is hoping for a repeat performance on Saturday.
Reichelt finished 19th in Friday’s training run with a time of one minute, 45.33 seconds, just one spot ahead of Sochi Olympic downhill champ Mayer, who finished in 1:45.34.
France’s Brice Roger posted the fastest training time by clocking 1:44.05. Jansrud skied through the pain of his shoulder injury and finished second in 1:44.25 and Roger’s teammate Guillermo Fayed finished third in 1:44.33.
“I am a little sore and I was a bit nervous before the training run as I didn’t know how I would feel,” said Jansrud, who followed Miller to the Vail hospital Thursday but was treated and released.
“Luckily skiing got my mind focused on other things and it was an important experience to get this training done today.”
Two time overall World Cup champion Aksel Lund Svindal, who made an amazing comeback in the super-G finishing in sixth place, was 11th-fastest in downhill training.