Norway's Kilde captures 1st career World Cup downhill at Garmisch
Canada's 'King of Garmisch' Erik Guay did not finish race
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway won a men's World Cup downhill on Saturday as a late starter for his first career victory.
Bostjan Kline of Slovenia appeared headed for his first triumph until Kilde, wearing bib No. 30, blazed down the Kandahar course to win by .22 seconds.
Kilde's previous career best was a third place in a Super-G in Val Gardena, Italy, in December. Kline's previous top finish was 13th in Santa Caterina, Italy, in December of 2014.
Canada's Erik Guay, who made the downhill podium at Garmisch four times previously, failed to finish his run.
Tough day at the office, skied the best I've skied in a long time but made a small tactical mistake that cost me the race, it's a fine line!—@erikguay
The top Canadian finisher was Benjamin Thomsen in 12th place, 0.83 seconds back of Kilde.
The other Canadians in action were Manuel Osbourne-Paradis (21st), Tyler Werry (41st), Jeffrey Frisch (44th), and Broderick Thompson (DNF).
Starting with the No. 3 bib, Kline had a long wait as leader before Kilde completed his winning run, making up time at the bottom of the course. Beat Feuz of Switzerland was third and Christof Innerhofer of Italy finished fourth.
Kilde's win gave Norway its fifth downhill victory this season. The first four were by Aksel Lund Svindal, but the overall World Cup leader sustained a season-ending knee injury in a crash last week in Kitzbuehel, Austria.
Norwegian men have won 16 races in all disciplines this season. The last season a country had at least 16 race wins was in 2005-06 - when Austrian men had 18.
"It's unbelievable for team Norway," Kilde said.
Kilde covered the 3,300-meter Kandahar course in one minute, 55.28 seconds.
"It was dark, fast and bumpy and fun to ski," Kilde said.
Although it was a mild and sunny day, the course is in the shadows and Kilde said his late starting number was not a handicap.
"When I got my number yesterday (at the draw), I thought it would be difficult to get into the top 10," the Norwegian said.
"I thought it was pretty even for everyone. They did a good job in this weather and it was holding up pretty well."
Kilde's late heroics robbed Kline of a sensational career first on one of the most difficult downhill courses.
"I knew it was going to be a long race," Kline said. "But the adrenaline was pumping up."
Kline saw some of the pre-race favorites go out.Canada's Guay, world champion in this German resort in 2011 and twice winner on the Kandahar hill, veered off course and missed a gate. So did Hannes Reichelt of Austria, last year's winner here and the fastest in practice, who went out at the very same spot.
"When I saw the favorites going out, I thought I had a chance," Kline said.
Feuz, who came third in Kitzbuehel, was .24 back in third, with Innerhofer only .01 behind him in fourth. Adrien Theaux was fifth, .29 seconds behind the winner. Another late starter, Matteo Marsaglia, with bib No. 52, shared sixth place with Travis Ganong of the United States. They were .65 seconds off the pace.