Kroell narrowly wins downhill, Canada's Thomsen 9th
Guay finishes 12th
Klaus Kroell of Austria narrowly won a men's World Cup downhill Saturday for his second straight victory on the Olympic course in Kvitfjell.
Kroell shared a super-G victory with Beat Feuz of Switzerland on Friday but was alone atop the podium this time after finishing in one minute 45.76 seconds. It was a close race again, though, as Kjetil Jansrud of Norway was just 0.02 seconds behind in second. His compatriot Aksel Lund Svindal was third, 0.48 behind the winner.
"I'm both proud and happy about the win today," Kroell said. "When I saw Kjetil's result I was impressed, and I was wondering how I could improve that result. I'm happy with the aggressive way I skied and that I managed to beat Jansrud, who has been so strong in training."
Ben Thomsen of Invermere, B.C., finished ninth, collecting his third top-10 World Cup finish despite nearly falling when he caught an edge midway down the course.
"Down in the middle I thought I skied awesome," Thomsen said. "My outside ski gave out on me and I caught an edge but whatever … that's racing. I'm happy to be here."
Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant, Que., was 12th, while Robbie Dixon of North Vancouver, B.C., was 19th, Jan Hudec of Calgary was 28th, and Morgan Pridy of Whistler, B.C., was 38th.
It was Kroell's sixth career World Cup win and meant he overtook the lead in the downhill standings from Swiss veteran Didier Cuche, who finished 10th.
Kroell leads the discipline standings on 569 points, 48 points ahead of Cuche, with one downhill race left at the World Cup finals in Schladming, Austria.
"My big goal (ahead of the season) was the downhill World Cup and the situation is looking good," Kroell said. "(Schladming) is at home, I like the hill and I'm looking forward to it. It's not done yet, but things are looking better for me."
Schladming also hosts the world championships next year.
Jansrud, wearing bib No. 1 and bidding for his first World Cup win after eight previous podiums, again had to see himself beaten by the smallest of margins by Kroell.
In Friday's super-G, the Norwegian finished third when he came in 0.03 behind Kroell and Feuz.
"I am more disappointed today than yesterday," Jansrud said. "That's life. … If someone had told me a few weeks ago that I was going to finish second in a downhill race in Kvitfjell, I would have been really happy."
It was the Norwegian's first World Cup podium in downhill.
"I feel like I am winning podiums more rather than losing victories," added Jansrud.
Feuz finished fourth and extended his overall World Cup lead over technical specialist Marcel Hirscher, who is not racing here.
The Swiss skier now has 1,190 points, 55 ahead of Hirscher and 147 ahead of third-place Ivica Kostelic of Croatia.
Kostelic is recovering from knee surgery, but is expected to race next weekend's technical events in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
With his third place in the race, Svindal climbed past Cuche to fourth in the overall standings. The Norwegian, who won the overall title in 2007 and '09, now has 919 points.
"Last year here, me and Kjetil didn't do too well, so it felt great today," Svindal said. "My season lately has been a lot of fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and 10th places. So for me it was nice to be back on the podium."