Italy's Christof Innerhofer takes World Cup downhill race
Canada's Erik Guay tied for 22nd
With the sun out and the slope feeling like a second home, Christof Innerhofer had little to worry about.
The Italian won his third World Cup downhill of the season Saturday in Germany, on a course where he has a history of good results.
Innerhofer topped three Austrians to earn his sixth career victory, covering the 2.58-kilometre (1.6-mile) Kandahar course in one minute, 37.83 seconds to beat Georg Streitberger by 0.12 seconds.
"It's like a home run for me, I have nice memories from here," Innerhofer said.
Streitberger was the 30th runner out of the gate — last of the top skiers — and Innerhofer wiped his brow symbolically when the Austrian crossed the line. Klaus Kroell, the defending World Cup downhill champion, was 0.16 seconds back in third. Streitberger has two career wins in the super-G but this was his first podium in a downhill.
Hannes Reichelt was fourth and world champion Asked Lund Svindal of Norway finished fifth in the first men's race since the world championships concluded a week ago in Schladming, Austria.
The Kandahar course was shortened after heavy snow over the past few days made the preparation of the entire run impossible, but was still longer than the super-G slope.
Innerhofer failed to win a medal in Schladming, but he won three medals when the worlds were held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2011 — gold in the super-G, silver in the super-combined and bronze in the downhill.
"I am more motivated when I go to the start here and I also have many fans here," Innerhofer said.
The Italian now has four career downhill wins in the World Cup.
Erik Guay of Mont Tremblant, Que., was the top Canadian, finishing in a tie for 22nd.
Innerhofer prefers to race in good weather and the conditions played in his favour, after two days of fog and heavy snow in the build-up to the downhill.
"I could take double the amount of risks because I know I always do well here," Innerhofer said.
Innerhofer jumped to third place in downhill standings, behind Svindal and Domink Paris of Italy. Svindal surged past Paris and is now 10 points ahead of him and 15 points ahead of Innerhofer, with two downhill races remaining in the season.
"I am having fun and when I have fun the points come," Innerhofer said.
Svindal is 169 points behind overall World Cup leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who did not race in the downhill. Hirscher can extend his lead in Sunday's giant slalom.
The Austrians had a good showing after failing to medal in the downhill at the worlds at home.
"It's a huge success for me, I am not disappointed at all about missing the win," Streitberger said.