Norway's Kilde wins Beaver Creek World Cup downhill, Canada's Crawford third
BEAVER CREEK VILLAGE, Colo. — Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway won a second straight men's downhill to start the World Cup season, and Canada's James Crawford was third Saturday.
Toronto's Crawford, 25, reached the World Cup podium in downhill for the first time in his career by finishing four-tenths of a second back of Kilde at Beaver Creek Resort.
Kilde put down a time of one minute 42.09 seconds ahead of runner-up Marco Odermatt of Switzerland in 1:42.15.
Crawford crossed the line in 1:42.88 just a hundredth of a second ahead of Austria's Matthias Mayer in fourth.
“Super exciting to have grabbed a podium so early in the season,” said Crawford. “Today was a hard day with the snow and the wind, and I’m happy to be able to hold on to third.
"I definitely have some work to do to catch the two top guys, but this is a huge milestone for me and I’m hoping to take a lot of confidence forward into this season.”
It was Crawford's 32nd World Cup downhill start and builds off his two top-10 finishes in the event from last season. He has now placed in the top 10 in five of his last six total World Cup races.
"Great result for the team, “ said Canadian men’s alpine speed coach John Kucera. “Results like this bring confidence to (James) and it also brings confidence to other athletes and the staff.
"We have the speed to be competitive with the rest of the world. And on any given day any of the athletes on the team can stand on the podium.”
Kilde opened defence of his World Cup downhill title by taking the season-opener in Lake Louise, Alta.
Friday's downhill on the Birds Of Prey course was cancelled because of wind and snow. A super-G is scheduled for Sunday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2022.