The Downhill classic in Val Gardena brought a surprising podium dominated by outsiders.
Bryce Bennett ended a near-five-year victory drought for American men’s Downhillers (the last winner was Travis Ganong in January 2017), earning his first World Cup podium by winning the Downhill in Val Gardena.
Bennett edged Austrian Otmar Striedinger by 0.14 seconds. Swiss Niels Hintermann completed the surprising podium of the 2020 Saslong Downhill.
“It's a good day. I haven't had many of them yet. I like the track and enjoy the bends and jumps”, said Bennett. Before today his best result in the World Cup was fourth in Val Gardena in 2018 and 2020, and another fourth place in Bormio in 2018.
"I don't really know what happened today. I had a good plan last night after the video analysis and I tried my best to commit to that. I was telling myself, 'Just commit to your plan. No backing down.' When I crossed the line and I saw the green light I knew it was a good run. It felt a little wild, to be honest, but I think I was able to carry the speed through the Ciaslat", added Bennett.
The 30-year-old from Carinthia landed on a World Cup podium for the fifth time in his career. Striedinger was happy about today's podium. “It was a solid run overall. Thanks to my team, they did a great job with the material. This year I have minimized my error rate from start to finish. Bib number one was good for me because I couldn't hear the radio messages from the trainers. I don't think about the Olympics yet, I watch from race to race and want to do my best”, said the Austrian.
Niels Hintermann made it to a Downhill podium in the World Cup for the first time in his career today in Val Gardena. Hintermann had already shown his ambitions in the two training sessions when he was the best Swiss on both occasions.
Hintermann's best result in Downhill was 5th place in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.