Kroell wins downhill for 2nd straight WCup victory

By Oliver Grassman

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 3 2012 8:10 a.m. MST

Austria's Klaus Kroell, center, winner of an alpine ski, men's World Cup downhill, celebrates on the podium with second placed Norway's Kjetil Jansrud, left, and third placed Aksel Lund Svindal, of Norway, in Kvitfjell, Norway, Saturday, March 3, 2012.

Alessandro Trovati, Associated Press

KVITFJELL, Norway — Klaus Kroell of Austria won a World Cup downhill Saturday for his second straight victory on the Olympic course and the lead in the event standings.

Kroell shared a super-G victory with Beat Feuz of Switzerland on Friday, but was alone atop the podium after finishing in 1 minute, 45.76 seconds.

Kjetil Jansrud of Norway was 0.02 seconds behind, followed by Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who trailed the winner by 0.48.

Kroell won his sixth career World Cup and overtook the lead in the downhill standings from Swiss veteran Didier Cuche, who finished 10th.

"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."

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 witnessed a loss by the smallest of margins to 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," Jansrud added.

Feuz finished fourth and extended his overall World Cup lead over technical specialist Marcel Hirscher, who is not racing here. The Swiss skier has 1,190 points, 55 ahead of Hirscher and 147 ahead of third-place Ivica Kostelic of Croatia.

Bode Miller announced Monday that he's sitting out the rest of the season because of a bad left knee. 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 moved past Cuche to fourth in the overall standings. The Norwegian, who won the overall title in 2007 and '09, has 919 points.

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