Veteran Leonhard Stock of Austria rolled back the years Saturday in Val d'Isere, France, by scoring only his second career World Cup ski victory in the opening downhill race of the 1990-91 season.
Stock, 32, who gained his biggest competitive glory a decade ago when he took the 1980 Olympic downhill gold medal, shot out the 27th starting position to snatch victory on the 1.98-mile OK Course with a time of 1:57.43.Switzerland's Franz Heinzer, the 13th starter, earned second place with a time of 1:57.56. Placing third in 1:57.69 was Stock's teammate Peter Wirnsberger, another member of Austria's over-the-hill gang of racers.
Stock, who missed much of last season with injury, said a minor adjustment on his boots in the morning made the difference on an icy course which got faster as the sun warmed it for later starters.
Stock's only other World Cup win in a career which began in 1977 came in January 1989 in Laax, Switzerland.
At Altenmarkt, Austria, defending champion Katrin Gutensohn of Germany held off Austria's Petra Kronberger Saturday and won the season's first women's World Cup downhill race.
Kronberger, who ended six years of Swiss domination by taking the overall crown last year, was slow in the top part of the 2,880-meter course and was 0.16 seconds behind Gutensohn's 1 minute 52.93 seconds.