Consistency was king for speed merchant Beat Feuz as the Swiss racer successfully defended his World Cup downhill season title in a tense battle with Italian Dominik Paris.
The 32-year-old Feuz took an 80-point lead over Paris into the last downhill of the season at the World Cup finals in Soldeu, Andorra and finished sixth behind winner Paris to seal the Crystal Globe.
Feuz won just one of the eight downhill races on the calendar, but he picked up regular points with five podium places to pip Paris, who scored his third Kitzbuhel Hahnenkamm victory this season.
Paris’ win-or-bust style earned him four downhill wins but he only managed one other podium place to fall 20 points short of Feuz in the title race.
“It’s unbelievable to have two globes now,” Feuz, the 2017 downhill world champion, told Eurosport in the finish area in Soldeu. “I’m very proud to have this in my hands.”
Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayer, who won the Lauberhorn Classic in Wengen, was third overall in the season standings.
Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud was 0.34 seconds behind Paris under sunny skies in Andorra with Austrian Otmar Striedinger in third.
The men’s speed skiers will contest a super-G Thursday. Paris, the super-G world champion, is leading in the standings as he chases a first Crystal Globe in any discipline.
Austrian slalom specialist Marcel Hirscher has already sealed an unprecedented eighth World Cup overall title and sixth slalom crown in seven years.
On the women’s circuit, Mikaela Shiffrin, who celebrated her 24th birthday Wednesday, has wrapped up a third straight overall title and also clinched a sixth slalom victory in seven years.
The American is leading the women’s super-G standings and can wrap up a first super-G Crystal Globe Thursday.
Shiffrin has been in domineering form this term and set a new record of 15 wins in a season, moving ahead of Swiss great Vreni Schneider.
The World Cup finals features the last races in each discipline and brings down the curtain on the 2018-2019 season.