Peter Fill takes a liking to America’s Downhill course, says it should be longer |

Peter Fill takes a liking to America’s Downhill course, says it should be longer

Italian who is second in standings has best training time Tuesday

By David Krause | The Aspen Times
Italy's Peter Fill skis during a training run at the men's World Cup downhill ski race Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Aspen, Colo. (AP Photo/Nathan Bilow)
Nathan Bilow, Associated Press

Peter Fill likes the America’s Downhill course so much he thinks it should just keep going … to Wagner Park.

The Italian had the fastest training time Tuesday for the World Cup Finals downhill, shaving nearly a half-second off Monday’s run. Using different skis Tuesday, he finished in 1 minute, 34.42 second, just 1-hundredths of a second faster than Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr, who had the fastest time Monday.

“They need to continue the slope right into the middle of town,” Fill said with a smile. “Then it’s perfect.”

The men’s downhill is the tightest of the men’s standings up for grabs as Fill is 33 points behind Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud. On Tuesday, Jansrud’s run was 0.77 seconds behind Fill.

“Maybe it’s nothing, but when you need to beat Jansrud it’s a lot,” Fill said. “It’s every time ski fast. He’s a good skier, and for me it’s not so easy to beat him. I need a little bit of luck and some really good skiing.”

The World Cup points system is 100 points for first, 80 for second, 60 for third, 50 fourth, 45 fifth, 40 sixth, 36 seventh and 32 for eighth. There’s a mix of formulas for Fill to erase the 33-point deficit.

Jansrud said the Aspen downhill “suits me pretty good.”

“It would be better to lead by over 100 points, for sure,” Jansrud said. “Then again, I try to look at it as more of an analytical way. He has to grab 33 points. So, for me, I’d rather go in and lead by 33 than be 33 behind. Still, you can easily lose it, but he can more easily lose it since he’s trailing.”

American Sam Morse might be the youngest in the field, but the 20-year-old junior world champion has the probably the most experience on America’s Downhill, racing the exact same setup last spring in the Nor-Am Cup and finished eighth.

Morse landed in Aspen early Monday morning from the world championships in Sweden and had about five hours of sleep before this first training run. Tuesday, the 20-year-old was a bit more rested.

“I’ve been kind of running on adrenaline the past week, so I’ll eventually crash. Maybe in May,” said Morse, who will turnaround and leave Thursday for the Nor-Am Finals in Canada. “I’ve got some stuff to clean up. On my airs up top I was flailing like a baby, and down at the bottom I tried a little different line and it bit me in the butt.”

The men’s downhill race Wednesday is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m., and the forecast is for more of the same with warm temperatures and sunny skies.

“It was a little slippery, the snow, it’s really warm,” Fill said Tuesday. “Let’s hope tomorrow it’s good again.”

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