Italy’s Peter Fill wins men’s downhill opener |

Italy’s Peter Fill wins men’s downhill opener

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Peter Fill, of Italy, races down the course on his way to winning the Lake Louise World Cup Alpine men's downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
AP | The Canadian Press

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta ” Italy’s Peter Fill took advantage of an early start to win his first World Cup downhill Saturday on a day when some of the best skiers had trouble finding their way down the mountain.

Switzerland’s Carlo Janka started way back in the field in 65th to finish a surprising second in the World Cup downhill opener. Sweden’s Hans Olsson was third.

Bode Miller, who won two training runs this week, finished 16th. Didier Cuche of Switzerland, the World Cup downhill champion, was 32nd.

Fill, the day’s 10th skier, completed the men’s Olympic downhill run in 1 minute, 47.40 seconds. Janka capitalized on some sunshine breaking through the clouds to place second, just 0.08 behind the winner. Olsson was third 1:47.56.

The first 10 skiers enjoyed sunshine, but then the clouds rolled in, reducing visibility. Mild temperatures also softened the snow. As more racers came down the mountain the course became filled with ruts and small holes.

“I had a little bit of sun,” said Fill, whose previous best downhill result was second in Bormio, Italy, in 2007. “That was the key for the victory.”

Fill placed third in a downhill at Lake Louise last season but said this really isn’t his favorite course.

“I don’t like so much this place but I’m very lucky here,” he said.

Erik Guay was the top Canadian, finishing 10th. He said he was getting ready to start his run when the sun disappeared behind the clouds and the course was bathed in shadows.

“It’s a lot faster when there is sunshine,” he said. “That being said, I would have expected some of the faster guys, especially Bode who really was fast on those two training runs. I thought today he was going to win regardless of the light.”

Miller left the finish area without talking to reporters.

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