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Cuche back on top in downhill

Switzerland’s Didier Cuche has won his third straight World Cup downhill title with a dominant victory in an event in Norway.

Cuche finished the race on the 1994 Olympic course in Kvitfjell in 1 minute, 45.98 seconds to beat Olympic silver medallist Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway by nearly half a second. Klaus Kroell of Austria was third.

"It's a nice day, I really enjoyed it," Cuche said. "I was very nervous about 30 minutes before the start but then I calmed down. I found a really tight line down the course."

It was Cuche's third victory this season in the event, and he clinched the discipline title with one race remaining at the World Cup final in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

The 35-year-old Swiss veteran also won the downhill titles in 2007 and 2008.

With a giant slalom and super-G victory as well, Cuche has won five races this season and has a total of 14 career wins.

Cuche had a disappointing Olympics in Vancouver, where he finished sixth in the downhill, but he blossomed again on the 3,035-meter long Olympiabakken. Cuche's only rival for the downhill title, Swiss teammate Carlo Janka, finished sixth.

Svindal, who won the super-G Olympic gold medal, delighted the home crowd with a fast run, but he went too wide in a bend compared to Cuche and had to settle for second in 1:46.45.

Saturday's race in sunny but freezing weather was marred by a heavy crash by Andrew Weibrecht of the United States, the Olympic super-G bronze medallist.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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