Switzerland’s Didier Cuche has won the first World Cup race in the resort of Crans-Montana for over 25 years, taking out the first of two super-G events to be held there.
Cuche, who will retire after this season, found speed on the bottom half of the course to edge early starter Jan Hudec of Canada.
The 37-year-old Swiss racer won in one minute, 33.11 seconds, 0.16 seconds ahead of Hudec, after trailing by half a second on the top section.
Austria’s Benjamin Raich trailed Cuche by 0.21 in third place. His countryman and local champion Silvan Zurbriggen finished fourth.
"I'm so happy to have started the weekend this way," said Cuche. "My serviceman did a great job because the conditions were so different from the rest of the season."
Temperatures rose above ten degrees Celsius on the south-facing Nationale course when Cuche started.
With 100 race points, Cuche rose to second in the season-long super-G standings, 38 behind Aksel Lund Svindal, who placed ninth.
It was Cuche’s 21st career World Cup win and his sixth in super-G. In 1998, he won an Olympic silver medal in the discipline behind Hermann Maier at the Nagano Games.
He drew level with Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway at 15th on the all-time World Cup winner's list.
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