Theaux triumphant in Santa Caterina as gate holds up Innerhofer challenge


Adrien Theaux held off the challenge of Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal to claim his third FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup downhill win in Santa Caterina on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old last tasted victory in a World Cup event in March 2013, but found all the right lines to navigate the 3,275-metre course faster than his illustrious rivals.

Theaux's time of one minute 47.29 seconds put him top of the leaderboard ahead of the top runners taking to the course, and they were unable to get close as he sealed victory by over a second.

Hannes Reichelt (+1.04 seconds) was his closest competitor on the demanding 42-gate piste as he put himself into second place with a time of 1:48.33, the Austrian making up for lost time in the top sectors with a strong finish.

Victory was by no means assured for Theaux, though, with overall downhill leader Svindal and 2015 champion Jansrud still to race, but the two Norwegians could not find enough speed.

Svindal's attempt was in trouble from the start as he struggled at the top, he eventually finished 1.61 seconds back, while Jansrud (+2.87 secs) was fighting a losing battle with the mountain as he battled to keep his balance.

He lost vital time in the final two sectors to end his challenge, while Dominik Paris (+4.14 secs) and Travis Ganong (+2.12 secs) failed to trouble the top 10.

Meanwhile, Christof Innerhofer - who skied some of the run with half a gate attached to him - saw his hopes of sealing a podium dashed late on as David Poisson (+1.15 secs) produced a stunning run to snatch third place - only his second top-three finish.

In the World Cup standings, Svindal's seventh-place finish gives him enough points to take the overall lead from Marcel Hirscher by 15 points, while extending his downhill advantage to 117.