Hannes Reichelt claimed his second straight World Cup downhill victory on Saturday, cutting the gap on discipline leader Kjetil Jansrud to just 20 points going into the final race of the season.
“It is exciting. I hoped it would be a little less exciting but for everyone else it's exciting and that's a good thing,” said Jansrud, who could only manage seventh.
Reichelt, the super-G world champion, went down the Olympiabakken course in Kvitfjell, Norway, in 1 minute, 29.65 seconds to beat Manuel Osborne-Paradis of Canada by 0.30 seconds and Werner Heel of Italy by 0.38 for his third victory of the season.
The in-form Austrian was also quickest in Thursday's opening training session and on all three days including training at Garmisch-Partenkirchen last weekend.
Guillermo Fayed of France was fourth, 0.40 back, followed by world downhill champion Patrick Kueng of Switzerland and worlds silver medalist Travis Ganong of the United States.
Reichelt has 485 points ahead of the final downhill race at Meribel, France on Mar. 18, putting pressure on Jansrud, who has 505 and would have claimed the discipline crystal globe on home snow with a victory.
Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein earned her first World Cup downhill win, on the same hill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where she captured her maiden victory two years ago.
Weirather used virtually perfect, sunny conditions to tame the difficult Kandahar course in a winning time of 1 minute, 40.94 seconds.
She beat Anna Fenninger of Austria by 0.51 seconds and Tina Maze of Slovenia by 0.91 seconds. Fenninger cut into Maze's overall World Cup lead.
Lindsey Vonn of the United States finished seventh, enough to keep her lead in downhill standings over Fenninger.
“I thought I skied pretty well, maybe I pushed too low in some turns and maybe I was too direct in some places but I thought l had a decent run,” Vonn said. “But I wasn't fast either at the start nor at the end, it's disappointing in terms of placing and the points.”