(Reuters) – Aleksander Aamodt Kilde cruised to his second consecutive downhill World Cup title with a victory in Aspen, Colorado on Saturday in the penultimate race of the season.
The Norwegian completed the course in 1:31.60 to finish 0.61 seconds ahead of Canada’s James Crawford. Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt was third in the field of 35 skiers.
Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr had an outside chance to win the downhill title but had to settle for fourth after a slow start.
“It is amazing to be a part of this fight with the top athletes in the world,” Kilde said.
“To be able to win the crystal globe is incredible. It is so fun and I just have to keep on pushing and try to do it next year again.”
Kilde won six of the nine downhill races he entered this season en route to the fifth crystal globe of his career. He is the first male or female skier to win at least six World Cup downhill events in a single season.
The amiable 30-year-old said he felt at home in Aspen.
“I have been in Aspen since I was four,” he said.
“I have family here and they are always supporting. I really love them and them being here today is incredible. It could not have been much better honestly.”
Saturday’s downhill marked the final race for veteran American Steven Nyman after 20 years of competition. The 41-year-old earned 15 World Cup podiums and three victories in his career.
Fellow American Travis Ganong also retired after Saturday’s race. Ganong notched six career World Cup podiums and two victories and finished in 17th in Aspen.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Christian Radnedge)