Sun shines for Carolina in Meribel
The early numbers didn't seem to be able to challenge the big names who were to come and so it was until French specialist of speed Marie Marchand-Arvier finished her run with an impressive time and an enormous lead over all the other girls at the moment (she was bib 9). If in the top part where gliding was the main tool to exploit the gaps where always very small, no-one seemed to be able to challenge the time of the French girl from the middle section to the very end, where a perfectly done last turn gave her a terrific speed to finish the race.
All the athletes were losing little by little enough to make their time worse than Marie's and even the first girls in the top group weren't able to challenge her.
Best time in the first training Tina Maze as usual suffered the gliding section on top, but bettered the turns of Riesch to try recovering her disadvantage but in the end it wasn't enough as those 8 hundreds relegated her to the temporary 3rd place.
Once again race seemed to be over with the girls after the first group being unable to come close to the times of the podium, but bib n°28, Spanish veteran Carolina Ruiz-Castillo immediately made the crowd well-aware that it wasn't over, not yet: in the first two sections she was the fastest and her lead was impressive, fast and accurate Caroline drew great lines in the turns of the middle section and launched the final section with a great speed which was worth of the best time.
Quite immediately after another girl who had made her name big in the trainings got an impressive result as Regina Sterz finished 5th equalling her best result in World Cup.
Another Italian Victory in speed races
Slovenian "specialist" of the so called classic downhills, Slovenian Andrej Sporn, with bib number 2 scored a terrific time, by exploiting his gliding attitude in the very long flat section that followed the start. The Slovenian wasn't very lucky as the course was still "dirty" from some fresh snow, hence not as fast as it later would have been and most of all later a pale sun improved the visibility on the course. Nonetheless his time seemed unbreakable for a very long while and not even Downhill leader Dominik Paris could as he finished just a bunch of hundreds behind him (the two would finish 7th and 8th by the end).
Despite a couple of mistakes that seemed they could ruin his time, Christof was amazing in the late section where he made almost all the advantage he had at the end over Reichelt.
The better visibility didn't prevent Svindal to fall in the traps of the waves of the middle section and those mistakes would cost him the podium as he finished 5th in end, right behind Reichelt. In any case, thanks to this placement he could overtake Paris in the leadership of the discipline.
Two Austrians completed the podium behind Innerhofer as Klaus Kroell made a very similar race to the one of the Italian but in the end a bunch of hundreds set him behind him and later (with bib 30) Georg Streitberger scored his first podium in WC in downhill, after the 4 he scored in superg.
Very good surprises came from outside the top 30 as German youngester Josef Ferstl made his first top 10 result (9th) with bib 39, just ahead of Johannes Kroell (bib 35), while French guy Muzaton finished 13th with bib 50!