Max Franz leaves Svindal in the shade at Val Gardena

Max Franz leaves Svindal in the shade at Val Gardena
By Christopher Cummins with Agencies
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Austrian wins first World Cup rave

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Val Gardena, Italy, provided the beautiful backdrop to a highly competitive men’s World Cup downhill.

Christmas came early for Austria’s Max Franz as he outpaced a ski legend to win his first ever World Cup race.

Austrian skiing pride restored in Italy: Max Franz ended Austria's frustrating 21-month wait for a… https://t.co/OqiWFBmML9#BCSIN#BajaSurpic.twitter.com/1wPmeQ6S31

— La Paz BCS Mexico (@La_Paz_BCS) December 17, 2016

Chasing the time set by Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, Franz had the crowd gasping as he overturned the lead of the Norwegian 0.41 seconds.

Franz poprvé v kariéře ovládl sjezd, akselsvindal</a> porazil o čtyři setiny <a href="https://t.co/9W8u0Z4vRl">https://t.co/9W8u0Z4vRl</a> <a href="https://t.co/FdKcVas0g1">pic.twitter.com/FdKcVas0g1</a></p>&mdash; ČT sport (sportCT) December 17, 2016

Svindal an Olympic gold medalist and the first male alpine racer to win titles in four consecutive world championships thought he had done enough to claim the prize as most of his rivals had already descended.

Then came Franz to pinch an exhilarating win.

Third place went to Steven Nyman the American is really making a name for himself.

1st fisalpine</a> victory for <a href="https://twitter.com/MaxFranzAUT">MaxFranzAUT ahead of akselsvindal</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Steven_Nyman">Steven_Nyman on the #saslongSkiAustria_Men</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/usskiteam">usskiteam#ichbindabeipic.twitter.com/uys3uFs8bl

— FIS GrödenValGardena (@skiworldcup) December 17, 2016

The men’s tour ups sticks to Alta Badia, one valley away, for Sunday’s giant slalom and parallel giant slalom on Monday evening.

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