Christof Innerhofer put his latest injury woes behind him by winning the Beaver Creek men’s downhill in style on Friday.
Since conquering three medals, including the Super-G gold, at the Garmish-Partenkirchen world championships in 2011, the Italian was hampered by health problems, suffering concussion and back pains from a training injury and a car crash.
His victory in last winter’s final Super-G in Schladming had signalled his talent was intact and he confirmed his return to form in one minute and 41.69 seconds to win the second World Cup downhill in his career.
Innerhofer, who clinched his maiden downhill victory in Bormio in 2009, beat pre-race favourite Aksel Lund Svindal by 0.23 seconds while fellow Norwegian Kjetil Janrsrud was third, 0.50 behind.
Svindal, who achieved a rare double by winning both the downhill and the Super-G in Lake Louise a week ago, failed to make it three in a row but took his lead in the overall World Cup standings to 110 points over giant slalom world champion Ted Ligety of the U.S.
The Beaver Creek program continues on Saturday with a Super-G on the same Birds of Prey piste.