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Alexander and Hintermann upset favorites in downhill race

Canadian skier Cameron Alexander shared victory with Swiss rival Niels Hintermann in a men’s World Cup downhill Friday after the pair upset the top contenders for the season title.

Alexander, a late starter with bib No. 39, matched Hintermann's time of 1 minute, 44.42 seconds. The sunny conditions on the Olympiabakken course allowed several lower-ranked skiers to post top-10 results.

Hintermann started 17th, after most pre-race favorites had done their runs, edging then-leader Matthias Mayer of Austria by 0.12 seconds for his second career victory.

Canada's Cameron Alexander, right, and Switzerland's Niels Hintermann celebrate on the podium after winning with equal time an alpine ski, World Cup men's downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP PhotoGabriele Facciotti)

Olympic downhill champion Beat Feuz, a teammate of Hintermann’s, was 0.19 behind in fourth, and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde was one-hundredth further back in fifth.

Alexander’s result meant that Kilde stayed at the top of the downhill season standings. With another downhill on Saturday and the season-ending event in France the only races remaining, the former overall champion from Norway leads Feuz by three points. Mayer trails by 28 in third.

Kilde remained the only racer to win multiple World Cup downhills this season. He has not won a downhill season title before. Feuz won the globe in each of the past four seasons.

Switzerland's Niels Hintermann reacts after winning with Canada's Cameron Alexander with equal time of an alpine ski, World Cup men's downhill, in Kvitfjell, Norway, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP PhotoGabriele Facciotti)

When many believed the race was over, Alexander used his knowledge of the course to stage the upset.

After failing to make the Canadian team for last month's Beijing Olympics, Alexander went to Kvitfjell to compete in three speed races on the second-tier European Cup circuit — and with success. He won a downhill, finished fifth in another and placed second in a super-G.

His only previous top-10 result in the World Cup came on the same course in Norway, when he finished 10th in the downhill two years ago.

Canada's Cameron Alexander celebrates after winning with Switzerland's Niels Hintermann with equal time of an alpine ski, World Cup men's downhill, in Kvitfjell, Norway, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP PhotoGabriele Facciotti)

Hintermann’s win followed downhill podiums in Italy in December, when he finished third in Val Gardena and Bormio in the span of 10 days, his only previous top-three results in the discipline.

Friday’s win came more than five years after his first, when he stunned the field at a combined event in Wengen. Hintermann led the decisive downhill portion when heavy snowfall set in and robbed the favorites from any chance to beat his time.

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Switzerland's Niels Hintermann speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP PhotoGabriele Facciotti)

Canada's Cameron Alexander speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP PhotoGabriele Facciotti)

United States' Jared Goldberg speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP PhotoGabriele Facciotti)