Beaver Creek: Switzerland`s Patrick Kueng claimed his first world title Saturday by winning the men`s downhill at Beaver Creek, denying runner-up Travis Ganong a victory in front of his home crowd.
Kueng led the power Swiss team to two podium spots as his teammate Beat Feuz took the bronze medal on the icy Birds of Prey course in the Colorado resort town.
Kueng finished with a time of one minute, 43.18 seconds, just 0.24secs ahead of silver medallist Ganong. Feuz was third in 1:43.49.
"It is incredible," Kueng said. "I had no mistakes and my skis went really fast."
This is Kueng`s first podium in three world championship starts. His best previous finish at the worlds was a seventh in the downhill two years ago in Schladming, Austria.
Kueng, who only qualified for the downhill on Friday, skied a near perfect run, topping an earlier performance by Feuz and then watching Ganong fall short.
"Today I told myself to relax and just have fun," Kueng said.
The Swiss had four skiers in the top 11 Saturday.
Ganong is skiing better than he ever has, taking bronze in the last World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel just a month after he won his first downhill in Santa Caterina, Italy.
"This is the best moment of my career," Ganong said. "I had to learn how to conquer the nerves and excitement of the world championships."
He had a breakthrough performance in the Sochi Olympics last year, finishing fifth in the downhill.
"I didn`t know I would be able to perform like that at Sochi," he said. "I was so close to getting a medal at the Olympics."
Feuz placed second in the World Cup downhill in Beaver Creek in December as he continues his comeback from a series of knee injuries which kept him out of the 2008, 2009 and 2013 seasons.
"Two years ago not many people, including myself, would have bet the odds on me being here," Feuz said.
"This is an incredible feeling to stand on the podium in third place in a world championship downhill."
American Steven Nyman finished fourth with a time of 1:43.52 while France`s Guillermo Fayed rounded out the top five in 1:43.57.
Defending champion Aksel Lund Svindal, who was making just the second start of his season, placed sixth in 1:43.63 and reigning Olympic champ Matthias Mayer finished 11th in 1:44.10.
World Cup overall points leader Kjetil Jansrud finished 15th in 1:44.17.
Like the Swiss the Americans had a superb day placing three skiers in the top ten.
Bode Miller was unable to compete in the downhill Saturday after he underwent surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon resulting from a crash in the super-G.