02/09/2014 04:16 EST | Updated 04/10/2014 05:59 EDT

Austria's Mayer wins Olympic downhill as favourites Svindal and Miller struggle

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - Matthias Mayer of Austria won the Olympic downhill Sunday as the big favourites struggled in Alpine skiing's signature race.

Mayer completed the Rosa Khutor course in two minutes, 6.23 seconds. Christof Innerhofer of Italy took silver, 0.06 seconds behind, and Kjetil Jansrud of Norway earned bronze, 0.10 behind.

Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant, Que., was the top Canadian, finishing 10th in 2:07.04. Benjamin Thomsen of Ivermere, B.C., was 19th in 2:08.00, followed by Calgary's Jan Hudec who was 21st in 2:08.49. Manuel Osborne-Paradis, also from Ivermere, finished 25th in 2:09.00.

Pre-race favourites Aksel Lund Svindal and Bode Miller finished fourth and eighth, respectively.

Mayer was one of the first contenders to come down, with the No. 11 bib, and he hardly celebrated when he reached the finish. But his smile grew wider as all the favourites failed to catch him then he began jumping up and down before he went out for the flower ceremony.