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In our fourth episode, we’ll discover everything about a very popular sport, alpine skiing, uncover everything about this amazing sport and its different disciplines, we’ll talk about what happened at the 2021 Cortina D’Ampezzo FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, we’ll take it to the streets, learning about some experiences with the sport, we’ll introduce a brand new section of our show called travel tips and lastly, we have a very special interview that you don’t wanna miss. We’re keeping you on your toes this time.
It’s gonna be a high altitude, high octane and a hell of a ride. You can’t be stopped.
Having won the Super G event, the Austrian came into the race full of confidence. He picked bib number one, becoming the first man to race a downhill on the Vertigine in competition, and dominated in clear conditions with hard, grippy snow.
With last year’s World Cup Finals (which should have served as a test event for the piste) canceled, the field only had two training runs earlier this week to get used to the 2610m-long course, with its average slope of 31 percent.
Kriechmayr, who won downhill bronze at the last World Championships in Åre, skied a clean line and was only nearly caught out by a tricky control gate on the Canalone traverse section of the course.
The 29-year-old crossed the line in one minute, 37.79 seconds – just one-hundredth of a second, or an advantage of just 27 cm, ahead of silver medalist Andreas Sander of Germany, who wore bib number two.
Switzerland’sBeat Feuz, winner of the double downhills in Kitzbühel last month, was third, 0.18 seconds behind Kriechmayr.
The Cortina Super G gold medal winner Vincent Kriechmayr started the competition, setting the bar for the other competitors with a time of 1:37.79. It was a tough battle between the provisional leader and Andreas Sander’s time. With bib number two, the German crossed the finish line only one-hundredth of a second behind Kriechmayr.
Fan-favorite and Garmisch-Partenkirchen Downhill winner Dominik Paris, who topped the second training session on Saturday, seemed to have what it takes to beat Vincent Kriechmayr’s time. Unfortunately, a mistake in the crucial part of the slope determined Paris’s fate. He recovered a 1.24-second delay from the middle part of the piste to cross the finish line 65 hundredths behind the provisional leader.
Kitzbühel podium holder Matthias Mayer was one of the favorites to take the win. His physical shape, as seen on the Streif, is remarkable. He came to Cortina prepared in the best way possible. At the Canalone traverse, Mayer missed a gate, finishing prematurely his run.
Beat Feuz, who came to Cortina with two wins in Kitzbühel and a second place at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, was set to earn a medal in the discipline. He also was crowned Downhill World Champion at Sankt Moritz 2017. Feuz managed to dethrone Paris from third place, falling behind Austrian Kriechmayr only 18 hundredths of a second.
Bib number 8 holder Maxence Muzaton had a scary encounter with the slope. It seemed like he was doing freestyle skiing with downhill skis. Luckily, he didn’t suffer from any injury.
As the racers descended the slope, it was getting clear that beating Kriechmayr’s time was gonna be a tough challenge. With bib number 13, Romed Baumann was a real challenger for a podium position. The intermediates in the first half of the slope talked clear: he was close to Kriechmayr. Where Paris had his mistake, Baumann failed as well, crossing the finish line in ninth place. A finish-line scare involved him as well, crashing into the air fence in the end area. Fortunately, he left the track with only minor cuts on his face.
The Vertigine slope has not aided Christof Innerhofer to win on home soil. The 2011 Downhill World Championship bronze medalist missed out on a top-three finish, placing just behind his teammate Dominik Paris in fifth place.
Reigning Downhill World Champion Kjetil Jansrud misinterpreted the slope, but still had his season’s best result, placing seventh. He couldn’t defend his title. Marco Odermatt set a surprisingly good time, equaling Dominik Paris in fourth place. The technical slalom discipline specialist blew it out of the park by interpreting the slope in the best way possible. His bib number, which was 18, didn’t seem to penalize him.
Vincent Kriechmayr wins back-to-back gold medals in Cortina, equaling a record that only legends of the sport managed to do. Andreas Sander barely missed out on the top spot of the podium, but can still consider himself happy with silver. He scores a third medal for Germany, the second one in the Downhill discipline after Kira Weidle’s podium on Saturday. Feuz in third was no surprise. The Swiss scored his third World Championship medal, his second bronze.
With his win, Kriechmayr became the first Austrian Men’s Downhill World Champion in 18 years since Michael Walchhofer accomplished it in 2003. He also became just the third man, after Hermann Maier in 1999 and Bode Miller in 2005 to do the speed double in the same year.
“Hermann Maier is an Austrian legend and Bode Miller is a legend too, of course,” Kriechmayr told FIS after his run. “It was a really special race today, with bib number one it wasn’t so easy and it looks like it was good enough for the victory today. An amazing race.”
Speaking to Eurosport, he added: “It’s pretty amazing, it was a difficult race. It was not perfect, I lost a lot of time on the last part of the race but I was pretty fast on the middle part. It was good enough, and that’s it. Yes, of course I had my medal, I already had a medal and I wanted to show my best today. I always was a fan of these two guys but to be on the same step as them is amazing,” he said of comparisons to Maier and Miller.
Silver medallist Sander, who continued Germany’s run of silver medals at the Championships, told Eurosport: “Just one-hundredth, I saw it and I was like ‘uh-oh, that could be… hopefully it’s not for a medal. I saw the time, it was really fast, 1:37, and then I thought maybe it was a good one. I was feeling good, I was really in shape and felt good. I felt like maybe I could do it and cause a surprise. I felt it at the start. In the end, super happy.”
The competitions will continue at the Italian venue until the 21st of February where the athletes will do everything they can to score a medal. Can someone equal Kriechmayr’s achievement by winning the technical discipline’s double gold medal?
Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr triumphed on home soil, earning his first win of the season.
By Daphne Seberich
The tables have turned for Vincent Kriechmayr. Sunday’s bad luck, as a gate fell right on the binding of his skis as he was riding the snow downhill at 130 km/h, was soon forgotten. The Austrian raced to his first Super G FIS Alpine Ski World Cup win of the 2020/2021 season on Monday with a blistering run in Kitzbühel.
The Åre Ski World Championships Super G bronze medalist clocked a time of 1:12.58 on home snow, which was also enough to move him on top of the discipline’s standings after a second place in Bormio back in December.
“Today I had a really good race. I’m really proud of my skiing.” 29-year-old Kriechmayr told FIS. “Last year I missed the Crystal Globe by three points, now I just want to ski my way.”
Kriechmayr beat Swiss Marco Odermatt into second place on the Austrian slope. The 23-year-old Swiss skier, a relative newcomer to the speed discipline, finished 0.12 seconds behind the winner, earning his fourth podium of the season.
Another Austrian and double Olympic gold medalist Matthias Mayer, bagged his third podium of the Kitzbühel race weekend, completing the podium to go with second and third-place finishes in Friday and Sunday’s downhills. The Super G specialist equals legend Aksel Lund Svindal for podium finishes on the Hahnenkamm.
The icy Kitzbühel Super G took place on the Streif-Alm. Every year the best skiers on earth compete to win the coveted chamois trophy, the symbol of Kitzbühel. The layout of this Super G was very direct and straight. Mistakes were not allowed.
The first athlete to start was Austrian Christian Walder. 1:13.28 was the time to beat. Christof Innerhofer attempted to challenge the benchmark. He had an impressive result at the Sunday Downhill race placing fourth. The South Tyrolean took many risks, which resulted in red intermediates. He fought and had his comeback to cross the finish line with 11 hundredths of a second ahead of the Austrian.
Marco Odermatt’s strong performance on Sunday gave him more confidence approaching the Streif-Alm. He did not disappoint and seemed to feel comfortable on the Austrian slope. Odermatt earned the provisional lead with 0.47 seconds of advantage towards Innerhofer.
Photo credits: laRegione & Le Matin
Sunday’s runner-up Johan Clarey fought for a back-to-back podium result, but a massive delay of 1.58 seconds from the lead placed him last. Bib number 5 athlete Vincent Kriechmayr, who was misfortunate in the second Hahnenkamm-race, blew everyone out of the water and served 12 hundredths to provisional leader Odermatt.
Kjetil Jansrud, the winner of the 2020 Kitzbühel Super G, has had a disappointing World Cup weekend. His run ended prematurely, having missed a gate. An 18th and 26th place at the Streif competitions and the latest DNF, made him lose out on crucial points for the standings.
Second and third-place Hahnenkamm-race winner Matthias Mayer set the bar high when it came to expectations. In 2017 he conquered the Streif-Alm, but this race was not on his usual level. Taking risks on the icy slope was necessary, but making mistakes was not accepted. He only managed to secure a spot on the lowest step of the podium after nine racers.
Loïc Meillard came racing at the Kitzbühel slope without any training and practice runs and it showed. His time was abysmally apart from the top. 1.41 seconds of delay placed him provisionally in sixth place.
Overall standings leader and technical disciplines specialist Alexis Pinturault had to cope with the same conditions as Meillard. He attempted to race at the Kitzbühel slope without any training and practice runs as well. For the Frenchman, competing in the Super G is necessary to earn points to secure his lead in the rankings. Pinturault just finished behind the Swiss in seventh position.
Austrian naturalized German skier Romed Baumann has had an incredible weekend on the Streif so far but made too many mistakes during the Monday Super G, only managing to squeeze between Meillard and Pinturault in seventh.
Dominik Paris, the reigning Super G World Champion and winner on the Streif-Alm in 2015 has not had the best start to his run. 84 hundredths of a second delay after the first intermediate ruined his chances of winning. What a disappointment for the South Tyrolean, who had his first seasonal podium on Friday in the first Downhill event.
The only remaining athlete who could have potentially challenged Vincent Kriechmayr for the lead was back-to-back Streif winner Beat Feuz. The Blitzkönig chose risky lines in the first part of the track. His delay subsequently increased intermediate by intermediate. A mistake in the final section of the slope ended in a zero-points result for Feuz.
French skier Nils Allegre was part of the most shocking crash of the day. With incredible speed coming into the first jump, Allegre lost control of his body at the landing, crashing into both protective barriers of the track. Fortunately, the airbag system the athletes have prevented the Frenchman to suffer from a serious injury.
The surprises of the day were James Crawford and Stefan Babinsky. With bib number 28 and 32 they managed to place better than Super G specialists Walder and Sanders respectively in sixth and seventh place.
The results of the day give Alexis Pinturault a 200-points lead ahead of second-placed Marco Odermatt in the Overall standings. With now injured Aleksander Aamodt Kilde out of the picture, the battle to the top seems already to be a sealed deal. Can Odermatt bounce back and conquer the Big Crystal Globe?
Beat Feuz wins the second Downhill event on the Streif in Kitzbühel and earns the red bib for the next race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. He’s the seventh skier to win the Hahnenkamm event twice in the same year. The last one was Luc Alphand 26 years ago.
By Daphne Seberich
It’s all or nothing for Beat Feuz. The Swiss Downhill specialist gets crowned for the second time in a row the Hahnenkamm race king. He now will wear the red bib during the last speed event before the Cortina D’Ampezzo World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Triumphing on the most dangerous and nerve-wracking race of the season once wasn’t enough for Feuz. He had to score record-breaking results. He’s the seventh skier to win the Hahnenkamm Downhill race twice in the same year. The last one was French ski legend Luc Alphand 26 years ago.
Johan Clarey and Matthias Mayer completed the podium of the second Kitzbühel speed event respectively 17 and 38 hundredths of a second behind leader Feuz.
The Hahnenkamm-race is the most dangerous and exhausting Downhill race of the whole FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. Every year the best skiers on earth compete to win the coveted chamois trophy, the symbol of Kitzbühel. You need to have a strong gut to try to ski down the Austrian slope. The start of the race alone, the Mäusefalle, has an 85% steepness. Most competitors fly several meters in the air before reaching the end of that section. Athletes cross the finish line with an average speed of 145 km/h. Only the best can conquer and win Kitzbühel.
The weather conditions that caused the first Streif event to be broken-off and the second race to be postponed to Sunday were present at this competition as well. Visibility was worse than on Friday. The slope was icier too, but the money prize was more substantial. The winner of the Streif earned 90.000 Swiss Franks.
Bib-number-one-holder Maxence Muzaton set the bar for the next competitors to reach with a 1:57.23. Travis Ganong was the first to challenge the French. Intermediate by intermediate, the American increased his advantage to Muzaton and crossed the finish line 56 hundredths of a second ahead.
Romed Baumann, who had a season’s best result placing 8th on Friday, beat Ganong to the fastest time. The Austrian competing for Team Germany is a contender for a World Championship medal in Cortina.
Johan Clarey, who had a terrible crash during the first training session, seemed to have learned his lesson. His advantage to Baumann at the finish line were a whopping 80 hundredths of a second. An incredible run by Clarey, who turned out to be the oldest skier on a podium at 40 years of age.
Photo credits: Alpine Start Gate & SportNews.bz
Christof Innerhofer, the Italian Downhill skier, struggled in the first Hahnenkamm-race. This time, the South Tyrolean impressed with his aggressiveness on the skis and managed to squeeze in between Clarey and Baumann. Innerhofer is back and here to stay. He and Paris are the top contenders for Italy to score a medal in the World Championships on home soil.
Kjetil Jansrud, who only finished 18th on Friday, seemed not to be in his best shape, crossing the finish line with a 2.29-second delay and placing provisionally in sixth place. He then ended in 26th place in the final standings.
Right before Beat Feuz, the winner of the first Streif event, began his run, the weather conditions worsened. The race was momentarily interrupted. As the event resumed, the bib number 9 athlete started with a bang. Setting green intermediates right from the get-go was a good indicator for what was to come, but he then lost momentum in the middle part of the slope. After that, Feuz started his comeback to end the run with a 17 hundredths advantage ahead of Clarey.
Dominik Paris, the beloved South Tyrolean ski star, scored his first seasonal podium in the first Kitzbühel race. He was hungry for more and wanted a back-to-back Top-3 result. 1.18 seconds separated Paris and the provisional leader at the finish line, ranking in seventh place. It was still a good Downhill result for Dominik, who has a shot at winning in Kitzbühel at the Super G race on Monday.
Matthias Mayer, the runner-up of Friday’s Streif, gave Feuz a tough time with minimal margins of difference between the two. He ended scoring only third place.
The Austrian speed team seemed to be on fire, with Max Franz challenging his teammate Mayer for a podium position. Vincent Kriechmayr took a colossal risk, which unfortunately didn’t pay off. He was very unlucky. A gate loosened as he was riding the snow downhill at 130 km/h. It fell right on the binding of his skis. If it had gone underneath, he could’ve had the same end to his run as Ryan Cochran-Siegle. The American crashed on Friday into the barriers. After a physical assessment at the local hospital, the doctors discovered a mini-fracture in his cervical spine.
A surprisingly good performance was done by Marco Odermatt in Kitzbühel, who could not start his run on Friday due to the weather condition. The only remaining challenger for the Overall Crystal Globe was striving for a points finish and got something even better: a Top-10 result.
The speed athletes will prepare themselves for another daunting race on the Streif. Monday’s Super G will be a playing factor for the athletes’ convocation to the Cortina D’Ampezzo World Championships. Who will succeed?
It feels like a full-circle moment for Dominik Paris, who returns on a Downhill race’s podium 366 days after the knee injury he suffered from in Kitzbühel. The South Tyrolean has a second chance for an even better result in the Sunday event on the Streif.
By Daphne Seberich
Beat Feuz is the new Hahnenkamm-race winner of the 20/21 season. But he’s not who has impressed everyone the most during the race. Dominik Paris did.
Stepping on the podium in third place 366 days after the fatal moment for Dominik’s 19/20 season feels like a full-circle moment. At that point in time, Paris was leading the Overall, Downhill and Super G standings; his best season to date. The Streif, although, has no mercy for anyone. The South Tyrolean, who has won three times in Kitzbühel, returned at the Streif seemingly to have what it takes to challenge for a podium.
The Hahnenkamm race is the most dangerous and exhausting Downhill race of the whole FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. Every year the best skiers on earth compete to win the coveted chamois trophy, the symbol of Kitzbühel. You need to have a strong gut to try to ski down the Austrian slope. The start of the race alone, the Mäusefalle, has an 85% steepness. Most competitors fly several meters in the air before reaching the end of that section. Athletes cross the finish line with an average speed of 145 km/h. Only the best can conquer and win Kitzbühel.
A big absentee is reigning Overall champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who got injured in a fall during the Super G training in Hinterreit, Austria. Kilde was taken to a hospital in Innsbruck where it was later confirmed that he tore the ACL of his right knee, bringing his season to an end.
“It is as I feared, but as I did not hope,” Kilde told Norwegian media immediately after the diagnosis. “I am in very good hands and have people with a lot of experience around me, so everything should go well. It’s especially annoying because I’m in the shape of my life, but I will come back strong.
Kilde’s teammate Kjetil Jansrud, who started the race with bib number 1, set the benchmark for Romed Baumann with a time of 1:56.28. The Austrian, now racing for Team Germany, earned a one-second advantage over the Norwegian and beat his past teammate and favorite-to-take-the-win Vincent Kriechmayr as well. Kriechmayr set the fastest time in the second training session.
Beat Feuz blew everyone out of the water with the fastest time of 1:53.77. A blistering run by the Swiss 2018, 2019 and 2020 Downhill champion, who has never won on the Streif.
Andreas Sander’s 95 hundredths of a second delay squeezed him between Feuz and Baumann in second place after six athletes. Soon after, Matthias Mayer took over Sander’s place, closing the gap to the provisional leader to only 16 hundredths.
With bib number 9, Dominik Paris started very strong. He proved to not be afraid of the Streif. With only 56 hundredths of a second of delay against Feuz, the South Tyrolean star secured a spot on the lowest step of the podium. A remarkable finish for Paris. His season’s best result was a fourth-place at one of his favorite Downhill races, Bormio.
Christof Innerhofer is still suffering from the Covid-19 after-effects. His performance on the Streif was not at his usual level, being 3.04 seconds behind leader Feuz, placing provisionally in last place.
American Ryan Cochran-Siegle topped the first training session and showed great speed in the first half of the race. A little mistake turned out to be devastating for Cochran-Siegle. After the last small jump of the slope, the American crashed into the barriers, broke through them and ended outside of the track. The rescue helicopter immediately flew him to the nearest hospital for a physical assessment.
Urs Kryenbühl suffered from a horrific crash at 146 km/h on the last jump towards the finish line. While he was in the air, his weight transferred to the front of his skis, putting him out of balance. Falling face-first onto the snow, Kryenbühl hit the icy slope with his head and continued to roll towards the end zone with his broken skis flying everywhere. He too was immediately flown to the nearest hospital to assess his physical condition.
After the two delays, the weather started to turn for the worse with a southerly wind creating dangerous conditions and creating further setbacks. In the end, once the Top-30 racers were down the hill, everyone was breathing a sigh of relief as the Streif flexed its mighty muscles today.
Friday’s race was a replacement for the canceled Downhill, which should have taken place last weekend in Wengen. The athletes will get a second chance on Sunday to take on the Streif. On Monday, the speed disciplines weekend in Kitzbühel will end with a Super-G race.
Alexis Pinturault’s chances of winning a long-awaited first Overall title for a Frenchman since Luc Alphand in 1997 have increased significantly, thanks to the Norwegian’s abrupt end to his season. The 29-year-old is currently 218 points ahead of Kilde and 277 points ahead of Swiss Marco Odermatt.
Will Paris blow everyone out of the water and win the second race of the Hahnenkamm?