Alpine skiing: countdown for Austria’s downhill skiers

Kriechmayr is the hunted in the Olympic season. In February he won the World Cup gold in Downhill and Super-G and then the crystal ball in the Super-G World Cup. “Of course you want to confirm such achievements and pick up where you left off,” said the 30-year-old. “At the moment I’m not convinced that I’ll win races again.” At the same time, he was confident: “It looks good, everything is flawless. Now comes the important phase in North America, now things really get down to business. Then you will see where you stand. “

The ÖSV men have prepared for the CoV-related travel restrictions in summer on European glaciers. Zermatt, Saas Fee and finally Sölden were the stops. The fine-tuning is now taking place in North America. “In summer you hardly have the necessary tracks to simulate a race. There’s a lot more speed in Copper Mountain. The material behaves very differently than when you train in the summer, ”said Kriechmayr before the two-week training session in Colorado.

GEPA/Harald Steiner

The clock is ticking: in a few weeks the speed drivers will also start the Olympic season

Do homework

Kriechmayr also has a lot of work to do with the material in the Rocky Mountains and wants to see “whether I already have the desired shape”. Victories are still the goal. “You always want to fight for the podium at the front. But you also need a hundredth of a luck to win, as I did at the World Cup. “

Despite his successes, he was still nervous before every race, the Upper Austrian confessed. “But that is what it takes to release the adrenaline and tickle the last percent out.” But resting on his titles does not go at all. “You can’t pull victories out of a hat. You have to have done your homework and you shouldn’t let yourself drift because you think you’ve got it anyway. You always have to get the last shirt out and nothing can be left to chance. “

“Early form wouldn’t hurt”

In view of the six North American speed races (three downhill runs, three Super-G), it is advisable, according to Kriechmayr, to “have your seven things together”. “An early form wouldn’t hurt,” said Kriechmayr, who would be satisfied with six fourth places at the speed opener. “That’s 300 World Cup points and wouldn’t be bad either.”

He has never timed major events, said Kriechmayr, including the Olympic Games in Beijing in February. “First of all, I have to have my team-mates under control anyway.” But of course you do everything for Olympic gold. The fact that the Beijing slopes are unknown is good for the young. “That makes the circle of favorites bigger.”

Franz with back problems

Max Franz is not as confident as Kriechmayr. The Carinthian is again suffering from back problems and had to completely skip the course in Saas Fee. Most recently, after unsuccessful therapies, Franz resorted to infiltration. He’s hoping to train in Copper. “But there is a small question mark,” said the 32-year-old.

Christian Walder, on the other hand, has his back problems under control and hopes to be able to improve on the descent. “Just inspect and then drive, the Super-G is just easier for me. So I want to join in the downhill where I’m in the Super-G, ”said Walder. It is the other way round to Otmar Striedinger, who, thanks to consolidated material development in the Super-G, wants to build on his performance in the downhill.

Otmar Striedinger

GEPA/Patrick Steiner

Striedinger also wants to catch up with the absolute top in the Super-G

“With six races it is important to be ready from the start. There are 600 points to be awarded and you want to take as many as possible with you from the start, ”said Striedinger. “A good start to the season has always been important. Now, with two more races, it’s all the more important. “

Travel with heavy luggage

Daniel Danklmaier also had a 45-kilogram material box and around 30 pairs of skis in his luggage. The move from the European glaciers to North America also pleased the Styrian. “Skiing in America is awesome. Another snow and finally trees again, ”said the 28-year-old.

Having aces like Kriechmayr and double Olympic champion Matthias Mayer in the team really inspires him like everyone else in the team. “It’s a good feeling to be out and about with the best.” That is one of the reasons why Danklmaier has gained a certain amount of self-confidence. “When it’s Olympics, you want to be there. And if you’re there, I don’t care to finish fourth. “

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Alpine skiing: countdown for Austria’s downhill skiers