Alpine skiing: Speed ​​aces are still looking for their best form

From the top trio in the ÖSV speed department, Matthias Mayer should currently have the best package. After his victory in Lake Louise, the two-time Olympic champion leads the World Cup downhill classification with 180 points ahead of Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (129). He won there two and a half weeks ago ahead of Kriechmayr and also achieved two second places in Beaver Creek. His worst result this season: fourth place in the Super-G, also in Beaver Creek.

Kriechmayr was fifth in the Super-G twice in the USA and ninth in the downhill. Given his high standards, that was not enough for him. Franz recorded two retirements in Beaver Creek, in the downhill he had to be content with 25th place. The Carinthian, who celebrated his first of three World Cup victories so far on the downhill run in Val Gardena in 2016, had two best training times in North America.

“A fight with myself”

“Everything came together in Lake Louise. I was able to really accelerate. It started well in Beaver Creek, but then I couldn’t cope with the races, “said Franz.” I still have a little homework to do. I still have to find the exact set-up for the subsurface. ”The feeling just didn’t fit. “That was just a fight with myself. In Lake Louise I was able to attack and had a brutal pleasure driving it. “

GEPA/Daniel Goetzhaber

Franz won his first World Cup victory on the 2016 downhill run in Val Gardena

His back cracked in preparation practically no longer causes problems. “It calmed down while driving. In the afternoon I feel a slight pull, but we will hopefully get rid of that, ”said Franz, who has the best Val Gardena record among the ÖSV men. In 2017 he was second in Super G, and in the following two years he drove third or second on the downhill to the award ceremony.

“You have a sliding piece at the top that you have to take with you. The Ciaslat is something special where you need good shock absorbers, especially good ones this year, ”he said, explaining the special characteristics of the track. “But it’s also all the trappings. Somehow you have a little more time everywhere here. After the viewing you can go back to the hotel, everything is very familiar. “

Kriechmayr sets the bar high

Kriechmayr, 2019 winner of the Nebel-Super-G after an extremely long wait, the Saslong is one of the absolute classics in the Downhill World Cup. “It’s not a descent that suits me, but that doesn’t matter. If I want to be at the front, that has to suit me, ”said the double world champion from Cortina in 2021, setting the bar high. “In the Super-G I was down there quite well a few times, but that’s a different discipline.”

Vincent Kriechmayr at the Super G in Val Gardena 2019

GEPA/Harald Steiner

Kriechmayr won the Super-G 2019 in Val Gardena

Kriechmayr’s best downhill result in Val Gardena was in 2015 – just in his racing debut over Kamelbuckel and Co. – the seventh place. After that, he was never better than 13th the previous year. In 2019 the descent could not take place due to heavy snowfall. “Of course I haven’t been that fast in the last few years. But we’ll see what happens, ”said the Upper Austrian. Two presentable results, ideally podium places, could probably reconcile Kriechmayr with his start to the season.

“At the moment, things are not going well by hand. If it works, then it works. If it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work ”, he changed the famous saying of his compatriot Rudi Nierlich, who died at an early age. “It has to look a little easier. I have to move to the limit, but bring a little more feeling into the whole thing. If I can do that, I think I’ll be able to ride up front. But it’s not that easy for me down there. “

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Alpine skiing: Speed ​​aces are still looking for their best form