Ski ace Matthias Mayer arrived at the Kitzbühel slopes in top form, established himself as the strongest Austrian athlete in this discipline as second and third in the races won by Beat Feuz and announced the fight for the World Cup discipline for the Swiss. After the Garmisch departure at the beginning of February, it will be clear who will travel to Cortina d’Ampezzo for the World Championship race. One or the other small preliminary decision was already made in Gamsstadt.
Mayer is now 28 points behind Feuz in second place in the discipline world cup. “ The Downhill World Cup is a goal, just because I’m 28 points behind I didn’t write it off. We’ll still fight, it’s important that there is such a rivalry, that’s good for me, that’s good for Beat,” promised the Carinthian. Feuz described his double on the Streif, which was also the first victories for him on the Hahnenkamm, as “fantastic”. His podium mates were also “terrific”. And with a view to Mayer, he announced full attack on his fourth downhill ball in a row.
Disappointed, Vincent Kriechmayr packed his bags in the finish area after the downhill runs. As Bormio second, he will of course be part of the World Cup downhill team despite the botched Streif races (9th, 17th) and probably also a medal contender. The Upper Austrian did not want to gloss over anything, he made mistakes, was not among the fastest and was certainly not to blame for the difficult lighting conditions on Sunday. “Mothl also got his performance to the point, I didn’t succeed. I hit the passages well in practice, not in the race, I have to see what happened there.”
After finishing second in Val d’Isere in Kitzbühel, Otmar Striedinger made himself noticeable with places 13 and 8, but even more would have been possible on Sunday in particular. “ The density in downhill sport is so great that it doesn’t allow any mistakes. As far as the World Championship is concerned, nothing is clear, but I feel good and my form is pointing upwards. I have to concentrate on driving the next races and then be in top form in February” , the Carinthian knew.
A trip to Italy also looks good for his fellow compatriot Max Franz, who ended up in 13th place after his retirement in Friday’s race on Sunday. “ The button has not yet fully opened. The speed is there, you can’t force it, you saw that on the first descent, you have to keep working.” Daniel Hemetsberger joined hoping Daniel Danklmaier (“Things are looking up. The World Cup is an ulterior motive, but my goal is consistently good driving”) and veteran Hannes Reichelt, who finished tenth in the Sunday run.
The Upper Austrian has already fought his way back from four cruciate ligament ruptures, and at the age of 29 he has now achieved his best career result. “I haven’t competed in the World Cup that often, it’s my best result. I hope that I can go even further.” On Friday he was not allowed to start after the race was stopped after number 30, so he only had one outing. “ The long wait was extremely tough, the tension and the feverish desire to drive make you tired. After that, I was completely exhausted in the hotel, as if I had been driving.”