The Lauberhorn races in Wengen are not under a good star, not only because of the cancellation of yesterday’s training. Precipitation is forecast for today and Sunday. “Whether rain or snow – both situations are not advantageous,” says Upper Austria’s skiing figurehead Vincent Kriechmayr before the Super-G (today, 12 p.m., ORF 1) and the descent on Saturday (12.30 p.m., ORF 1), in which the Gramastettner will start as the defending champion. Kriechmayr triumphed in this classic not only in 2022 (with a special start permit after Corona quarantine), but also in 2019.
So the memories of Wengen are definitely positive. “The good thing is that if you’ve been there long enough, you know the track so well that inspection or training is no longer so important,” said Kriechmayr, who hardly noticed the gap he had torn up in the time trials causes headaches. There is experimentation and bluffing.
The Wengen atmosphere is a unique selling point in the World Cup for Kriechmayr. “The backdrop when the weather is nice, the Patrouille Suisse – from that point at the latest you realize that it’s something special, that it’s an important race. There’s a lot of euphoria, but also a certain fear of the myth,” explained the 31- year-old, who this winter in Val Gardena and Bormio won two descents that also fall into the classic category. The form is right for the man who became the leader of the ÖSV Speed Guard after the surprising resignation of Matthias Mayer. “Of course we miss the Mothl sorely. He was our leader, he went ahead.”
Nußdorfer Daniel Hemetsberger, who has not yet made friends with Wengen, sees things similarly. “There are many such brutally long corners, a bit hanging. That’s where I have my weaknesses. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to improve it since Val Gardena,” he said. In the Super-G he lacks consistency even more than in the downhill. “Getting to the point is still the problem.” Due to the characteristics of the track, he is “not necessarily a fan of a Super-G in Wengen”. Andreas Ploier from Straß im Attergau also has a starting place for today’s race in his pocket.
The women’s first downhill training session in St. Anton am Arlberg, which was scheduled for yesterday, had to be canceled due to heavy snowfall. The men, on the other hand, will be able to enjoy a floodlit giant slalom in Schladming for the first time on January 25th. The Styrians take over the race that had been planned for Garmisch.
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