Returnee Thomas Dreßen raises hopes as the best German at the start of the Hahnenkamm race. Vincent Kriechmayr races to home victory. Two top stars save themselves artistically, a Norwegian falls badly.
Thomas Dreßen and Vincent Kriechmayr beamed, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde took a deep breath. The legendary Streif in Kitzbühel once again delivered a ski spectacle on the first of two downhill runs this weekend.
Dreßen, who was plagued by many injuries and operations, missed the top ten by just 0.13 seconds and was the best German in 13th place. He raised hopes for the second Hahnenkamm race on Saturday (11.30 a.m. / ZDF and Eurosport).
The Austrian Kriechmayr raced ahead of the surprisingly strong South Tyrolean Florian Schieder and the Swiss Niels Hintermann to the home win. The top stars Kilde and Marco Odermatt could be happy not to have fallen and to have reached the finish line.
Dreßen is approaching the top of the world again
“When I’m having fun, it just slides,” said Dreßen. And that’s exactly what the Streif winner of 2018 is currently all about: rediscovering the fun of skiing and feeling. A feeling that no one else in the German speed team seems to have. Dreßen is – based on his story of suffering – on the right track. At the start of the season in Lake Louise at the end of November, he contested his first World Cup race in more than two and a half years and, with eighth place, immediately fulfilled the national World Championship standard. After another mandatory break due to a muscle injury, he is now gradually approaching the top of the world again.
Seeing himself in the starting house in the pictures of the previous champions helped him before he drove down the most famous slope in the world, explained Dreßen. “You don’t really need to be nervous. Look forward to it,” said the 29-year-old from SC Mittenwald. It worked. It was a “very strong performance”, said his teammate Josef Ferstl. It was only enough for him to place 49. Romed Baumann as 32nd and Dominik Schwaiger as 55th had to accept further disappointments. The recently struggling World Cup runner-up Andreas Sander was able to rate 15th place as a small success. Especially since even the best struggled sometimes.
Odermatt narrowly avoids a fall
The Swiss Odermatt, who is leading in the overall World Cup, artistically and only narrowly prevented a possibly dramatic departure and finally finished 54th. His fiercest rival, the Norwegian Kilde, also almost ended up in the fence and ended up in 16th place. It seemed as if the really bad ones were going to happen No falls this time. Then it hit the Norwegian Henrik Røa. The 27-year-old overturned shortly before the finish and had to be transported by helicopter.
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