Alpine skiing: ÖSV downhillers start the season with a double victory

Mayer took the crown for the first time in a descent in Lake Louise, 0.23 seconds ahead of his team-mate Kriechmayr and 35 hundredths ahead of Feuz. Overall, it was the seventh downhill win and the second success of the Carinthian in Canada. Two years ago, when Lake Louise was last driven in 2020 before the pandemic-related cancellation, the two-time Olympic champion secured victory in the Super-G. Speaking of Super-G: there will be one on Sunday (8.15 p.m. live on ORF1) at the end of this year’s races in Lake Louise.

Behind Mayer and Kriechmayr, Max Franz, who had achieved the best time in training, rounded off the strong Austrian result in fifth. The 32-year-old was 0.56 seconds short of his compatriot from Carinthia. Daniel Hemetsberger (+1.52), Otmar Striedinger (+1.55) and Daniel Danklmaier (+1.59) placed 14th, 15th and 16th. Christian Walder also took World Cup points in 22nd (+1.88). Stefan Babinsky was not granted those with 52nd place.

Kriechmayr only narrowly beaten

The double world champion from Cortina d’Ampezzo had a solid run with starting number one that brought him second place in the end.

Mayer keeps an eye on things

On Friday, snowfall had thwarted the first speed race of the season. On Saturday the sky over Lake Louise was also not at its best, but allowed a race: “It was brutally difficult to drive, visibility was difficult. But it was the same for everyone, so it was a relaxed race, “said Mayer in an interview with ORF,” the first win of the season is of course a great feeling. It was my goal to win here once in my career. “

With start number seven, Mayer was able to watch his competitor Kriechmayr, who had started with number one, and Feuz (no. 5) during their drives and was already sure at this point that the battle for victory would be close. “It was really good and it went faster than in training. I knew it was going to be a close race, so right from the start I tried to go a little further. The start was successful once. But the gaps are not that big, so you definitely can’t go crazy, ”said Mayer.

Good start to the season, but nothing more

World champion Kriechmayr also struggled primarily with visibility during his ride. Therefore, the Upper Austrian didn’t quite catch two corners to his liking. Nevertheless, Kriechmayr was satisfied with the yield in the first race of the season. “It’s a great start to the season. Car number one was certainly not a disadvantage. From Matthias (Mayer, note) it was a great race. He deserved the win ”, Kriechmayr congratulated the winner.

Despite the double victory and despite a trio in the top five, the Upper Austrian did not want to forecast a victory march for the local speed specialists this season. “It’s not a bad start to the season, but there are a lot of other races. The competition will certainly not give us anything, ”said the 30-year-old. Kriechmayr made it into the photo of the top three for the first time in a descent. In 2018 and 2019, Austria’s athlete of the year took second and third place in the Super-G, respectively.

Franz was also happy with the start, even if he wasn’t right at the front like in the first practice session. “It was actually a good run. But it was difficult with the view, the light has already made out a lot, you couldn’t see all the strokes that well, ”said the Carinthian. Franz only struggled with the fact that he couldn’t play out his strengths to one hundred percent: “What I’m actually good at, riding so smoothly on the flat, I couldn’t quite bring together, so I didn’t take the momentum with me so well. Otherwise it was a good race. “

Feuz is looking forward to the “cool season”

World Cup defending champion Feuz came closest to the two Austrians at the top, together with his compatriot Marco Odermatt, who came fourth, and also successfully checked off the start of the season in the category. “You have to be satisfied with a podium. Lake Louise is always a difficult route, especially today with poor ground visibility. It takes a bit of effort to attack fully on the track, ”said the Swiss, who, according to his own statement, made a small mistake, where he was“ surprised by the pace ”, which cost him a possible victory.

Feuz was looking forward to the upcoming races and another round in the classic duel between Austria and Switzerland. “The density at the top is increasing from year to year, it will be an interesting and cool season,” said the veteran. After the Super-G on Sunday, the North American tour will continue next week in Beaver Creek in the USA with three more speed events.

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Alpine skiing: ÖSV downhillers start the season with a double victory

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