Thomas Dreßen with trouble at the Streif descent in Kitzbühel


WAt least once this weekend the result tableau lit up according to the ideas of the German Ski Association: Romed Baumann set the best time and pushed his teammate Josef Ferstl into second place. “Cut out and stick” was the taunting recommendation given by the stadium announcer for the Hahnenkamm race to the German neighbors.

At that point, only three runners had crossed the finish line. And just two minutes later the beautiful appearance was gone. The American Travis Ganong crossed the finish line a good half a second ahead of Baumann. From the dream of a surprise coup in the supreme discipline, which this time had to be completed under particularly difficult conditions with snow flurries and poor visibility.

“A little bit more on the limit”

The winner of the official Hahnenkamm race on Saturday was the Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (1:56.90), who almost ended up in the safety fence during the overture the day before. This time, the leader of the downhill World Cup found the ideal line from start to finish in his seventh win of the season in the twelfth speed race, did not let his broken hand visibly affect him and won with a clear lead over the 42-year-old Frenchman Johan Clarey (+0.67 seconds) and Ganong (+0.95).

Baumann (+1.52) and Ferstl (+1.56) ultimately finished eighth and eleventh, which was a satisfaction after the previous day’s disappointments when they finished 32nd and 49th. He analyzed his performance from Friday, said the 37-year-old Baumann, and found out that he “did a summer trail in the upper local mountain”: “I changed that today.” He drove “a little more at the limit” – that appeared promptly result useful.

On the other hand, I was not at all satisfied Thomas Dresden, who reached the finish area fuming and gave the impression from afar: “Please don’t speak to him!” And the way he ripped his racing suit off, you had to fear the worst for the fabric – but the seams held.

Dresden, the the day before after rank 13 who had raved about the pleasure of skiing, this time fell in the fresh snow after an avoidable skiing error and had to give up the race. Then he was “just mad that you’re such a fool yourself”. But after a few minutes of catching his breath, the 29-year-old was ready to do his own analysis: “It didn’t start well,” he summarized his journey. “In the U-Hackerl” he caught a punch, “it already got me out”. The exit on the steep slope was not ideal either. He wanted to drive a tighter line, but didn’t “cleanly” at the beginning. In the “old lane” he finally wanted to “ski a little more on the inside ski” – “I didn’t see the shots”. He promptly slipped away, “and then it was already over anyway”.

In addition to his self-flagellation, Dreßen also complained about the “not optimal visibility” and also expressed his anger at the jury for not moving the start down. Also, a little more paint on the slope would not have hurt to mark the course boundaries. Andrew Sander15th the day before, took 19th place this time.

After eight descents and four Super-G races, the German speed riders are still without a podium finish. Sander’s fifth-place finish at the Super at Lake Louise in late November remains his best result of the season. Baumann and Ferstl were sixth each at the beginning of December in Beaver Creak and Gröden. Dreßen, who had previously been injured several times and was out for two and a half years, has an eighth place finish in the Lake Louise downhill.

All four have long since qualified for the World Championships in Meribel and Courchevel in February, but they are still groping in the dark when looking for the reasons for the lost time. Head coach Christian Schwaiger was also unable to provide a coherent analysis as to why little was going on after the very promising start to the season. It’s not because of the material, but because of the different problems of the individual drivers. “Everyone is individual in terms of technology and driving style,” said Schweiger: “the same plan for everyone does not work”.

Since the downhill run in Garmisch planned for the coming weekend was canceled due to a lack of snow, Kitzbühel was also the dress rehearsal for the World Cup downhill on February 12th. In Super-G, on the other hand, there are two more races. Both will take place in Cortina d’Ampezzo next weekend, which may bode well for German skiers. Two years ago, Sander and Baumann raced to two unexpected world championship silver medals in downhill and super G.

And there are at least two pieces of good news to take away from Kitzbühel. Baumann explained that he already knew “that my skiing is not bad”. And if everything fits together, he could still fight for a podium place. And Thomas said you don’t have to worry about your health: “Of course there’s something better than falling on my left hip, which already hurts – but it’s okay.” And: “The helmet is still intact.”



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