This year marks the 78th running of the famed Hahnenkamm race in Austria. It’s comparable to the Super Bowl of ski racing. Fans from around the world tune in to watch the best male athletes survive the Mausefalle—the steepest section on the course—and reach speeds of more than 140 kilometers per hour. As we prepare for the race, which kicks off on Friday, we pulled together a collection of historic images from the iconic race in Kitzbuehel.

The Hahnenkamm became a part of the World Cup tour in 1967. In the years since crowds have grown, reaching a peak in 1999. A record 100,000 spectators showed up over three days. On average, 15,000 fans show up for the super-G; 45,000 attend the downhill and 25,000 come for the slalom. // Image Credit: GEPA

 

Behold the finish area of the Hahnenkamm in 1975. Austrian legend Franz Klammer won his first of four Kitzbuehel downhill races that year. // Image Credit: Ski Racing Media archives

 

In 1995, Alberto Tomba skied to the second Kitzbuehel slalom win of his storied career. That year, the Italian won 11 World Cup races in total and took home the overall globe. // Image Credit: GEPA

 

American Bode Miller made his Kitzbuehel debut in the 1998 slalom. He is pictured here in the same discipline two years later. Miller’s most memorable run came in 2008, when he skied onto the netting and still earned second place in the downhill. // Image Credit: GEPA

 

The Hahnenkamm weekend is one big party that extends from the hill into the town. The Fan Zone features live music, Austrian food and more. This photo proves that there’s no lack of  // Image Credit: Ski Racing Media archives

 

A band strolls through the streets of Kitzbuehel in 1999. // Image credit: Ski Racing Media archives

 

American downhiller Daron Rahlves won the Hahnenkamm downhill in 2003 and followed it up with a super-G win in 2004. He is the only American to have won the historic downhill race in the World Cup era. He stood on the Kitzbuehel podium seven times in total. // Image Credit: GEPA

 

Hermann Maier aka “The Herminator” pushed out of the start gate in nearly two dozen races at the Austrian venue. A home crowd cheered him on to six victories—five in super-G and one in downhill. // Image Credit: GEPA

 

In 2012, Didier Cuche announced his retirement from ski racing the day before winning his fifth Hahnenkamm downhill–a record. “Kitzbuehel represents something for me and I decided to make my decision here,” an emotional Cuche said at Kitzbuehel. “It’s not a decision that I took last night or today. I am in top form and I can still aspire to win races. It’s in this condition that I wish to retire from the World Cup.” // Image Credit: GEPA

 

Attacking Viking Aksel Lund Svindal has won two Kitzbuehel super-G races, but never tamed the downhill track. The Norwegian has 34 World Cup wins to his name–14 of which are in downhill. // Image Credit: GEPA

 

Austrian powerhouse Marcel Hirscher is the reigning Kitzbuehel slalom champion. He will defend his title on Jan. 21, 2018. // Image Credit: GEPA

 

Fans can watch on as more history is made on the Streif from Jan. 19-21, 2018. // Image Credit: Ski Racing Media archives

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