Waking up Friday morning morning, it was hard to imagine there would be a super-G race in Kitzbuehel. Heavy, wet snow had fallen in town and high winds combined with low visibility plagued the Streif. After determining that conditions on the lower portion of the course were unsafe, race officials made the unprecedented decision to move the super-G start up to the top Mausefalle jump of the downhill and finish just before the Hausberg and the iconic Red Bull arch.

“It’s super interesting,” commented U.S. men’s head coach Sasha Rearick during inspection. “No one has ever raced a super-G race on the Steilhang and going down the road. It’s all going to be about the speed you can take off the Steilhang, down onto the road, and ski the bottom with super aggressiveness and fine, fine, aerodynamics.”

With the entire schedule moved back nearly two hours to accommodate for the changes, racing finally got underway in the early afternoon.

It was an interesting finish area vibe as the race actually ended before athletes came in sight of the normal finish. After crossing the line, racers took a bypass road around the Hausberg traverse and would freeski down to the waiting crowd.

The change of plans did little to phase Norwegian star Aksel Lund Svindal who used an incredibly strong middle gliding section to claim his third Kitzbuehel super-G title ahead of teammate Kjetil Jansrud in second and Austrian defending super-G champion Matthias Mayer.

Image Credit: GEPA pictures/Christian Walgram

“Obviously, it feels great,” Svindal said after the race. “The downhill is on tomorrow and I’m already feeling the nerves that tomorrow is another tough day on the mountain but this is a good start so I’m very happy with this. It’s a very different race than what we expected when we went to bed last night. Different conditions, total different start and finish actually. It’s a super-G that no one has ever skied before. Inspection was kind of tricky but I think we had a good plan and I executed well and that’s why I’m happy right now.”

Racing super-G down the top of the downhill track was a new challenge for the racers and actually leveled the playing field between veterans and newcomers as nobody had ever skied super-G on that section of the course before.

“It was pretty gnarly,” added Jansrud. “Different from what we’ve done but the biggest difference is that nobody is at the start with any experience of how this runs so everyone goes in there almost halfway blind. You don’t really know how it’s going to feel but I think it was cool.”

Mayer, who took the Kitzbuehel super-G title last season, had the upper hand over Svindal at the first interval but was unable to match the Attacking Viking’s gliding skills through the middle section and slid into third behind the two Norwegians.

“I think the win was not possible for me today,” Mayer admitted. “Aksel was very fast, especially in the middle section, but I’m happy with my third place. I had a good run, I had a good fight, and the conditions were not easy, snowing and very bumpy so I’m happy about it. It was a little bit confusing for everyone but especially the conditions were very difficult with the snowfall. It’s a little bit different than the last years but you had to push very hard and give everything.”

Andrew Weibrecht led the Americans in 24th place. Image Credit: GEPA pictures/Mario Kneisl

The Americans had their fair share of troubles as the squad could only muster a team best 24th place from two-time Olympic super-G medalist Andrew Weibrecht. Thomas Biesemeyer finished 26th and Bryce Bennett and Wiley Maple both had impressive attack-from-the-back performances from bib 64 and 67 to finish 27th and 29th, respectively. Steven Nyman finished 32nd and Jared Goldberg did not finish his run.

“I wasn’t really happy with it,” lamented Weibrecht in the finish. “I thought that I skied some parts OK, but on that long flat I just feel like I got out of the track there a little bit and just bled time. It’s a totally different run. It goes from being pretty mellow to being in your face right away, so it was a fun hill to ski and definitely a different look at it, which was cool, but I wish I skied better.”

Saturday marks the 78th running of the Hahnenkamm downhill. Two years ago, Svindal crashed out in the Hausbergkante with the lead and has spent the better part of the last two seasons recovering from the resulting knee injury. With the opportunity to claim his first Hahnenkamm downhill less than 24-hours away, Svindal looks to leave nothing to chance.

“Confidence fairly hight but still a lot of respect,” Svindal said. “You want to do the Hausberg well but you have to think how you do it and do it smart. Obviously, if you want to win the race, you can’t hold back right there, you gotta ski it well.”

The Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria, is scheduled to start at 11:30am CET on Saturday, Jan. 20.

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Top 10

  1. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  2. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) – Head/Head/Head
  3. Matthias Mayer (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  5. Adrien Theaux (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  6. Beat Feuz (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
  7. Peter Fill (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  8. Andreas Sander (GER) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  9. Blaise Giezendanner (FRA) – Head/Head/Head
  10. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  15  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR  1:30.72  0.00  100
 2  7  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:31.22  +0.50  5.95  80
 3  19  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:31.28  +0.56  6.67  60
 4  5  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT  1:31.29  +0.57  6.79  50
 5  4  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  1:31.42  +0.70  8.33  45
 6  10  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI  1:31.55  +0.83  9.88  40
 7  17  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  1:31.64  +0.92  10.95  36
 8  14  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  1:31.85  +1.13  13.45  32
 9  28  194298 GIEZENDANNER Blaise 1991 FRA  1:31.93  +1.21  14.40  29
 10  13  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  1:32.01  +1.29  15.36  26
 11  18  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  1:32.22  +1.50  17.86  24
 12  9  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:32.25  +1.53  18.21  22
 13  30  512039 ROULIN Gilles 1994 SUI  1:32.28  +1.56  18.57  20
 14  29  54009 WALDER Christian 1991 AUT  1:32.31  +1.59  18.93  18
 15  20  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  1:32.32  +1.60  19.05  16
 16  24  511638 TUMLER Thomas 1989 SUI  1:32.39  +1.67  19.88  15
 16  3  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  1:32.39  +1.67  19.88  15
 18  1  202059 FERSTL Josef 1988 GER  1:32.43  +1.71  20.36  13
 19  26  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  1:32.44  +1.72  20.48  12
 20  6  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO  1:32.45  +1.73  20.60  11
 21  8  100558 COOK Dustin 1989 CAN  1:32.69  +1.97  23.45  10
 22  16  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  1:32.96  +2.24  26.67  9
 23  21  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO  1:32.99  +2.27  27.02  8
 24  23  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA  1:33.10  +2.38  28.33  7
 25  12  102899 OSBORNE-PARADIS Manuel 1984 CAN  1:33.11  +2.39  28.45  6
 26  25  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas 1989 USA  1:33.18  +2.46  29.29  5
 27  64  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  1:33.28  +2.56  30.48  4
 28  31  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  1:33.46  +2.74  32.62  3
 29  67  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA  1:33.62  +2.90  34.52  2
 30  22  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  1:33.86  +3.14  37.38  1
 31  53  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  1:33.88  +3.16  37.62  0
 32  61  533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA  1:33.91  +3.19  37.98  0
 33  50  511139 KUENG Patrick 1984 SUI  1:33.95  +3.23  38.45  0
 34  44  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA  1:34.24  +3.52  41.90  0
 35  43  512042 KRYENBUEHL Urs 1994 SUI  1:34.30  +3.58  42.62  0
 36  49  194167 MUZATON Maxence 1990 FRA  1:34.32  +3.60  42.86  0
 37  65  422278 WINDINGSTAD Rasmus 1993 NOR  1:34.48  +3.76  44.76  0
 38  55  104531 CRAWFORD James 1997 CAN  1:34.59  +3.87  46.07  0
 39  32  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  1:34.61  +3.89  46.31  0
 40  41  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  1:34.62  +3.90  46.43  0
 41  59  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN  1:34.89  +4.17  49.64  0
 42  46  501987 MONSEN Felix 1994 SWE  1:34.90  +4.18  49.76  0
 43  45  380292 ZRNCIC DIM Natko 1986 CRO  1:35.16  +4.44  52.86  0
 44  62  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA  1:35.18  +4.46  53.10  0
 45  39  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA  1:35.28  +4.56  54.29  0
 46  52  194650 PICCARD Roy 1993 FRA  1:35.44  +4.72  56.19  0
 47  48  561214 DEBELAK Tilen 1991 SLO  1:35.52  +4.80  57.14  0
 48  40  104529 MULLIGAN Sam 1997 CAN  1:35.89  +5.17  61.55  0
 49  51  194190 ROGER Brice 1990 FRA  1:35.92  +5.20  61.90  0
 50  35  53933 SCHWEIGER Patrick 1990 AUT  1:36.26  +5.54  65.95  0
 51  60  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA  1:36.33  +5.61  66.79  0
 52  57  303758 SUGAI Ryo 1991 JPN  1:36.95  +6.23  74.17  0
 53  47  104272 SEGER Brodie 1995 CAN  1:37.04  +6.32  75.24  0
 54  66  102271 HUDEC Jan 1981 CZE  1:37.60  +6.88  81.90  0
 55  69  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK  1:37.74  +7.02  83.57  0
 56  68  430640 BABICKI Pawel 1994 POL  1:37.91  +7.19  85.60  0
 57  71  54106 BREITFUSS KAMMERLANDER Simon 1992 BOL  1:39.03  +8.31  98.93  0
Did not finish 1st run
 70  460071 ACHIRILOAIE Ioan Valeriu 1990 ROU  0
 63  191740 CLAREY Johan 1981 FRA  0
 58  6190006 SCHULLER Victor 1995 FRA  0
 56  170131 FAARUP Christoffer 1992 DEN  0
 54  54157 DANKLMAIER Daniel 1993 AUT  0
 42  104096 THOMPSON Broderick 1994 CAN  0
 38  54080 NEUMAYER Christopher 1992 AUT  0
 37  512031 BARANDUN Gian Luca 1994 SUI  0
 36  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  0
 34  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI  0
 33  422073 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR  0
 2  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI  0
Did not start 1st run
 27  422310 SEJERSTED Adrian Smiseth 1994 NOR  0
 11  53817 FRANZ Max 1989 AUT  0

 

 

 

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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
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A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American status in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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