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The Streif. It is the daddy of all
downhills. The most feared, the most
revered. It is a fortress. The
biggest of spectacles. Never
underestimate it. Attack is the best
form of defence. It is make... Or
break. It pushes the body to the
absolute limits. Risk versus reward.
Anything less than 100%, and you are
beat. Who dares wins.
banging out these cliches, shall we
actually see what happens on the
Sounds like a great idea.
Hello and welcome to Kitzbuhel.
We're here for the most talked
about, most feared, most thrilling
race on the World Cup calendar.
There's a reason why those cliches
exist - years of racing
on the Streif has taught us
that they're all true.
So we're hoping you'll
forgive us for being a tad
excited about this one.
And if that's not enough for you,
later on we'll have highlights
of the women's racing from Cortina.
It's the biggest race
on the women's tour,
and they've got two downhills
for the price of one
after the cancelled race
from Val D'Isere before Christmas
was re-arranged for Friday.
First though it is the Hahnenkamm.
The race marks the return
of Aksel Lund Svindal to Kitzbuhel,
whose trouble on the Streif in 2016
resulted in two knee
surgeries and a lengthy
period on the sidelines.
Graham's been to meet
the big Norwegian.
It is one of those places, when you
drive into the valley before the
race you are excited because it's
Kitzbuhel but you know it's going to
be uncomfortable on the starting
gate, that is how it is. Kitzbuhel
is legendary for good reasons. When
you ski, you feel how difficult it
is because it's kind of like driving
in Monte Carlo with a Formula One
car. On the racetrack if you go out
maybe you go onto some sand, but
otherwise you hit the wall, and it
is like that in Kitzbuhel. It is
rare to just hit some gates. That
kind of shows why the intensity is
Do you ever get
dreams in the middle of the summer
If I do, it is probably
Aksel Lund Svindal
is ready to tackle the Streif...
How nervous will you be going back,
having not skied on that course
since you crashed there couple of
Nervous for sure. This
is not going to be famous last words
or anything, I think I have good
mentality in the sense that when
something happens like that, I never
blamed it on bad luck or anything I
cannot control because that makes me
nervous but I always blame myself. A
lot of the other guys skied that
section and pulled it off. I tried
to skied it fast and I didn't pull
it off so I just have to make sure I
don't do that same mistake.
don't do that same mistake.
is out to prove he is the number
one. He is second!
From results this
season, you would assume you are
back and skiing at 100% but it is
far from that, is it, with the knee?
In races it is 100% but the
preparations are different than they
have been in the past. I have raced
all the races but I haven't had two
days of training. That's between
races, the knee is swelling up and
some paint and that's what I've been
able to handle. It is not an ideal
situation but you know, I am an
experienced guy so still able to
pull it off.
A very insightful
You touched on it last week, Gra,
but Aksel is basically
saying he's not doing
the training runs properly.
Does that not put him
at a significant disadvantage?
It is definitely a disadvantage but
Svindal has such experience on these
downhill courses he can exist on
muscle memory, but it is very
wearing having a swollen knee so I
get the feeling he cannot do this
Beat Feuz is in great
form, isn't he?
He was in the lead, three quarters
of a second up but ran wide in the
compression onto the Traverse and
then stacked it into the net so he
will have the mental block to get
Looking at the World Cup
standings, Feuz and Svindal are
opening a gap between them and the
rest of the pack, will this mirrors
Dominik Paris is the
only other race to record a victory
but this is Kitzbuhel, there are so
many people who want to win this. It
is more important than an Olympic
medal to some of them. The Italians
are flying as well on this course.
Who is going to win?
I'm going to go
with last year's winner, Dominik
Paris. If he can get his glide on,
he will be up there for sure.
time to get the race under way, like
the fans we return every year and we
know that experience is vital and
mistakes can be catastrophic but
victory here is glorious. There is
nothing quite like the Hahnenkamm.
The toughest course in the world!
Oh, that's horrible! What run!
Plunging down. The greatest race of
Over a metre of new snow has
fallen over the last few days but
hundredths of course workers have
been here scraping it off, down to
this, sheet ice.
Hard on the lest ski as you come
through the first turn. -- the left
ski. Straight down into the
compression. Through the
compression, setting up for the
carousel. You can either ride on the
bank like that
bank like that or stick your ski
into the turn. Stay high on the
line. Do everything you can to stay
out of that net. Now you are out
onto the gliding section which gives
you a chance to catch your breath.
New snow on the course, just cut the
speed down ever so slightly. As you
go over the rise. It is rough and
bumpy again down here. Heading
towards this rough area.
towards this rough area. This turn
here is so crucial to carry the
speed in the mid part of the course.
Now I suspect Aksel Lund Svindal
might be a little nervous coming
into this section, and he's not the
only one because it is the Hausberg.
Over the jump, down and into the
compression. Hard on that right ski.
Over the role, taking a high line on
this bumpy Traverse. Last jump!
Flying towards it now. Oh my word,
it is fast down here. Great speed
off that last jump. Wow! My word! It
has frozen solid on the lower part
of the course and the speed is
really, really high. It is going to
be a test again! Over to Matt
Chilton for the commentary.
COMMENTATOR: Downhill day in
Kitzbuhel is the most important
skiing event of the year in Austria.
45,000 people have gathered for the
greatest occasion in winter sport,
man versus the Streif. An Austrian
will open the race for 2018.
Reichelt is away. Hard on the right
foot. 91 kilometres per hour, a
flight of 38 metres. 105 kilometres
per hour his exit speed with the
carousel turn, one of the hardest
turns in World Cup ski racing.
Stands hard on that left ski, this
is where Miller wrote the
advertising banner several years
ago. Now we will find Reichelt
further down the course. Smooth
flight. Around the minute mark,
still a lot of skiing below. Flies
and lands gently off there, now
comes into Hausberg, the big
inflatable arch. Has to get the
flight correct, has to land solidly
and give himself a high line.
Heading on to the famous bumpy
Traverse. Reichelt was a winner here
back in 2014, then he injured
himself and wasn't able to head to
the Olympics in Sochi. That was a
little scruffy on the landing. On
the big Traverse, lower than he
might like but keeping control.
There is a long there, a little
airborne. One final jump to go. Look
at the scenes here in Kitzbuhel.
Reichelt has won this race on home
snow before. I think that is a very
good run from him.
Innerhoffer. Fell last weekend. He
covers a distance of 38 metres
airborne. He is ahead of Reichelt.
Airborne... Nicely done, off into
the forest. Half a second up, and
intermediate number too and
Innerhoffer is not far away from
Reichelt's time. Has to get the good
line into the big jump with that
awkward landing. One of the most
feared elements anywhere in the
world of ski
world of ski racing, the Hausberg
cantor, and the big Traverse that
follows. These are smooth turns.
follows. These are smooth turns. He
is low in the line, recovers but is
going to be in trouble on the
Traverse. So high, clattered the
control gate. Now he's in real
bother. He's done the double, he has
fallen again in Kitzbuhel.
A perfect run on the top part of the
course. He likes it hard and icy but
on the lower section he just went
for it. Came over the Hausberg, got
late in the line. He actually hit
the gate he was so high. Left it too
late, then his outside ski went up
into the air, we call that a Ninja
kick but thankfully he's OK. This is
the best downhiller of the season so
far, Aksel Lund Svindal, the veteran
Norwegian wearing the red beard, the
leader in the downhill standings.
Hot on the heels of Reichelt. He has
never won the Kitzbuhel downhill but
did win the super-G. The super-G on
Friday was a peculiar affair, ending
at the Hausberg cantor. He's
desperate for downhill success. To
make him one of the all-time greats.
Two Darren Hill wins this season. He
would give those up for success
today. He has won 14 downhill races
in total. Svindal gets set for the
cantor, this is far he crashed at
the end of his season with knee
damage two years ago. He might be
paying the price were that caution
as he comes onto the big Traverse.
The Austrians are happy, his lead is
safe. Svindal will not win in 2018.
He may have to return for another go
next year. How close can he go? It
is good enough for second,
provisionally. Down the area he was
quite good. Just went wide going on
to the jump and as he went over the
jump, he took a split from the gas.
Beat Feuz is something of a star in
Switzerland. He is picking up awards
and mixing with the likes of Roger
Federer, can he take victory today?
Beat Feuz from Switzerland. Can he
do Kitzbuhel double?
46 metres of flight. He has got to
grips with the Streif this year.
Eating up the ground here. He is a
massive unit, Beat Feuz. Dabbles
with the netting but gets away with
it and as we pick him up further
down the chorus, he is travelling at
86 kilometres per hour.
86 kilometres per hour. Beat Feuz
was in danger of having his leg
amputated. He had a terrible run of
injuries, blood poisoning was the
culprit. Look at him now. All
courses for that Kitzbuhel double
potentially. He is closing in. The
Swiss would love to get one over on
the Austrians on the most famous
Austrian mountain of all. Beat Feuz
swings in towards the Hausberg
cantor. That is how to do it. The
line on the Traverse is high, it is
perfect, he has got the green light.
This speed is good. A massive jump,
took it in his stride. Now the final
roller, Beat Feuz for Switzerland,
high, elegant, and first in
Kitzbuhel. Beat Feuz is on for it
the Kitzbuhel double. He really
attacked it. He complained that the
jobs are going too far but on that
run he went for it, 46 metres, nails
the top part of the course. Lost a
little bit of time on the glide but
picked it up brilliantly on the
lower part of the course. Next
Austrian to take his chance
Austrian to take his chance Vincent
Kriechmayr. Kriechmayr sets out to
attempt to conquer Kitzbuhel. That
is good. That is vast. Long flight,
40 metres, look at the speed and
commitment from Kriechmayr and the
green light is on. He has an
advantage of a quarter of a second.
As he approaches the Steihang, needs
to stand hard on the left foot and
avoid any contact. He got away with
it and heads into the forest, has a
lead of three tenths of a second.
Kriechmayr gliding nicely. A chance
to refuel. The Austrians wait and
they have seen that, half a second.
Now the noise levels start to rise
at the foot as Kriechmayr starts to
exert control over his Kitzbuhel
downhill run. It is getting better
for Kriechmayr. .79 in front. He has
got to hold it together here. Get as
close as he dares to these red
control gates. Keep up this speed,
still really positive, .64,. He has
got to get the line right on the way
in towards the big jump that takes
them the Traverse. The landing has
to be soft and high, Kriechmayr,
that is all he has got left. Onto
the Traverse, a little lower than is
ideal. Has he got the strength to
claw this bag, outside of the blue
racing line, that might have cost
him the chance to lead. Vincent
Kriechmayr and Austria goes for the
line in the fog.
When those green
lights were going on for Vincent
Kriechmayr, the Austrian crowd were
But they know that when
you come onto that Traverse you need
to be high and up by the gate so you
can carry this speed. He was about
ten metres low and off-line and that
is where he lost the race. In the
start-up is Thomas Dressen. Of the
piste he loves the great outdoors.
Can he cascade down the Streif and
make a big splash with victory in
Kitzbuhel? Number 19 Thomas Dressen
from Germany. He is on his way in
Kitzbuhel. Crashed out of this
competition 12 months ago. Finished
third in Beaver Creek in December.
That is one of the other really
tough World Cup downhill races in
Colorado. Then level with Beat Feuz
at the early intermediate guideline
times, he comes diving down towards
the Steihang. He races for Germany
but he grew up training in Austria.
He is sponsored by an Austrian ski
resort where his father died
tragically in a ski lift accident in
2005. One of eight people who
perished after a helicopter dropped
a concrete block on top of a cable
car. The most horrific day in the
mountains. Now Thomas Dressen is
moving along nicely. Good gliding
through the forest. No German has
won World Cup downhill for 13 years,
the last man to win in Kitzbuhel won
in 1979. His son is racing later in
the competition. He is watching
today. He was from West Germany and
1979, that is how long it has been.
Thomas Dressen holding it together,
he has got sunshine to show the way,
he has a window in the weather and
he can take more chances. He has got
a tenth of a second on the Traverse,
he has still got the green light.
Last section now, Thomas Dressen
from Germany, skiing to make a
little bit of history in Kitzbuhel.
He tucks in for the line, Thomas
Dressen takes first position! By two
tenths of a second. So unfortunate
for a Thomas Dressen because the sun
has come out, because he was ranked
tenth in the world, 19 was the
number was left that no one wanted,
but this has counted, he took his
opportunities, skied brilliantly at
the top and as he came on to the
final Traverse he was high and that
was the difference between his run
and his competitor, he could carry
it to the finish and what a way to
come into the finish. In the lead,
incredible. Another German now this
is Andreas Sander encouraged out of
the start by the German team.
the start by the German team. 43
metres, long flight for Andreas
Sander and he is not far behind his
team-mates, the Germans mean
business here today.
business here today. The investment
into the German ski team is
beginning to bring dividends. Off he
goes into the woods and hot on the
heels of his team-mate, that is a
massive jump into the sunshine off
the counter. The weather was good
for Thomas Dressen and it is good
for his team-mate as well he has
flattened the control gate, that has
probably cost him the lead but he
may still register a personal best.
Andreas Sander is theirs and the
Germans are on fire. Andreas Sander
into fifth place. This race is far
from over. If the track starts to
speed up as well we could see the
biggest surprise in Kitzbuhel
history. This is Marc Gisin from
Switzerland, his sister is the
women's Olympic downhill champion.
He shared the -- she shared the gold
medal in Sochi. Marc Gisin is
returning from injury and returning
from form. He has still got sunshine
to help show the way. Down the
Streif and he has made a good start.
The Swiss had the late for a long
time courtesy of Beat Feuz. Could
Marc Gisin give the Swiss another
chance at victory in Kitzbuhel?
Here's a little scruffy there. Hands
down on the snow as he gets thrown
around on the big Traverse. Stands
on the left ski and takes the little
roller. And now tucks in for the
line. I don't think he will win it,
but it could be Olympic selection
for Marc Gisin. That was an
impressive run for Marc Gisin
because the sun which came out for a
Thomas Dressen has now gone back in
again. Marc Gisin really fast,
attacked the whole run from start to
finish. It was a disappointing day
for the defending champion who had
an uncharacteristically scrappy run
which left in 11th position. On the
podium with him 12 ago was the
Frenchman and he had a less
accessible day as he fell victim to
trouble on the Streif. Also losing
the battle was American Jared
Goldberg. Finally on a day of
surprises, the relatively unknown
Frenchman nipped in to finish in
seventh place. Confirmation of an
unforgettable day for Thomas
Dressen. He is their champion in
Kitzbuhel. They say you need
experience to win in Kitzbuhel but
last year, you did not even make the
That is what they told
me. You need a lot of experience. I
watched someone, he is a real role
model to me. I thought it was not a
bad run and I tried to do the same
as he did. When I looked out of the
start gate, I thought it looked
really good and I tried to push from
the top to the bottom.
While the fastest men in the world
have been competing in Kitzbuhel,
the women's World Cup
is in Cortina, Italy.
Chemmy Alcott has been there for us
to endulge in a feast of racing.
This is one of the toughest
challenges on the women's World Cup
circuit. Set in the inspiring
Dolomites, the athlete start by
launching themselves towards the top
section of the course, which is
relatively easy but then they have
to tackle this ball away, really
difficult left footed double. The
toughest and most challenging part
of this course is this. The racers
enter with a relatively serene 30
mph before launching up to 75 mph in
a matter of seconds. This year it is
even tougher with double airtime. On
the exit, you have a jump. The exit
of this double it is imperative that
the athletes, tied to set themselves
up for the technical session
following. It is also where Lindsey
Vonn crashed twice in the races here
one year ago. We call this the money
gate, because of the two rain coming
into it, the athletes cannot see the
gate, they have to make the switch
in the air are blind. As if the
challenge was not difficult enough,
the girls had to do it twice in two
days this weekend.
A little over the tales of their
skis but she gets away with it.
Floats that jump away. Chasing the
time of the current leader,
Schmidhoffer of Austria. Building
all the way. The finale to come,
this man-made jump celebrating
Cortina's hosting of the 2021 World
Championships, Goggia is into the
She comes in with a second
lead. She doesn't normally like this
run but that was super clean and
The incredible Mikaela
Shiffrin from Colorado, still in her
early 20s. The Olympic and world
slalom champion has developed into a
downhill skier. She was in front of
Goggia. Mikaela Shiffrin is flying.
She has got the quickest speed of
the race so far. 131.3 kilometres
per hour as she stands on the right
ski for this huge sweeping turn. 101
through the second speed trap,
trailing Goggia by 7.4. It's looking
like it might be good enough for a
top three finish for Mikaela
Shiffrin. Second for the moment. The
great Lindsey Vonn, wearing number
13 today. Familiar fiddling with the
hands around the ski pole handles.
78 World Cup winds in her
78 World Cup winds in her career. --
wins. 135 kilometres per hour, a
little wild there. It is an unusual
racing line, let's see if it pays
dividends for Lindsey Vonn. She's
absolutely charging. 56.97. Her
mistake has cost her a little bit of
time but it is still green for the
American. Some mistakes have crept
into Lindsey Vonn's downhill. Goggia
leading for Italy, Mikaela Shiffrin
second for the USA, Lindsey Vonn has
completed her run and goes into
second. She has missed the win. Two
Americans on the podium now.
nailed the top section of that
course, then huge mistakes getting
caught on the back on the inside ski
and a really good fight to stay
inside the course but it through her
race away and she came into second.
I'm really happy with what I've
achieved as a result, not so happy
with my ski performance but still I
attacked in style and we got it.
Mancuso Has made the difficult
decision to retire after struggling
with a hip injury for the last few
After 36 podiums and four
Olympic medals, how did you decide
today was it?
It was really hard but
skiing has been a huge part of my
life, I love it but unfortunately
with an injury it has held me back
but everything else is great. It's
been an incredible journey, I love
travelling, I love the experiences I
have made and I will continue just
to be involved in the future as best
I can and figure out where the next
journey will take me.
claiming her first ever home victory
today making it back to back wins in
downhill. Setting us up beautifully
for another battle tomorrow. Yet
again, Cortina delivers four-day two
of racing. Goggia attributed her win
to the tough piste.
Wearing the red bib, and what a
beautiful day in Cortina on this
Saturday. Her team-mate leading the
way at this stage.
way at this stage. Goggia is in
trouble. What a recovery! Her airbag
has inflated. Skiers wear these
protective airbags within their
suits. She's all right.
suits. She's all right. Weirather
from fantastic ski racing pedigree,
both of her parents were World Cup
winners and her mother was an
Olympic medallist as well. She races
-- Liechtenstein. Weirather, putting
down a fantastic run. 1.2 seconds
clear of the leader at the base of
the mountain. All she has to do is
stay on her feet, and Weirather will
lead the way in Cortina. Nearly a
second and a half quicker. Lindsey
Vonn was second on Friday,
determined to go one better in this
Saturday downhill. The way she goes.
78 World Cup wins to her name, will
79 come today? The early signs are
promising, four tenths faster than
Weirather at the intermediate. And
Weirather's lead may well be about
to end. She hammers towards the
finishing line, on her way
potentially to World Cup win number
79. Off the final jump, and home.
Yes, she has got it. Nearly one
second. Lindsey Vonn in a different
class, leading in Cortina.
Capitalising on the amazing
conditions, full of confidence,
skiing flawlessly from top to
bottom. On the limit with the inside
hand down but a fantastic run there.
Number 14, the American Jacqueline
Wiles who was struggling for
financial support to race on the
World Cup. So Lindsey Vonn made her
first ambassador of the Lindsey Vonn
foundation. On course potentially
for a podium place. She's in
trouble, she's got them sideways,
then aerial! Somehow she stayed on
the track. What a run from
Jacqueline Wiles! It is still fast.
It has been fun to watch, she will
be relieved when it finishes. So
Lindsey Vonn leading the way here in
Cortina as Jacqueline Wiles comes
off the final jump and on the podium
again she's third!
Was that the
It was pretty solid. I
was happy with the way I skied, more
clean than yesterday. Just really
happy with my performance. I have
really good self confidence now and
I'm in a perfect place going into
Are you gutted in the
little way that Goggia didn't finish
and you couldn't have a clean
Yes, we are really
competitive and she knows what's
coming but she knew I would be
charging today. I think she pushed
the limits and that's what happens
with ski racing. I almost pushed it
too far yesterday but she will be
tough for the rest of the season and
especially the Olympics.
epic weekend of racing here from
Cortina. Goggia yesterday taking her
first ever home victory, and today
Lindsey Vonn one step closer to
those record books.
Kristofferson took his first win of
the season, beating Marcel Hirscher
into second. It is that time of year
when the ski racing comes thick and
fast. On Tuesday, Ski Sunday Extra
has live coverage of this famous
night slalom from Schladming. It is
loud, brash, and a race that always
delivers. Watch it live on the red
button, online and on your connected
TV. Lizzy Yarnold narrowly missed
out on a medal as she finished
fourth. It was her best result since
her bronze medal last November. Now
it is time for ski social.
After last week's feature
on Chase, the snowboarder
with additional needs,
we've had a couple of amazing videos
sent our way to further prove
that the slopes are for everyone.
This is Oscar, aged 9,
catching a ride with Stefan
from the Swiss ski school
in Saenenmoser - the shreaks
of delight tell you everything
you need to know.
I've had a go on one of those.
It is so much fun.
And Rachel has sent in a video
of her incredible 10-year-old
daughter Eilidh, who's completely
blind but has been skiing,
following a voice amplifier
and her guide Jamie.
We absolutely love this.
Please keep sending your
pictures and videos in.
There's always a great variety
of terrain, styles and skill,
and we welcome everyone
on Ski Social.
Use the hashtag Ski Sunday.
And don't be shy or embarrassed -
we're just as likely
to show a fail or fall,
especially if you can get back up
again like Ben here.
Keep your questions coming too -
we always get a few
after you've done a course run.
Mike wants to know if you get
more than one go at it,
and Sarah's been asking why you do
it with a handheld camera
instead of a helmet cam?
A helmet mount would make things
A helmet mount would make things
easier because I could use two poles
but it would make uncomfortable
viewing back home. For the forward
facing camera I use this stabiliser
which keeps the camera steady. The
ski tip camera shows how bumpy it
is, this uses duct tape because
otherwise it would come flying off
like it did ten years ago. To answer
Mike's question, I only get one go
at it before the race starts.
interesting to me is watching
Graham's testosterone and adrenaline
levels going from normal to beast
mode. Thankfully they return to
normal, whatever that is, when he
takes the downhill skis off.
will be no need for those skis next
week because we are in Schladming.
In front of 50,000 screaming fans.
We will be tasked with following all
of the action as the chaos unfolds.
Yep, it's certainly a unique
challenge for us all,
but we wouldn't have
it any other way.
See you then.
COMMENTATOR: The noise is