Kitzbühel 2022. Downhill and Slalom Races Preview
Downhill. Friday, January 21st. 11:30 (CET)
Slalom Saturday, January 22nd. 1st run 10:15, 2nd run 13:45 (CET)
Downhill. Sunday, January 23rd. 13:30 (CET)
The Downhill race is held on the Hahnenkamm mountain (the name translates to "Rooster’s Comb"), one of the mountains surrounding the ski resort town of Kitzbühel.
The Hahnenkamm racecourse, the Streif (or the "Stripe"), is considered one of the most demanding runs of the FIS downhill calendar.
Hot on the heels of the Lauberhorn Races in Wengen, Switzerland – another of the great alpine ski classics and the oldest one-, the race first took place on today’s Streif course in 1937.
Last season, after finishing in second place four times in Kitzbühel (2016, 2018, 2019, 2020) Beat Feuz claimed victory in both Downhills held in the Hahnenkamm Downhill.
In the first one, on January 22, Feuz finished ahead of Matthias Mayer, the 2020 Kitzbühel downhill winner (+0.16), and Dominik Paris (+0.56), the only active skier to have won multiple World Cup Downhill races in Kitzbühel (2013, 2017, and 2019). Beat Feuz put the hammer down and clocked the fastest time on the Streif racecourse, 1:53.77 seconds, the fastest anyone has skied down the full course since his countryman Didier Cuche did it three-hundredths faster some 11 years ago.
The race was overshadowed by two big crashes and big delays.
First, Ryan Cochran-Siegle suffered a high-speed crash into the protective netting before the traverse below the Hausberg.
Four racers later Swiss Urs Kryenbuehl suffered a serious crash in the last jump before the finish line.
After the two interruptions, the weather started to turn for the worse with a southerly wind creating dangerous conditions and creating further delays.
After an interminable wait and once the bib number 30 Nicolas Raffort had completed the racecourse, the race jury stopped the race.
Two days after earning his first career win on the Streif, Beat Feuz added a second victory in Kitzbühel.
Second place went to Johan Clarey, who Feuz bumped out of the lead after topping the Frenchman by 0.17 seconds. Clarey became the first 40-year-old to earn a podium on the Streif.
Matthias Mayer, who came runner-up to Feuz on Friday, finished 0.38 behind in third.
Austrian skiers have won a record 24 World Cup Downhill races in Kitzbühel. Switzerland (18) is the only other country to have recorded more than five wins on the Streif.
But of the last 15 World Cup Downhill events contested on the Streif, only two were won by Austrian skiers: Hannes Reichelt (2014) and Matthias Mayer (2020).
The seven skiers to have won on the Streif more than twice in the World Cup are Didier Cuche (5), Franz Klammer (4), Dominik Paris (3), Franz Heinzer (3), Karl Schranz (3), Luc Alphand (3) and Pirmin Zurbriggen (3).
At least one Swiss skier has finished on the podium in each of the last 15 Downhill events in the Men's World Cup: Beat Feuz, Urs Kryenbühl, Carlo Janka, Mauro Caviezel, Niels Hintermann and Marco Odermatt. The last country to reach more successive men's World Cup Downhill podiums was
Austria from 2003 to 2006 (a Men's Downhill record run of 33).
Beat Feuz can become the fifth man to achieve three successive World Cup downhill wins in Kitzbühel, after Schranz (1969-1972), Klammer (1975- 1977), Heinzer (1991-1992), and Cuche (2010-2012). No skier has ever claimed four wins in a row on the Streif.
Only Cuche (7) and Peter Wirnsberger (6) have collected as many World Cup Downhill podiums on the Streif as Feuz (6). Feuz finished in the top three in each of the last five Downhill events held in the Hahnenkammrennen.
Feuz has claimed a men's record 44 World Cup podiums in the Downhill, at least three more than any other skier (41 by Klammer and Peter Müller).
Dominik Paris is the current leader in the Downhill standings. He has claimed three Downhill wins in the Hahnenkammrennen: in 2013, 2017, and 2019. Only Didier Cuche (5) and Franz Klammer (4) have achieved more World Cup wins on the Streif.
Last season, Paris finished in third and seventh place in the Downhill events contested in Kitzbühel. He has been on the podium in Kitzbühel five times.
The Italian also won the super-G in Kitzbühel in 2017 and is one of nine men to have completed the speed double in the Hahnenkammrennen.
The only other active skiers to have achieved this are Matthias Mayer and Kjetil Jansrud.
Paris only recorded more World Cup success in Bormio (7 wins, 7 podiums) than in Kitzbühel (4 wins, 7 podiums). He (16) is two shy of equalling Stephan Eberharter (18) in third place on the men's list for most World Cup Downhill wins.
Matthias Mayer is one of nine men to have completed the speed double in Kitzbühel.
In addition to his Downhill victory in 2020, the Austrian won the super-G in 2017.
Mayer finished on the podium in each of the last three downhill events held on the Streif: First in 2020, and second and third in the 2021 races.
Vincent Kriechmayr won the Super-G at Kitzbühel in 2021 and could become just the 10th man to complete double speed on the Hahnenkammrennen.
Kriechmayr won the last World Cup Downhill, the second race in Wengen on January 15. The last Austrian man to earn back-to-back downhill World Cup wins was Hannes Reichelt in February–March 2015.
He may become the first man since Hermann Maier (2001) to win at Streif as the reigning Downhill World Champion.
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde hopes to become the fourth Norwegian winner on the Streif, after Åtle Skårdal (1990), Lasse Kjus (1999, 2004) and Kjetil Jansrud (2015).
Kilde has won five races this season.
The five Norwegian male skiers to have achieved more than five event wins in a single World Cup season are Kjetil Jansrud (7 in 2014-2015), Aksel Lund Svindal (7 in 2015-2016), Kjetil André Aamodt (6 in 1992-1993), Lasse Kjus (6 in 1998-1999) and Henrik Kristoffersen (6 in 2015-2016).
Marco Odermatt finished second in two of the three most recent World Cup Downhill events. The Swiss can become the first man to claim victories in the Giant Slalom, Super-G, and Downhill in a single World Cup season since Didier Cuche in the 2009-2010 season.
Odermatt has won six races this season. The only Swiss to have claimed more than six World Cup wins in a single season are Pirmin Zurbriggen (11 in 1986-1987) and Paul Accola (7 in 1991-1992).
The last Swiss man other than Beat Feuz to win a downhill event in the World Cup was Patrick Küng, who won in Wengen in January 2014.
The Slalom event take place in the Ganslernhang racecourse. The "Ganslern" is a true classic and one of the slalom’s most iconic courses. In the early days of the Hahnenkamm Races, the Slalom course was placed on the slopes of the Hahnenkamm and Ehrenbachhöhe. The Ganslernhang was used for the first time in 1937 and the race has been held on this traditional hill ever since.
The record holder for the most wins on the Ganslernhang is Ingemar Stenmark, who won five times in Kitzbühel.
In 2020, Daniel Yule won a thrilling race in Kitzbühel, claiming his fourth and last Slalom World Cup win.
Second place went to Marco Schwarz who finished +0.12 seconds behind Yule.
2019 winner Clement Noel finished in third place+0.37 seconds behind the Swiss skier.
Yule is one of two Swiss skiers to have won the Kitzbühel Slalom in the World Cup, alongside Dumeng Giovanoli (1968). The last man to claim back-to-back slalom wins in Kitzbühel was Jens Byggmark, who won both events held in the 2006-2007 season.
Clément Noël is one of three Frenchmen to have won at least nine Slalom events in the World Cup, alongside Jean Noël Augert (13) and Patrick Russel (9).
Noël has achieved all 16 of his World Cup Slalom podiums since the start of 2019. In this same period, no other male skier claimed more than nine Slalom podiums in the World Cup.
The only Frenchman to collect more than two World Cup slalom wins at a single resort is Jean Noël Augert (3 in Kitzbühel).
Henrik Kristoffersen is the only Norwegian to achieve a World Cup win on the Ganslernhang in Kitzbühel. He won in 2016 and 2018. Only Ingemar Stenmark (5), Jean Noël Augert (3), and Marc Girardelli (3) won this race more than twice.
Kristoffersen has won 19 World Cup slalom events, ranking him fourth on the men's list behind Ingemar Stenmark (40), Alberto Tomba (35), and Marcel Hirscher (32).
Sebastian Foss Solevåg won the World Cup slalom race held in Madonna di Campiglio on 22 December. It was the Norwegian's third world level victory in the slalom, after a World Cup win in Flachau on 17 January 2021 and the
gold medal at the World Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo on 21 February 2021.
Kristoffer Jakobsen is the only man to claim multiple slalom podiums this World Cup season. The Swede finished second in Val d'Isère and third in Madonna di Campiglio, his first career World Cup podiums.
Jakobsen can become the first Swedish man to win a World Cup slalom event since André Myhrer in Aspen on 19 March 2017.
Manuel Feller won the final slalom event of the 2020-2021 World Cup season, in Lenzerheide on 21 March.
He finished on the podium in Slalom eight times. The Austrian won two Slalom events in the World Cup. This season he finished second in Adelboden and fifth in the last Salom in Wengen.
Marco Schwarz, the winner of last season's Slalom Crystal Globe, finished 11th in Adelboden and 10th in Wengen after failing to post a result in the opening two Slalom events of this season.
Austrian skiers have claimed a record 14 World Cup victories on the Ganslernhang, but of the last 16 slalom events held in the Hahnenkammrennen, only two were won by an Austrian skier: Marcel Hirscher in 2013 and 2017.
Alexis Pinturault finished second in the Slalom event in Madonna di Campiglio, his 12th World Cup podium in this discipline. The Frenchman won three Slalom events in the World Cup.
The top-10 in the Men's World Cup slalom standings are separated by only 80 points after the opening four Slalom events. There have been four different winners and the 12 podium places have been divided by 11 different athletes (only multiple podiums by Kristoffer Jakobsen).
Last season, the first six Slalom events were won by six different skiers. In total, 12 athletes managed to finish in the top three of a men's World Cup Slalom event last season.
Lucas Braathen claimed his second World Cup win and his first in the Slalom last weekend in Wengen.
Johannes Strolz won the slalom event in Adelboden on 9 January. His previous best World Cup result was 10th place in the Madonna di Campiglio slalom in 2020.