Matthias Mayer leads a 1-2 Austrian Podium in Lake Louise
Austria's speed skiers had a dream start of the season in Lake Louise.
Matthias Mayer won the season-opening Downhill at the Canadian Rocky Mountains. In a spectacular race, Mayer edged teammate Vincent Kriechmayr by +0.23 seconds for an Austrian 1-2 finish.
Mayer finished on the podium in each of his last six World Cup Downhill appearances. He is the first Austrian man to claim six successive top-three finishes in World Cup Downhill races since Stephan Eberharter, who set a run of eight in 2003-2004.
Mayer, double Olympic champion (gold medallist in Downhill at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and in the Super-G in Pyeongchang in 2018) made the top of the podium for his 11th Alpine Ski World Cup victory. It is his seventh career Downhill victory and the second time he wins in Lake Louise, after his victory in the Super-G in 2019.
“It was brutally difficult today, with very bad visibility. But the conditions were the same for everyone. The first win of the season is of course a great feeling. It was my goal to win here in Downhill once in my career", said Mayer.
“It was really good and it went faster than in training. I knew it was going to be a close race, so right from the start I tried to go faster. However, the gaps are not that big, so you definitely can't go crazy", he added.
World champion Vincent Kriechmayr was happy after the race. “It's a great start to the season. Bib number one was certainly not a disadvantage. Matthias skiing was great. He deserved the win”.
With today's second place, Kriechmayr has achieved 22 podiums in the World Cup, 8 in Downhill, and 14 in Super-G.
The 30-year-old from Linz had won the final Downhill event of the 2020-2021 World Cup season, in Saalbach-Hinterglemm on 6 March.
Switzerland’s Beat Feuz finished 0.35 behind in third place. World Cup title holder, together with his compatriot Marco Odermatt fourth today, finished close to the two Austrians and he was happy too with the way he started the season. “You have to be satisfied with a podium. Lake Louise is always a difficult place, especially today with poor visibility. It takes a bit of effort to attack fully on the track”, said the Swiss.
Feuz has equaled the Men's record for most World Cup podiums in the Downhill, joining Franz Klammer and Peter Müller with 41. "This is a career milestone", a happy Feuz said.
It can be assumed that Feuz will snatch this record this season. The Emmentaler has been the best and, above all, the most constant downhill skier in the World Cup for years. He has won the Downhill Crystal Globe in each of the last four World Cup seasons. He became the second male skier to win four successive Downhill titles, after Franz Klammer from 1974-1975 to 1977-1978.
Beat Feuz has finished four times on the Downhill podium in Lake Louise: first in 2017, second in 2011, third in 2019, and third again today.
It was an elite podium today with all of the top-three being multiple Olympic, World Champion, or World Cup winners.