Vincent Kriechmayr took Gold on the Men's Super-G during a first brutal day of racing at the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo. With a time of 1:19.41 running with bib 5, He swooped in to beat former teammate Romed Baumann by 0.07 seconds and Alexis Pinturault by 0.38 seconds, who ended up in second and third place, respectively.
The 29-year-old Austrian not only showed strong nerves and a good feel for the snow as a favorite, but he also delivered a tactical masterpiece that no racer on the new Vertigine track could match.
It is his first gold and third medal for Kriechmayr. He had claimed silver (Super-G) and bronze (Downhill) at the world championships in Åre in 2019.
The last 14 Men's super-G titles at the world championships and Olympic Games have been won by 14 different skiers (2003-2021).
"I watched the guys performing with bibs 1, 2, 3 and they all missed the gate. It was a really tough race for me, it wasn’t perfect, but it’s a nice way to start the world championships", Kriechmayr said.
35-year-old Baumann, who didn't make a podium since the 2014-2015 World Cup, is the first skier to win a medal at the world championships with two different countries: he was a bronze medallist for Austria in the combined event at the world champs in Schladming in 2013.
Overall World Cup leader Alexis Pinturault had his best Super G performance of the season and took a surprise bronze.
The Men's Super G marked the debut of the brand new racecourse Vertigine (which translates as "vertigo"), which was never tested before and will be used at the Milano-Cortina 2026 Winter Games.
And the setting from Italian coach Alberto Ghidoni caused a few problems to the competitors.
The first three skiers to go down failed to finish the race: Christian Walder of Austria and Switzerland's Loic Meillard and Mauro Caviezel couldn't hold the line and all three missed the same gate after the Vertigine jump 18 more competitors DNF.