Six races in less than two weeks, the speed prelude for the alpine ski aces in North America is tough. The two training sessions for the World Cup downhill runs in Lake Louise have shown that the battle for the podium on Friday (8:00 p.m.) and Saturday (8:15 p.m.) will be extremely close. The ÖSV athletes can justifiably hope to get involved right at the front, above all the new “team oldie” Max Franz after his ranks one and three.
“From the point of view of skiing, it fits very well,” said Franz confidently looking ahead. He didn’t want to deny his role as one of the favorites. “I want to be right at the front, that’s the goal. If you want that, then the other thing is inevitable, ”said the Carinthian. However, the competition is fierce, not only because the top ten were only separated by a little more than a second in training, but above all because aces such as the Swiss defending champion Beat Feuz certainly still have a lot of reserves in the tank.
But Matthias Mayer also has a say in the race for the podium. In training, the Carinthian finished 11th and 8th. “There are a few more waves built in than in the previous years. Nevertheless, it worked relatively well, we can expect an interesting race, ”said the double Olympic champion from Carinthia.
Vincent Kriechmayr, on the other hand, is waving a bit behind expectations. In training he was 42nd twice. The Upper Austrian didn’t let that throw him off course at all. “I feel really good, the material is great, and in terms of health I am also in top shape,” said Austria’s athlete of the year 2021.
A Super-G should follow in Lake Louise on Sunday. The cancellation of the third training planned on Thursday due to poor weather forecasts – snow and wind – for the most part suited the athletes quite well due to the intensive program, regeneration and tinkering were on the agenda. At the second speed station, the route continues in Beaver Creek (2 Super-G, 1 descent). “We have a hard time waiting for us, you have to manage your strength well,” Franz knew.
You can also quickly get into position with regard to the individual discipline scores. “It’s important to be in good early shape. You have to be there in the first races if you want to fight for the balls, ”says Kriechmayr. The 30-year-old Upper Austrian does not want to put himself under great pressure, however, his gaze is directed from race to race. “I want to fight at the front in every race, whether it is enough for victories or medals, you will see.” The big season highlight follows in February with the Olympic Games.