The 71 International Hahnenkamm Race is one of the highlights of the ski racing season. On the weekend of 21 to 23 January 2011 Kitzbühel hosts four events of the Men's Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup: Super G, the famous Downhill on the Streif one of the most demanding runs of the FIS downhill calender, Slalom and Combined. With a total prize money purse of 550,000 Euros and nearly 80,000 spectators expected during the weekend, the Hahnenkanmm races are by known as the most prestigious during the World Cup season. The Kitzbühel races are part of the the Club 5+ Alpine Classics, a union of the leading alpine ski race organizers from all over the world. It was founded 1988 upon an idea of worldcup founder and sports journalist Serge Lang. Charter members had been the “Five” downhill classic sites in the alps”, Gardena/Gröden (ITA), Garmisch (GER), Kitzbühel (AUT), Wengen (SUI), Val d’Isere (FRA).
Kitzbühel is one of Austria's best known and fanciest winter sport resorts. The city is situated along the river Kitzbühler Ache, and the car free historic centre is spectacular with cobbled streets and lovely medieval buildings.The Kitzbühel Ski Paradise located at 800 meters above sea level, is conveniently embedded in the Kitzbüheler Horn, Bichlalm and Hahnenkamm mountain ranges offering 55 modern lifts, managed by the Bergbahn AG Kitzbüheland, serving 170 kilometres of ski runs (91 kilometres snow-covered) for all levels and abilities and 33 kilometres of signed ski routes.
The Hahnenkamm-Race is one of the highlights of the annual ski-racing calendar. Over 40 TV stations cover the race and it is a priceless event that captivates even those who do not usually follow ski racing. Only the best win on the hardest Downhill in the world. The names of past winners read like a who’s who of ski racing, from Killy, Sailer, Schranz and Collombin, to Klammer, Read, Zurbriggen, Heinzer, Aamodt, Strobl, Maier, Eberharter, Walchhofer, Rahlves and Cuche.
From the breathtaking start at 1665 metres (5465 feet) above sea level, racers plunge down the
slope’s vertical drop of 860m (2822 ft) at speeds up to 150 km/h (93mph), covering the 3312
metres (10,866 feet) of the course in less than two minutes before dramatically crossing the finish line in the spectator-packed finish area. Yet the Hahnenkamm-Races are more than simple statistics, and behind these numbers lies the greatest ski spectacle in the world. The Downhill on Kitzbühel’s almost impossibly difficult slope, the Streif, leaves one continually searching for superlatives that could adequately portray it. The simplest way to describe this drop down the most fearsome slope on the World Cup tour is simply: "The Race". What Wimbledon is for Tennis and Monaco is for Formula 1, "Kitz" is for ski racing.