The Streif in Kitzbuehel is indubitably one of the most tough and challenging course on the World Cup Tour and usually, experienced athletes top this spectacular race: Dominik Paris, Peter Fill, Kjetil Jansrud, Hannes Reichelt, Didier Cuche and Didier Defago are the athletes who could put their name on the winning list in the past years. But today, one of the younger guys on the start list made it to the top of the podium.
Thomas Dressen, 24 years old, from Germany. The younggun was in the spotlight earlier this season, as he reached his first World Cup podium in the downhill in Beaver Creek. Lacking experience on the Streif, Dressen watched the runs of the athletes who raced before him and was quickly able to analyse it and adapt his own race line. On his only third season on the World Cup Tour, he even made it to the current third place in the downhill standings, directly behind Aksel Lund Svindal and Beat Feuz, and one point ahead of Kjetil Jansrud.
The “Kugelblitz” from Switzerland had a bad experience in Kitzbuehel last year, as he crashed into the nets on Hausberg with the fastest split times and maybe the winning run under his skis. But his comeback on the toughest downhill on Tour was definitely a successful one, as Beat Feuz finishes second of the 2018 edition, as in 2016. After winning the downhills in Lake Louise and Wengen, the Swiss athlete, who started with bib 7, was hoping for the legendary double “Wengen-Kitzbuehel” and was sitting in the leaderbox for quite a while before Thomas Dressen came down. But in the end, the joy of being on the podium in Kitzbuehel, for the 4th time in his career (also 3rd in the super-g in 2017 and 2nd in the combined in 2012) is one of the best rewards you can get in alpine skiing.
Hannes Reichelt already had the honor of winning Kitzbuehel in front of his home crowd. It was in 2014, he had to undergo surgery on his back in the following days. The 37 years old Austrian found his pace in downhill since his 5th place in Bormio, followed by a 4th place in Wengen and he can finally claim his first podium of the season in his home country; also celebrating his 44 career podium.