Cuche and Miller show the rest the way to race the Hahnenkamm
Didier Cuche produced one of the performances of his illustrious career in winning his fourth Hahnenkamm Downhill. The perfect conditions and the determination to match saw the 36 year old Swiss Champion join another HEAD racer, Franz Klammer, on four Hahnenkamm wins and also saw him become the oldest Men’s World Cup race winner. With Bode Miller taking second, this was almost the perfect day for HEAD.
Miller was as gracious as ever in recognising that he had been beaten by a better racer on the day: “I thought that I had done enough for the win but when I saw Didier’s run I just had to hold my hands up.” Miller was watching Cuche come down from the finish and was nodding his head as his fellow HEAD ski racer produced a performance of a lifetime that had other Hahnenkamm greats, Klammer and Eberharter gushing.
“I felt things were going well on the way down but to win by almost a second, well….!” explained Cuche afterwards. With 45,000 people watching the master at his work, this was just the tonic that Kitzbuehel needed after the horrific crash to Hans Grugger in training.
Werner Heel followed up his promise that he was ready after training in coming in seventh: “This is really great for Werner, explained Rainer Salzgeber, “as he was on the new skis that we are producing for the next few races.” Salzgeber continued: “This win for Cuche was the one that we wanted though this weekend so it is all really good.”
Kitzbuehel always throws up something spectacular and when Hans Olsson kicked the 71st running of the great event off, he had been asked by Ivica Kostelic to ski safe and not break over the Mausefalle. “I got over the Mausefalle and thought great,” explained Olsson, “then I relaxed and next thing I know I am on my inside heading for the nets. Then I realise that I am up and keep going….” Olsson recognised his lucky escape in the finish but his race was run.
Cuche was the pre race favourite and after a devastating training run as well, this was a just reward for the effort and dedication he puts in. For Miller this was his third second place in Kitzbuehel. “When he is in this form and with fast skis, you just cannot beat him,” admitted Miller. Asked if he would go for the outright most victories (one of his wins was in the sprint downhill), Cuche was non committal but he did have the cheeky grin!
Young Canadian Ben Thomson, in his first visit to Kitzbuehel put in a performance that he should be proud of as he scored points! Not something you take for granted at Kitzbuehel!
The Speedoholics are back!
1. Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD
2. Bode Miller (USA) HEAD
3. Adrien Theaux
7. Werner Heel (ITA) HEAD
17. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
24. Johan Clarey (FRA) HEAD
26 Ben Thomson (CAN) HEAD
27 Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
29 Guillermo Fayed (FRA) HEAD