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22 Януари 2012 - 18:45
Hahnenkamm-Races: Into the History Books
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ALPINE SKI. The final event of the 72nd Hahnenkamm-Races, the Slalom, was no less dramatic than the Downhill. In Kitzbühel, at least, the technical discipline will never be revered in the same way as the Downhill, since most importantly it lacks the fear factor. Yet it royally entertains the crowds with an equivalent number of twists and turns in fortune as the competitors face in gates on the course. It is also an arena of true sporting endeavour, with dedicated athletes dicing within a hairsbreadth of failure to shave vital tenths of seconds from their time. Cristian Deville of Italy turned heads as he turned round a fourth place deficit of 0.73 seconds on the official Rolex Timing in the first run, to beat Mario Matt of Austria by a similar margin in the second run, and take home the title.

Deville's second run time in the wet, unstable snow that covered the Ganslern was exceptional. Only Wolfgang Hoerl of Germany clocked faster on the Rolex Timing, and he had less to lose, eventually only able to finish 8th. Deville survived the efforts of not just Matt, who was full of praise for the Italian, but Ivica Kostelic from Croatia, who Deville referred to as "the machine".

If anyone doubts the excellence and achievement of the skiers who posted two times on the Rolex Timing, bear in mind that to win in the Slalom you have to push hard in both runs, all the while judging the fine balance of risk and reward on a slope that defies imagination with its tightly placed gates and impossibly angled slopes. According to Matt, "the second run was really hard to ski, full of bumps and holes. You either risk everything or you make a clean run. Cristian skied the perfect run."

Hahnenkamm History
Today at the finish of the 72nd Hahnenkamm Races, another set of names have been inscribed in the ledger of record, that lists the heroes of Alpine Skiing that have tamed the mountain courses at Kitzbühel.

Didier Cuche of Switzerland took the blue riband Downhill on the Streif for the third time in a row, and, the fourth time and final time in his career. With the achievement of at least four wins in the full Downhill, Cuche joins an exclusive club with Franz Klammer. Arguably Cuche holds the edge over Klammer, with a Sprint Downhill to his name. Kostelic put Cuche's legacy into perspective, "Didier is certainly the greatest downhiller of our generation. His victories are pure, he is a true gentleman, and he deserves it all."

The Croatian sensation is carving out his own legacy at Kitzbühel. He has yet to win the Slalom here, something he will surely rectify one day. In the meantime, he is unstoppable in the Classical Combined - the Downhill result combined with the result of the two Slalom runs. This race is now unique to Kitzbühel, and for Kostelic an amateur historian, it has true meaning, "The Classical Combined is one of the oldest disciplines in Alpine Skiing, it has a very fine tradition. From a sporting point of view it is more valuable because you have to ski the whole Downhill and the whole Slalom. After both these you can see where you really stand. It's pure." It has long been felt in Kitzbühel that the winner of the Combined is the true winner of the Hahnenkamm-Races. For a respecter of tradition and sporting integrity, it must make these victories all the sweeter for Kostelic.

Hahnenkamm by the Numbers
With the unfortunate cancellation of the Super-G due to bad weather, the 72nd Hahnenkamm-Races replicated the very first event in 1931 when competitors also raced across only two disciplines, Downhill and Slalom.

Major differences exist in the number of participants: 48 from a handful of countries in 1931. In 2012, competition comprised 132 skiers representing 24 nations, including some less familiar countries lining up along the powerhouses of Austria and Switzerland. Skiers from Argentina, Bulgaria, Greece, Japan, Korea and Macedonia have pitted their abilities against the very best in Alpine skiing.

The Downhill course at Kitzbühel has been shortened at least four times in its eighty-year history. The last time was in 2003, when Darron Rahlves of the USA won.

Quotable Mentions
Asked whether he was surprised to find himself 1.45 sec ahead on the official Rolex Timing at the end of the second run, Cristian Deville replied, " I was not good enough in the first run and I thought that I would be too far behind, I thought I might make 4th place. So I have to laugh about it. I have always been beaten this season, sometimes by a bit more, sometimes by a bit less. The time difference between the first-placed guy and me was quite a bit on the first run and, so having seen the result, I have to say it was a dream run. I hope I will be able to repeat this in the future."

Kostelic had mixed feelings about his performances, but overall was pleased with his results at the 72nd Hahnenkamm-Races, which resulted in a third Classical Combined in a row, "I am very satisfied with my weekend after the crash in the Downhill training when I hurt my ankle. I was lucky that the Super-G was cancelled so I had one more day of therapy, I was not entirely happy with the Downhill, I lost too much time for such a short course, but it was good enough for the Combined. And today was a very tough race after all the rain all night long."

Romed Baumann on the loss of Cuche to the sport, "look at his results. He really influenced the skiing over the past few years. and once again he wrote history here in Kitzbühel. It is like last year, when Michael Walchhofer said "good bye" to the ski sport. For us it might be an advantage if personalities like them retire from the professional sport, but it is also sad because everybody knows that Didier is a real fair player."

When Klaus Kroell (3rd in DH) was asked if it got on his nerves always having Cuche in the prime seat at the Downhill press conference, everybody broke into laughter at his response, "Of course, but this is the last time he is going to sit here!" When the laughter died down, Kroell added to Baumann's plaudits, "The performance of Didier is incredible: to win 5 times. So it is good that he is not staying but, of course, it's also a pity that the alpine ski racing is losing a champion like him."

Rolex Reminder
Next week, Rolex's partnership with speed moves from Kitzbühel to Daytona Beach in Florida, USA. In 1992, Rolex became the title sponsor of the Daytona Speedway's pre-eminent endurance race, the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. On 28 January 2012, the fiftieth anniversary edition gets underway: follow this event and more Rolex partnered motorsport at
www.caracingnews.com

For detailed information about the 72nd Hahnenkamm-Races including entrants and results please visit the event website: www.hahnenkamm.com

KPMS
January 22, 2012


 

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Следваща:
Жак Рох закри Олимпийските игри в Инсбрук – 23 Януари 2012 - 03:40
1st World Snow Day is history – 23 Януари 2012 - 20:18
Straddle Gate controversy bears no weight – 23 Януари 2012 - 22:27
Хиршер триумфира и в Шладминг – 24 Януари 2012 - 22:43
Костелич и Вон първи по пари от наградния фонд за Световната купа – 25 Януари 2012 - 10:39

Предходна:
IOC President Jacques Rogge predicts a bright future for Youth Olympic Games – 22 Януари 2012 - 18:26
Колоня и Ковалчик спечелиха класиката в Отепаа – 22 Януари 2012 - 18:24
Италианецът Кристиан Девил със сензационна победа на слалома в Кицбюел – 22 Януари 2012 - 16:32
Кирхгасер триумфира на слалома в Кранска Гора – 22 Януари 2012 - 15:09
Грегор Шлиренцауер спечели втория ски скок в Закопане – 21 Януари 2012 - 22:25

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