Austria and Vincent Kriechmayr enjoyed their third win of the season in the Streif. In a super thrilling and spectacular race, Vincent Kriechmayr beats Italian Florian Schieder by 0.23 seconds. Niels Hintermann finished in third place +0.31 seconds behind.
For Kriechmayr it's his 15th victory in the World Cup (31st podium), the eighth in the Downhill. After winning in Val Gardena-Gröden, Bormio, Wengen (twice), and now on the Streif in Kitzbühel, he has won all the European Downhill Classics.
It's his second podium in the Downhill in Kitzbühel. He finished in second place behind Matthias Mayer in 2020. With his victory today, he scored the "double" as he also won the Super-G in Kitzbühel in 2021.
Austria has won the World Cup Downhill event on the Streif (Kitzbühel) a record 25 times.
"I made some little mistakes but risked everything in the Traverse today -half a meter more and this would have been it for me. This is why I lost some time in the finish but the rest was 100 percent on the limit. I gave it everything", Kriechmayr said.
"For an Austrian downhiller winning in Kitzbühel is everything. It’s the most important downhill race of the season. Everybody wants to win here", added a visibly emotional Kriechmayr.
With 409 points Vincent Kriechmayr is now second in the Downhill World Cup standings, 101 points behind Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (520).
With bib number 43, Florian Schieder was the surprise of the day finishing on the podium for the first time in his career. Two years ago, the 28-year-old had his best World Cup result to date, finishing 14th in Kitzbühel.
For him, a man with just 10 previous top-30 World Cup results in his entire career, today is a day he will never forget.
"Second place at the finish was almost a shock. Everything went perfectly. The light was better for me, of course, but you have to be able to take advantage of that first", Schieder said.
Niels Hintermann finished on the podium for the sixth time in the World Cup. "I have to risk a lot mentally. Actually, I did it pretty well. Kitzbühel is simply the most legendary descent there is. It is with a heavy heart that I say this as a Swiss. It's really a cool Downhill and it's really, really fun to be able to ski here", said Hintermann.
The first Downhill in Kitzbühel was spectacular, but for Marco Odermatt and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde it almost ended in a crash with unpredictable consequences.
First Marco Odermatt was able to miraculously avoid a terrible fall and made it to the finish line in 54th place, 3.20 seconds behind Kriechmayr. "I'm glad I didn't end up on the net. Now I have to take it easy on my knee and keep looking day by day", Odermatt said to SRF. He will not start the Downhill on Saturday.
A few minutes later, with bib 14, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde narrowly averted a major crash into the nets in the final traverse as he produced a miraculous save and made to the finish line to end in 16th place.
"It was close to catastrophe, but I made it. I've been lucky", Kilde said.
Kilde's teammate Henrik Roa was less lucky and suffered a nasty crash in the finish line. According to the Norwegian Ski Association, he suffered a broken fibula.