Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy – Ramona Siebenhofer of Austria claimed back-to-back victories in Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA) as the first woman ever to win two downhills on the Olimpia delle Tofane in the same winter. Prior to Friday, Siebenhofer had two career podiums (both third place) to her name. She doubled her podium tally in two days and also claimed the first wins of her career.
She was joined on the podium by her teammate and downhill standings leader Nicole Schmidhofer, who won back-to-back downhill races earlier this winter in Lake Louise. Schmidhofer was a very slim 0.04 seconds away from the win herself. In consecutive days, two Austrian skiers have shared the podium. Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia, who finished second on Friday, could not be denied a celebration of her own with a third-place finish at 0.51 seconds off the lead.
Unlike on Friday when skiers competed on a shortened track due to overnight snowfall, they were able to use the full-length of the Olimpia delle Tofane on Saturday.
Germans Kira Weidle and Viktoria Rebensburg just missed the podium in fourth and fifth positions, respectively. Christina Ager of Austria joined her teammates in celebration after scoring a ninth-place finish from bib 33. In her return from injury, Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. also finished ninth in a tie with Ager.
Kriechmayr king of 2019 Lauberhorn
Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr played the role of the spoiler in today’s downhill race in Wengen (SUI), edging Swiss hero Beat Feuz by a mere 0.14 seconds to claim his first downhill victory of the 2018-19 Audi FIS World Cup season.
Third place went to Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who continued to build his reputation as the up-and-coming Attacking Viking. Coming down with bib 17, he finished just 0.26 off the winning pace, knocking teammate Aksel Lund Svindal off the podium and into fourth place on the day.
Mother Nature could not have dished up a better day for today’s downhill as sunny skies and crisp temperatures greeted the racers. 37,000 fans flocked to the small Swiss village lining much of famed Lauberhorn, the longest course on the World Cup tour.
The fans were quickly rewarded for their journey when Feuz came down as the fifth racer and took a commanding lead after an excellent run. But the joy would only last for five minutes until Kreichmayr crossed the finish line two racers later and took over the lead. It was only when Kilde raced with blistering speed through the narrow Kernen-S curve that Kriechmayr had reason to be concerned, but on the last interval, Kilde lost time and skied into third place.
It was Kriechmayr’s fourth career World Cup victory and his ninth overall podium. More importantly, his victory today kept the Austrian men’s dominance since the calendar turned to 2019 alive as the nation has grabbed every victory in the New Year.
While Feuz barely missed his chance to grab his third victory in Wengen, he can still say that the Berner Oberland resort has treated him well during his career as it was his fifth podium here.
Tomorrow, the Wengen weekend wraps up as the technical races take over the spotlight with a slalom.