Adrien Théaux tops the first training in Kitzbuehel
Kitzbuehel has been blessed by Mother Nature and offered amazing winter landscapes today for the first men's downhill training at the legendary Streif.
The fastest time was clocked by Frenchman Adrien Théaux, with 1:57:68. Santa Caterina’s winner immediately made his mark on the Streif and loves the whole Kitzbuehel package.
“I like it when you need to battle to cross the finish line,” said Théaux. “I actually don’t like the path and the two flat turns right after, I’m always losing time there. Kitzbuehel is magic, the atmosphere is great and for us athletes it’s always a unique moment when we ski the Streif. We all try to have our name on one of the gondolas here, it’s something I’ve been chasing since I’m a kid, so I’m looking forward to the race days.”
Théaux was followed by the 2014 Hahnenkamm winner, Hannes Reichelt. Austria’s World Champion is not absolutely comfortable on this year’s slope and didn’t push too hard on this first training.
“The upper part is great,” said Reichelt, “ it becomes tough at the Steilhang, Hausbergkante and Traverse. You really need courage to go over these ones. Today I didn’t push the limits and I was already bounced around by the course. It’s part of the game, we don’t expect highways and that’s what makes it interesting, but I hope that some parts will be rounded off. “
King of Speed Aksel Lund Svindal shared third place with France’s young gun Maxence Muzaton, who’s best performance so far is a 11th place in Kitzbuehel last year.
“The first training turned out well,” said Svindal. “As always in Kitzbuehel it’s not easy and not free of risks, so I didn’t give it all. Like for all the athletes, the first run on the Streif has to be well-thought-out. The line was ok, but I’ll definitively have to risk more and push hard on race day. But it was a good start for me. “
A rest day is scheduled tomorrow, before the second and last training on Thursday. The action-packed program will then go on with a Super-G and an Alpine Combined on Friday, the traditional Hahnenkamm Downhill on Saturday and the Slalom on Sunday.