'Winnerhofer' crushes the Lauberhorn
WENGEN, Switzerland – Christof Innerhofer nails a perfect run at the Lauberhorn Downhill and walks away with a victory! The Italian pushed as hard the whole way, crossing the finish line in 2 minutes, 29.82 seconds and leaving second ranked Klaus Kroell 0.30 behind. In third place, another Austrian – Hannes Reichelt rounds the podium finishing 0.76 seconds behind Innerhofer.
Innerhofer’s time is over five seconds faster then Beat Feuz’s winning time from 2012. The Italian made sure not to leave any unnecessary hundreds of a second behind.
“I pushed as hard as I could for as long as I could,” Innerhofer said. “I am really happy with my run, I think I made no mistakes but Kroell sure wasn’t joking either and gave it a good shot.”
“I skied a run like never before, I can definitely say that,” Innerhofer continued.
“I was able to push hard in the difficult sections while at the same time being light on the skis on the gliding sections. It’s really special winning here in Wengen – everything is special about this place. The crowd is amazing the train that we use to get to the top is a unique experience and the helicopter ride back into town comes as icing on the cake! I couldn’t be happier!”
With Kroell and Reichelt on the podium today, Austria reached 51 podiums in the Wengen becoming the first country to reach over the number 50. It’s the third venue where Austria has reached over 50 men's World Cup downhill podiums. They have done it in Kitzbühel (61) and Val Gardena (51). No other country has done it at any venue.
Both 32 years old, Kroell and Reichelt have been around the World Cup tour for many years and today apart from sharing the podium they have an additional reason to celebrate.
“I am happy with my second place and I think it was a very good run altogether,” Kroell said. It’s my 20th podium and it’s Hannes’ 22st career podium, sounds like a good number to me.”
Kroell was able to see Innerhofer’s run and despite giving it his best shot, didn’t manage to ski faster then the Italian.
“I was watching Inner’s run from the start and I could tell right away that it would be tough to catch him. “It was one of the toughest Wengen Downhills I have raced – bumpy, icy and the conditions were hard thought the whole course. I was however able to push all the way through the finish and am really happy about that.”
After finishing second in last year’s Downhill, Reichelt’s aims were high today.
“I think Inner had a perfect run and to beat Innerhofer today was unfortunately impossible,” Reichelt said. “At the Kernen S I was a bit too late and wasn’t able to bring the speed out of it. Also, I think my top section was not good enough to be competitive for a victory. I haven’t skied here so many times so in a way it’s still a somewhat new course for me. I really like it though, it’s really good for the way I ski and I am always happy to come here.”
Aksel Lund Svindal who was skiing a great top section of the course but lost a ski after landing the Hundschopf and went crashing into the safety nets. Luckily he walked away uninjured. We saw a few other rather spectacular crashes in today’s race but all racers have walked away on their own two feet.
by Ana Jelusic