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Kitzbühel Ski Club hosts 75th Hahnenkamm Races

Kitzbühel Ski Club hosts 75th Hahnenkamm Races Mattias Hargin wins on the Ganslernhang

The Hahnenkamm Races have been the most important event for Kitzbühel Ski Club since 1931.

Over the course of time, Austria’s greatest ski festival has evolved into one of the most prestigious ski sporting events worldwide and ranks highly in the international sports world.

Winning at Kitzbühel is a true highlight in every skier’s sporting career.

The ski world converges on Kitzbühel every year on the third weekend of January. 

This has been made possible not only because of the deep commitment shown for this major event by the current functionaries, and workers, but also their forebears and predecessors, who invested the incredible groundwork needed.

Using experience gathered from the past, the future can be planned with foresight and vision.

The sport itself and junior talents were the focus of these anniversary races.

The 75th Hahnenkamm Races were heralded by the breath-taking documentary film ‘Streif - One Hell of a Ride’, which premiered in cinemas on December 25th.

The Streif enjoyed the most successful launch ever in the history of Austrian documentary films.

The box offices rang up ticket sales of 160,000 tickets by the 21st January 2015.

Race Week 2015

There were a number of reasons for officially opening the race week on Tuesday evening.

The Legends Park at the foot of the Hahnenkamm, which is dedicated to past and present ski heroes, was the perfect venue for such a celebration.

The bitter cold didn’t stop numerous Kitzbühel fans and visitors from all around attending the opening ceremony.

A monument crafted by local sculptor Gregor Unterreiner in memory of Toni Sailer - athlete of the century – was unveiled by his former friends and fellow ‘Ski Wonder Team’ colleagues from the 1950s, Anderl Molterer, Ernst Hinterseer, Hias Leitner and Fritz Huber, as well as Sailer’s son Florian.

The sculpture is in the shape of a large, black bolt eponymous with Toni Sailer’s film.

A new plaque of honour was also presented to the public, dedicated to all Hahnenkamm winners to date.

Furthermore, a commemorative stamp was issued, uniting Toni Sailer’s 80th birthday and the 75th Hahnenkamm Race jubilee.

The young skiers participating in the Hahnenkamm Juniors played a large role in the opening ceremony: during the parade of nations, Kitzbühel Ski Club president Michael Huber welcomed all the young athletes, before each of them was introduced on stage.

Hahnenkamm Juniors

“The future belongs to the young” was the motto for the 75th Hahnenkamm Races.

A fitting maxim for the biggest Hahnenkamm Juniors event thus far in Kitzbühel’s skiing history, which was held on the Ganslernhang on Wednesday.

Some 12 Teams from nine nations – more than ever before – competed in a Giant Slalom and Slalom race, which was won by Team Tyrol.

“For the juniors to race a Giant Slalom on the original Ganslern, is just as demanding as the Alta Baida World Cup classic Giant Slalom,” said Kitzbühel Ski Club president Huber

Downhill Course

Two training runs – the first on Tuesday, the second on Thursday – were held in a timely manner and optimum piste and weather conditions on the Streif.

The Downhill course setting bore the unmistakeable signature of Hannes Trinkl, the new FIS Race director for speed competitions.

The last training run on Thursday attracted a whopping 5,000 spectators!

Favourite, Kjetil Jansrud, dominated both training sessions.

Super Friday

Super Friday, with the Super-G and floodlit Combined Slalom races attracted a super number of spectators: 19,000 in total – more than ever before – followed the two races on the first day of the World Cup weekend.

Dominik Paris, Streif victor 2013, won the Super-G with a 0.06 second lead on Austrian athlete Matthias Mayer and Georg Streitberger.

The Combined Slalom was held by floodlight and Alexis Pinturault was crowned Hahnenkamm winner.

As in 2014, Marcel Hirscher came second and Ondrej Bank celebrated the “best day of his life” in third place of the Hahnenkamm Combined.

Kitzbühel History

The slip crew were up all night from Friday to Saturday to clear new snow from the piste.

Despite all efforts, the start of the race had to be postponed for two hours: thick fog in the upper part of the slope would have impaired racers’ visibility.

As always, athletes’ safety was highest priority, which led the jury to make an unusual decision: the start would be moved down to the Seidlaalm, making it the shortest downhill race ever to have taken place in Kitzbühel’s skiing history.

One of the favourites, Kjetil Jansrud (58.16 seconds) won the Downhill title, beating second placed Dominik Paris by a mere two hundredths of a second.

Some 45,000 spectators turned up to watch the race.

World Cup Win on the Ganslernhang

On Sunday, the Ganslernhang once again justified its reputation as being one of the most challenging slalom hills in the world, with an icy track and numerous transitions: the top favourite to win, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, was in the lead after the first run.

After the second run, however, he had no choice but to concede defeat to Matthias Hargin from Sweden, who relegated Hirscher into second place by a margin of 0.49 seconds and was able to celebrate his first World Cup victory on the Ganslernhang.

Third place went to defending champion Felix Neureuther, 0.69 seconds behind Hargin. 22.00 spectators turned up to watch the race.

World Ski Awards

As a global leader in ski tourism, Kitzbühel each year welcomes the World Ski Awards.

Launched in 2012, World Ski Awards aims to drive up standards within the ski industry by rewarding the organisations that are leaders in their field.

Votes were cast by professionals working within the ski industry – senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media - and by the public (ski tourism consumers).

Winners are announced at the annual World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony, held in 2014 at A-ROSA Kitzbühel.

The World Ski Awards Gala Ceremony 2015 will return to the resort in November this year, with more information on the official website.