The Hahnenkamm 2017
All Eyes on Paris and Neureuther!
They call it the “Streif”. An Austrian World Cup downhill so legendary for its speed and treachery it has struck fear in history’s most courageous downhill racers, from Swiss legend Pirmin Zurbriggen to Norway’s Kjetil André Aamodt.
The world’s most famous downhill race is named after the Streifalm, a meadow on the upper part of the course. But don’t let the word “meadow” mislead you: This Kitzbühel track is a thigh-burning 3,312 metres of sheer ice on which downhillers reach speeds of up to 145 kph on a slope angle that maxes out at 85%. Worse: It’s home to the perilous Mausefalle, named by Toni Sailer Senior, father of the skiing superstar, “because the section in question reminded him of an old wire mousetrap.”
Known as “the Hahnenkamm” by fans the world over, race week takes place January 15-22, 2017; this year marks the 77th anniversary of the event at the pinnacle of downhillers’ annual world circuit.
Spectators flock to “Kitz” to see the stars — fans, ski racing legends, and celebrities — who line the course for practice runs and the main event on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Also popular: scoring invites to parties both private and public. This season’s hottest public event: The Kitz’n’Glamour 2017 party on January 20, 2017 (www.kitzandglamour.at).
Back on the Streif, all eyes will be on Nordica superstar Dominik Paris (www.dominikparis.com/en/alpine-skiing-champion.htm), the Italian from South Tirol who’s lighting up the downhill circuit with six World Cup podiums since his debut in 2008. Says last year’s Hahnenkamm winner Peter Fill when asked with whom he would share the 2017 podium: “I think that Austria’s Hannes Reichelt is best suited to this racecourse. That being said, I would put my money on Dominik Paris.”
Still, after watching Paris in Kitzbühel, train your eyes on Germany’s Felix Neureuther (www.felix-neureuther.de), a technical racer and Nordica athlete who will be front and centre at the Hahnenkamm Slalom on Sunday, January 22, 2017… that is, if your nerves can still take it only one day after the famed downhill race!
Photo: Pentaphoto - Felix NEureuther (GER) , Slalom - , Kitzbuehel, (AUT) , 24 JAN , 2016.