Alpine Skiing

Double Olympic champion Mayer triumphs in Kitzbuehel downhill

The Austrian finished ahead of teammate Krichmayr, tied in second with downhill World Cup leader Feuz.

By Alessandro Poggi ·

Matthias Mayer is the new king of Kitzbuehel.

The double Olympic gold medallist triumphed in front of the home crowd, becoming the first Austrian man to win on the iconic Hahnenkamm course since Hannes Reichelt in 2014.

Maier succeeds last year's winner Dominik Paris and is only the ninth man to have won both Super-G (2017) and downhill in Kitzbuehel.

Fellow Austrian teammate Vincent Kriechmayr and downhill reigning world champion Beat Feuz completed the podium finishing with the same time, 0.22 sec. behind the winner.

French duo Johan Clarey (+0.27 sec.) and Maxence Muzaton (+0.31) followed respectively in fourth and fifth position, with Super-G winner Kjetil Jansrud in sixth (+0.67 sec.).

Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finished ninth and now leads the overall World Cup rankings with 700 points, followed by Mayer in second position (692).

Mayer stars

On a course where skiers go from 0-100km/h in 5 seconds straight off the start gate, sometimes 'Fitz' feels more like a daredevil display than official competition.

Famous for its diversity of big jumps, steep slopes, icy curves, and bone-rattling bumps, the range of technical skill, tactical nous, sheer strength and mindblowing mettle required makes this race unmissable.

There's no denying its danger either: Wipe-outs are common and the helicopter rescue is on constant standby.

Luckily it wasn't called into action today despite crashes from Austrian skier Otmar Striedinger, German Manuel Schmid, Ryan Cochran-Siegle from the USA, and Italy's Peter Fill.

The right amount of risk and reserve is essential and Mayer found that balance on his run, staying true to his line down the Streif.

Watching him ride to glory was one of Austria's most famous sons and regular spectator Arnold Schwarzenegger, and there was more Hollywood stardust sprinkled about the crowd, Patrick Dempsey of Grey's Anatomy fame eagerly watching on.

But the day belonged to double Olympic champ Mayer who gets within touching distance of Kilde at the top of the World Cup rankings.

World Cup skiing stays in Austria for its next big date, the slalom at Schladming on January 28.

What Kitzbuehel is to downhill, Schladming is to slalom, so expect no let up.

Follow it all here on Olympic Channel.

He's always back: Arnold Schwarzenegger at Kitzbuehel Austria in 2019. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)