Mausefalle; now he’s still in an induced coma in hospital. Two years
ago it was Swiss Daniel Albrecht suffering a similar fate. The year be-
fore that it was U.S. racer Scotty Macartney. If you are not afraid of
racing the Hahnenkamm downhill, you are a fool.
A rain that turned to snow had prevented the first training run and left
the course even a bit nastier than usual. Grugger’s crash and subsequent hospital reports caused more than a few to temper their approach to the course. But the Hahnenkamm didn’t start with the downhill — that was reserved for Saturday when the extra trains into little
Kitzbuehel would help supply some 80,000 racing fans. Friday was the
super G and it was then that Kostelic provided the first big surprise of
“When we watched him,” said Miller, “he was pretty early [bib No. 3]
in the run; nobody thought that was going to be the winning run. We
saw places where he clearly backed off; he slid the skis sideways a few
times, he doesn’t tuck in some cases as much everybody else. He’s a
little rounder in some places and almost never cuts off the line and skis
straighter. You had to assume somebody was going to make it work.”
But no one else did. Kostelic picked up his first-ever speed race win
in more than 220 World Cup starts and left others shaking their heads.
Austrian Georg Streitberger got second while Svindal was left reeling in
third after realizing Kostelic had just beaten him in his best discipline.
Bode collected his 142nd top- 10 on the World Cup, and Erik Guay,
trying to mount a comeback from injury at Kitzbuehel of all places, was
happy with 11th. Ligety was 22nd, his 10th super G scoring result.
But it was the downhill — the king of all downhills — that spectators
were here to see and the elite of the racing community were there to
solve. After the weather had its way with the surface, the Streif was
bumpy, rough and full of rattles.
“When this course is as difficult as it is this year, more risk tends to
lead to making more mistakes and more risk ... of serious injury,” said
second-place finisher Bode Miller, who demonstrated his best speed
skiing all season.
Cuche didn’t read that memo. He hit the Mausefalle dead center and
took the air in a tuck. Where others played it cautious, Cuche let ‘em
run. He won by nearly a full second, so far out in front none could doubt
“You just more or less have to take your hat off,” said Miller. “You know
Didier Cuche, 36, proved himself a man among men by once again winning the Hahnenkamm downhill.
Aksel Lund Svindal, coming off
his second-place in the Wengen
combined, was left reeling in
third by Kostelic at Kitzbuehel’s
in the beating
heart of the ski
The crash of Hans Grugger
tempered many approaches to