No matter how exhilarating the descent, a podium in Kitzbühel is to be tasted... In a race shortened because of the wind and launched from the first reserve start, Johan Clarey and Blaise Giezendanner did not miss their first Austrian race of the week -end.
Behind the irremovable Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde who, after a long absence for injury in 2021, confirms his sparkling form in speed at the start of the year.
After Wengen last week, Kilde signs a second success in a row in the downhill and thus climbs on his seventh podium of the winter (for six victories).
Johan Clarey, 41, has a real cult following the "Streif", which is considered by skiers to be the most difficult, technical, dangerous and prestigious descent in the world, even if it is slower and shorter than that of Wengen.
🤯🤯🤯 "A CRAZY": @FX_Rallet uses the right word to describe the new feat of Johan Clarey who, at 41, finishes just behind the Kilde rocket on the Streif!
– Eurosport France (@Eurosport_FR) January 21, 2022
The Habs, who left with bib number 17, offered their fourth podium there (3rd in the downhill in 2017, 2nd in the super-G in 2019 and 2nd in the downhill in 2021) in front of a crowd fifty times less dense than as usual (1,000 spectators instead of 50,000) due to health constraints.
By finishing just over 4/10 behind Kilde (winner in 1′55′'92), Clarey even improved on his own record for oldest skier on a World Cup podium.
Giezendanner, king of suspense
“I was very stressed this morning. I think I felt like I could go do something good. I'm just making a mistake that costs me dearly but, well, I'm behind a monster, he explained to Ski Chrono. It's fantastic, I didn't think I could do it. I would almost have been satisfied to make top 10 but, there, I find it difficult to realize. It's great it comes at the right time because it was starting to be difficult. I feel that I can go fast and here I proved it, it's cool. »
Blaise Giezendanner, he made the suspense last before offering his first podium.
The native of Chamonix, 30, indeed left with bib number 43, chasing the Austrian Matthias Mayer, who thought he had secured his third place, to finish 63/100 behind Kilde.
Giezendanner had never done better than an 8th place in the Jeongseon super-G in 2016…