In the training keppler had at minus five degrees and sun full after the poor training results with the bursts 36 and 42 on the previous days this time as 19. An improved presentation offered. But head coach karlheinz waibel was not yet satisfied with that. "From where it came from, it was an increase. But he was nowhere near where he wants to be," said a contrite waibel – a week and a half before the world championships.
Unlike the technical team, led by felix neureuther, which is doing well in the world cup, the downhillers are far from where the federation would like them to be. While they are still to fight for the world championship ticket in the austrian ski mecca, neureuther wants to celebrate the second success on the ganslernhang after the victory in wengen.
"It’s always a challenge every year". It certainly does not lose its appeal because it has been won before. Kitzbuhel is always mythos," enthused neureuther, who at some point in his career ("a rough goal") also wants to master the downhill on the streif. But with the 73. The only event on the program for the 10th edition of the traditional hahnenkamm races is the slalom on sunday. The target room spokesman promoted the rough duel of neureuther against austria’s exceptional contender marcel hirscher already on thursday, when the austrian klaus kroll was the fastest in training ahead of the favorite aksel lund svindal (norway).
However, the start will be made by super-G on friday and downhill on saturday – the last speed races before the 5th world cup in schladming. February world championships in schladming. On the way to the season’s climax, only tobias stechert in the german speed team has so far met the world championship standard. And the oberstdorfer, strong fifth at the beginning of the season in lake louise, has not been back at the start since his injury in november. In kitzbuhel, the 27-year-old took his first swings on the run-in slope again. He put the chances of winning the world cup at "fifty-fifty".
On the other hand, andreas sander, who had not qualified until then, had a crash there during the run-in. The ennepetal native broke his index finger on his right hand and suffered a hairline fracture to his wrist, forcing him to cancel his starts for this weekend. The last chance for the world championship recommendation was gone. Due to his injury, a world championship start for sander will unfortunately no longer be an option, waibel said.
With his skis on his shoulder, the german men’s head coach trudged through the snow to the meeting. "No statement" he liked to make about the world cup prospects. Although keppler has so far been using half the norm for a nomination, after the team’s disappointments in wengen, he should also produce a good result if possible. "I’m 1.7 seconds behind, but i’ve still got a little bit left," keppler stressed after the final training session and the "downhill racing" of the previous days. After ankle problems, the 29-year-old felt "pretty much pain-free. I haven’t had this in ages."
While keppler chatted about his prospects in the speed competitions of the hahnenkamm races, which are worth a total of 564,000 euros, and believes he can do anything between top 10 and 40th place, sander was investigated. The former world junior champion fell short of expectations this winter and has yet to get into world championship form, but the further injury still hits the perennially troubled team hard. "We make the headlines with injuries," keppler said. Neureuther, who has already skied a super-G in kitzbuhel (2006), gave the best german speed skier a piece of advice for his ambitious plans.
"I definitely think felix can do it, even if a downhill is a different story from a super-G," said keppler, "but he’d better do it toward the end of his career and get some good wins in the slalom first."