Following a weekend full of delays and postponements on the classic Kitzbühel downhill track, the Canadian team shone with Jack Crawford leading the way.
The Toronto native finished with a career-best sixth-place finish Monday giving teammates Jeff Read of Canmore, Alta., and Brodie Seger of North Vancouver, B.C., the confidence to find their way to finishing 18th and 21st, respectively. Read’s performance was also a personal best.
“Today was simple I executed my plan and tried to have no expectations,” Crawford told Alpine Canada from the finish area of the historic race in Austria. “This is the first time all the boys have been in the top 30 together and it has to be the best day for us as a team.”
Inspired by watching Crawford’s run on television, Read said he tried to ski with similar tactics.
WATCH | Career day for Canada’s Jeff Crawford at Kitzbühel:
Brodie, having returned from a crash before the Christmas holidays, didn’t hold back in Monday’s competition.
“For me, today was all about bringing an aggressive attitude and [mental strength] after being out of the game for a while,” he said. “I’m happy with the way I attacked despite a few mistakes, but most of all I’m stoked about our performance as a team. It’s about time we all punched into the points!”
Austrian skier Vincent Kriechmayr managed to bounce back from two disappointing results in downhill over the weekend to win Monday’s super-G.
He didn’t have a clean run but he charged all the way down the Streifalm course to finish in 1:12.58, defeating Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.12 seconds.
Icy surface full of bumps
Kriechmayr posted the fastest time in the final downhill training on Thursday but failed to replicate the same speed in the races. He finished ninth on Friday and 17th on Sunday in the two downhills, which were both won by Beat Feuz of Switzerland.
“I’m really proud about my race today and about my skiing,” Kriechmayr said. “After the downhill races, this is pretty cool.”
Feuz was more than 2.3 seconds off the lead in Monday’s race when he missed a gate and didn’t finish.
With the race rescheduled from Sunday, temperatures were significantly lower than in previous days, making for an icier surface full of bumps. Kriechmayr mastered the difficult conditions for his seventh career victory, but first of the season.
“It was a good run. It wasn’t without mistakes but I was pretty much on the limit,” the Austrian said. “I wanted to come down without compromises. I’d rather go out than finish one or two seconds behind again.”
The result sent him to the top of the discipline standings, overtaking Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Mauro Caviezel, who are both out with injuries.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle, another super-G winner this season, was also missing. The American sustained a minor neck fracture in a downhill crash on Friday.
Pinturault strengthens overall lead
Kriechmayr trailed Caviezel by three points in the standings last year when the season was cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Austrian didn’t read too much in getting the red bib as the discipline leader.
“Last year, it was my goal, but I missed the globe [by] three points,” Kriechmayr said. “Now I just want to ski my way, to be as fast as possible. That’s it.”
Alexis Pinturault, who sat out the two downhills this weekend, skied into 12th position to strengthen his lead in the overall standings.
Dominik Paris lost hope of another strong result a few seconds into his run. The Italian, who has won four races in Kitzbuhel in the past, slid away in a sharp right turn. He avoided falling with his hand in the snow but was slowed and finished more than two seconds off the lead.
Nils Allegre had an awkward crash that sent him through two rows of safety nets, but the Frenchman got up and seemed unhurt. The race was interrupted again when Italian skier Davide Cazzaniga had to be taken off the hill by helicopter with an apparent right knee injury.
The men’s World Cup continues with three slaloms: a night race in Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday and two events in Chamonix, France, this weekend.