Kandahar comes with some pitfalls

In the absence of some speed stars, the downhill and super-G races in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Saturday and Sunday (both 11.30 o’clock, live on ORF1) the last World Cup races of the alpine ski women before the Olympics in Beijing will take place. The oSV hopes rest on Cornelia Hutter, Mirjam Puchner and Tamara Tippler, among others, according to the training results. In any case, there are a few pitfalls waiting for the runners on the Kandahar.

"Garmisch is very special because of the snow. Yesterday it felt like five different types of snow, today it’s ten. You have to adapt the material really well, partly also the driving style. At the top you have to ski with feeling because it is a bit aggressive. Then there is extremely much water inside. And then it’s brave through hell. There it becomes dark and uneasy. You have to grit your teeth, put your heart into your hands and then you’ll be fine," said Hutter.

Whether so shortly before the Olympics on such a track everyone goes to the limit? "Every race is dangerous. It’s a fine line between sun and shadow. One must just nevertheless always risk, the others do not sleep also. And if you don’t risk, you are slow and behind. Nobody wants that either", says the 29-year-old Styrian. Elisabeth Reisinger wants to build on her strong performance in Cortina, where the 25-year-old Upper Austrian finished seventh in downhill. "I’m at a good level at the moment. I hope that I can connect there."

Some top stars missing in Garmisch

Ramona Siebenhofer wants to make up ground on leader Sofia Goggia in the Downhill World Cup. The Italian is missing after her fall in the Cortina Super-G. In addition to the injured four-time season winner Goggia, the also injured US-American Breezy Johnson and the Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami are also not at the start in Garmisch. This trio took eight of ten first and second places in the downhill so far this season. Marta Bassino and Ragnhild Mowinckl are also out of the race.

Ramona Siebenhofer

GEPA/Wolfgang Grebien Siebenhofer hopes to catch up with Goggia in the downhill World Cup

A chance for Siebenhofer, who had thrown around her schedule to prepare for the Olympic giant slalom in favor of her downhill World Cup ambitions. "In retrospect, you’re wiser, we’ll see tomorrow," said the Styrian when asked if it was the right decision.

Siebenhofer not yet in the groove she had hoped for

In training, Siebenhofer, who is foregoing the super-G, did not yet get going as she would have liked, and on Friday there was only 16th place on the Kandahar I course, which was shortened because of the wind. "It cut me pretty badly in an aggressive spot, I was spooked by it myself. I was lucky not to have threaded. That can be ticked off, tomorrow is the race."

Puchner second in final training session

Mirjam Puchner finished second in final training for the women’s World Cup downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Hutter, on the other hand, was in good shape, finishing fifth on Thursday and fourth on Friday. "I think the skiing is quite good, basic speed fits as well. Let’s see if we can find some time until tomorrow, and then it will be a good weekend," said the Styrian, who was still struggling with a coronavirus infection two weeks ago. "I notice that I am physically better again and that, thank God, I have left all the nonsense behind me."

Mirjam Puchner (AUT)

Puchner and Hutter show up in training

Puchner set the second fastest training time in the snow in Garmisch on Friday. "Yesterday with bib number one I was the test pilot, today it already fit much better," said the Salzburgerin, who on Thursday only 16. but in fifth place in the downhill World Cup she may still have something to say about it. Tippler also performed well in training: "Garmisch is basically good for me, now I just have to force myself into the right position more consistently, then I’m sure there’s more in it."

German Weidle "well prepared" for home race

In addition to Switzerland’s Corinne Suter (fastest in training on Thursday) and France’s Romane Miradoli (fastest on Friday), the contenders for victory in the downhill at the home race include Germany’s Kira Weidle, who finished second in training (Thursday) and fifth (Friday) and was not bothered by the shortening of the course. "Now we have tried it once from above, once from below. So I would say we are quite well equipped for tomorrow," says Weidle.

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