The downhillers start into the winter in Lake Louise on Friday. Double world champion Vincent Kriechmayr wants to follow in the footsteps of Beat Feuz this winter.
It’s beginning again one of those winters that are made for Vincent Kriechmayr. Because whenever there is a World Cup somewhere, the 31-year-old is there. Two medals in Åre in 2019 and two titles in Cortina in 2021 show the Upper Austrian as a real World Cup specialist.
This distinguishes Kriechmayr from his ÖSV teammate Matthias Mayer, who traditionally strikes every four years and has won gold at all Winter Games since 2014.
Vincent Kriechmayr, as one of the favorites, once again went away empty-handed at the Olympics in Beijing. That’s why he looks back on the past season with mixed feelings before the first descent of the season on Friday in Lake Louise (8.30 p.m., live ORF2).
Although Vincent Kriechmayr won the downhill classic in Wengen and – how could it be any different for him – the dress rehearsal in the World Cup location Courchevel (downhill, Super-G), the ambitious downhiller did not draw a positive balance. “I wasn’t satisfied with myself.”
KURIER: You won three races and were still not satisfied?
Vincent Kriechmayr: The season didn’t go as I had imagined. Although I got through without an injury and also won races, my demands are fundamentally different.
This is whining at a high level.
The beauty of skiing is that there is no such thing as perfection. I have to take a step forward. And for that I have to turn all the screws. I still see opportunities to improve everywhere.
What do you mean specifically?
That applies to all matters. The condition, the skiing technique, the mental, it’s all about consistency. You only have to look at Beat Feuz.
What about the Swiss?
Beat Feuz is a prime example of consistency. He’s always been on the podium in downhill for years. That’s how you have to act and perform, that’s exactly my goal.
Is it an advantage that you already have the World Cup ticket secured thanks to your two titles from Cortina 2021?
It’s true that I don’t have to qualify, but that’s not my goal, that I’m at the World Cup. I want to be one of the best in the world. One thing is true: if I’m the best in Austria, then I’ve at least beaten Mothl (Mayer’s note) once and then I’m automatically way ahead
Because they address Matthias Mayer. In recent years you both had to achieve success in the downhill. Are the offspring missing?
Don’t forget Daniel Hemetsberger, who drove his second real season last year and was always at the front. And we have good young runners who are really fast.
That sounds like a but.
The trick is to use his potential in the race. There is often a lack of coolness and they seem tense. In my early days, I often didn’t get to the point. But the young Austrians can certainly ski no less well than runners from other nations.
So why are so many still waiting so long for a breakthrough?
Maybe some people find it a little harder to deal with the pressure. If you don’t perform well with us and end up in 40th or 50th place, then you won’t be driving in the next race. Other nations don’t have the problem. You get your chance and can compete in the World Cup for a season or two.
Is this impression deceptive, or are you and Matthias Mayer particularly supportive of the young colleagues?
We want to pass on some of our experience. In addition, it is always much more pleasant in a group when everyone is not working against everyone else. Skiing is an individual sport, and it bothers me when I don’t ski well. But if one of us is in front, then it’s more bearable.