The legendary Streif
Above all, the main focus of the traditional Hahnenkamm races is what is considered to be the world’s most challenging downhill ski race: the Streif. Over the past nearly 80 years, this course has been putting skiers to the ultimate test and pushing them to their limits, with only the best in the world able to succeed and claim victory. In short, millions of spectators in front of television screens all over the globe, from Asia to Europe and right across to America, and up to 100,000 fans at the event venue witness the event live and watch as legends are born. For professional skiers, a triumph in the downhill race in Kitzbühel is the highest of highs and equivalent to winning an Olympic gold medal.
You always need to know exactly what you are doing. That is what counts most down there.
With jumps stretching as far as 80 metres, steep slopes with gradients of up to 85 percent and speeds of up to 140 km/h, the Streif is truly one of a kind on the World Cup stage. Beginning at the start gate at an altitude of 1,665 metres above sea level, the course covers a total distance of 3,312 metres and 860 vertical metres down to the finish area at an altitude of 805 metres above sea level. When tackling the course, that is to say, the athletes reach an average speed of over 100 km/h. The course record is 1:51.58 minutes and was set by Fritz Strobl from the Austrian state of Carinthia in 1997. In conclusion, these are just some of the facts and figures that make the Streif the most difficult downhill ski race in the world. “I would like to congratulate everybody who’s made it down this run. I think we’re all mad!”, were the words of the five-time champion Didier Cuche from Switzerland, and perfectly sum up the feeling of conquering the Streif.