76. Hahnenkamm Race in Kitzbühel – The heroes behind the heroes

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They work under the radar, but without them winning the downhill run from hell wouldn’t be possible for Kjetil Jansrud, Hannes Reichelt, Didier Couche, Michael Walchhofer, Stefan Eberharter, Fritz Strobl and Hermann Maier … the ski technicians and test riders.

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They decide which wax to put on the skis of heroes such as Andreas Weibrecht, Ted Ligety, Axel Lund Svindal and last year’s winner Kjetil Jansrud. I just came back from ‘the boys’ and Stefan Kappauer, test rider of the ski brand ‘Head’, told me that you can’t win a race without the proper wax! Much less the famous Streif in Kitzbühel. The wax has to perfectly match the snow and weather conditions expected on the slope this coming Saturday. And that is exactly what the test riders have been doing here since last Tuesday. If they make a wrong decision, the ski doesn’t run smoothly and the skier loses valuable time!

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A death sentence, no matter how good of a skier he is. My favorite technician is Gandram Mathies, nickname “Tschunti” (he is with me in the picture). It will be mainly his doing should a ‘Head’ skier come in first. You are a hero, “Tschunti”, no matter who wins…!

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