The Austrian towns of Saalbach-Hinterglemm and Goestling played host to the 2017 Austrian National Championships last week with World Cup stars and rising talent all vying or coveted National titles to cap off successful seasons.
The championships opened on March 22 with tech races in Goestling. In the men’s slalom, Johannes Strolz took advantage of many of his compatriots failing to finish the race and took the title with a combined time of 1:42.72 seconds and was joined by Fabio Gstrein in second, a massive 2.62 seconds back, and Belgium’s Dries Van Den Broecke 2.96 seconds adrift in third. Gstrein was also the top junior.
In the men’s giant slalom the following day, Strolz once again took the win with a combined time of 2:10.03 seconds, 0.45 seconds ahead of Magnus Walch in second and 0.87 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Daniel Meier. Top junior honors went to fourth-place finisher Maximilian Lahnsteiner, 1.28 seconds off the pace.
In the women’s giant slalom, Elisabeth Kappaurer came out on top with a total time of 2:13.25 seconds, 0.23 second ahead of World Cup regular Ricarda Haaser in second. Third place on the day went to Nadine Fest, who was also the top junior, 0.90 seconds off the pace. Fest was recently crowned Alpine Combined Junior World Champion in Are, Sweden.
For the women’s slalom, Julia Gruenwald took top honors with a time of 1:46.90 seconds. 0.69 seconds ahead of Katharina Truppe in second and 0.75 seconds ahead of Marie-Therese Sporer in third. Truppe was also the fastest junior.
Speed action was kicked of in Saalbach on March 27 with the men’s downhill as veteran Hannes Reichelt took the title with a time of 1:07.14 seconds, 0.15 seconds ahead of teammate and 2014 Olympic Downhill Champion Matthias Mayer. Another veteran of the national team, Rommed Baumann, rounded out the podium in third, 0.44 seconds off of Reichelt’s pace in the sprint downhill. Top junior on the day was Stefan Babinsky, who finished 1.88 seconds back in 17th place.
The following day, men’s and women’s alpine combined took place with Haaser taking the women’s race with a combined time of 1:40.07 seconds. Second place and top junior honors went to Franziska Gritsch, 0.82 seconds back and third place went to Kappaurer, 1.12 seconds off the pace.
For the men’s combined, World Cup mainstay Vincent Kreichmayr took the win with a time of 1:33.74 seconds, 0.32 seconds ahead of Niklas Koeck in second and 0.90 seconds ahead of another World Cup regular, Marco Schwarz, in third. Top junior on the day was Raphael Haaser, who finished in fourth place, 1.14 seconds back.
Women’s super-G action saw Rosina Schneeberger top the field with a time of 1:00.24 seconds, 0.51 seconds ahead of Haaser in second and 0.77 seconds ahead of reigning super-G World Champion Nicole Schmidhofer in third. Gritsch was the fastest junior in ninth place, 1.45 seconds off of Schneeberger.
Kreichmayr managed to claim his second title in as many days, winning the men’s super-G with a time of 59.09 seconds. 0.26 seconds back in second place was Koeck and Christopher Neumayer rounded out the podium in third, 0.28 seconds back. Raphael Haaser was once again top junior in ninth, 1.18 seconds off of the winner.
Unfortunately, weather forced the cancellation of the women’s downhill, making the super-G races the finale of the series.