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lucky Streif.

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uvex athlete Thomas Dressen wins the 2018 Hahnenkamm in Kitzbühel, Austria

Skiing’s new hero:
sensational win on the notorious Streif

The news is broadcast around the world: Thomas Dressen wins ski racing’s hardest and most important race. Just 24, he achieves legendary status, after a perfect run down the ice-hard “Streif”, also his first World Cup victory.

Just a few seconds have the power to completely change a life. This is what happens in Kitzbühel, Austria. From the steepest start of all the World Cup races just 116 seconds pass until the man in the black and white skinsuit races over the finish line at 140 km/h. On the display board a green number 1 lights up. Followed by jubilant cheering.

“Yeah, how cool!” cries Thomas Dressen. He can hardly believe his luck. He unbuckles, picks up his skis, thrusts them aloft, cheering, and celebrates: with Felix Neureuther, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the 20,000 spectators in the stadium. “It is indescribable,” says Thomas talking to reporters after the race. “For me to win here in Kitzbühel is simply awesome.”

85% grade in the Mousetrap

Legendary course

The start line is at an elevation of 1,665 meters on the Hahnenkamm. The race sets off with a 50% gradient, with the first spectacular jumps in the Mousetrap, which is also the steepest section (85%). It is followed by the Compression, where the downhillers are subjected to forces of ten times their bodyweight, then into the Carousel, and the extended technical right turn of the Steilhang’s steep slope.

On the relatively flat Brückenschuss skiers need to demonstrate their gliding skills. Then, suddenly, it’s: jump over the Old Corridor and straight on to the Seidlalm Jump, the Larch Glide, and then Hausberg Corner, which is visible from the finish area. Onto the final 50 meters, one last hard push over the Traverse to the finish line, reaching speeds of up to 140 km/h.

140 km/h at the finish

Perfect race

Thomas Dressen goes into the race with number 19. After the first split time it is clear: there could be a surprise! The young German jumps 38 meters in the Mousetrap, accelerates to 113 km/h, masters the Steilhang with flying colors and comes – thanks to clearly, perfectly prepared skis – out of the gliding section with a half-second lead.

With his uvex contest goggle he can see the smallest indentations on the slope. The customs and excise sergeant, who weighs 97 kg, travels as if on rails to the finish line. Beating Swiss Downhill World Champion Beat Feuz, who had been in the lead, by 0.2 seconds, pushing him into second place. Although it sounds like the blink of an eye, at 140 km/h this means a lead of 5.7 meters. Thomas Dressen has won the Streif – and written history – in 116.5 seconds.

0.2 second advantage

Radiant winner

Thomas Dressen made his Ski World Cup debut on February 21st 2015. Since then, he has continued to improve, so his victory in Kitzbühel was no coincidence. In December he pushed hard on the challenging Birds Of Prey course in Beaver Creek, USA to his first World Cup podium. And followed it with two 5th place finishes: in the Alpine Combined in Bormio, Italy and Classic Downhill in Lauberhorn in Wengen, Switzerland.

“As an athlete, you experience the myth of Streif and Kitzbühel in a special way,” says the still visibly moved Streif winner, Thomas Dressen, to cameras after the race. “So, of course it was always my dream to win here one day. That it has already happened now, so early in my career, that’s just incredible.”

Rating: awesome

Happy team

Finally, after 39 years, a German is once again at the top in Kitzbühel, Austria. An historic result, complemented by Andreas Sander from Ennepetal, Germany’s excellent 6th. “The team that worked together here will never forget this success,” an extremely happy Wolfgang Maier, the German Ski Federation’s Alpine Director tells local television. Felix Neureuther, who was watching, is visibly moved and rates the day as “awesome”.

“We have such a fantastic team. I’m really proud to be a part of it,” says Thomas Dressen at the end, as he praises the whole team, his colleagues, the team of coaches, carers and material suppliers, without whom such success would not be possible.

What a result! In 2018 uvex has two athletes on the podium: Thomas Dressen (center) and Hannes Reichelt (right). After Dominik Paris won last year, uvex now celebrates its fourth downhill win on the "Streif” since 2013 - and its ninth victory overall since 1978. Congratulations!

uvex athlete wins on the “Streif”

2018 Thomas Dressen (GER)
2017 Dominik Paris (ITA)
2014 Hannes Reichelt (AUT)
2013 Dominik Paris (ITA)
2000 Fritz Strobl (AUT)
1987 Pirmin Zurbriggen (SUI)
1985 Pirmin Zurbriggen (SUI)
1979 Sepp Ferstl (FRG)
1978 Sepp Ferstl (FRG)

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