HKR Kitzbühel

40 years ago

Because of the unstable    snow conditions, the plan    was to have the course go    around Hausberg. Heavy    snowfall delayed the test    runs and caused the downhill    to be postponed until    Sunday. The slalom took    place on Saturday. This    gave them time to prepare the classic course.        FIS technical delegate Fredi Fuchs had seen enough. The elite downhill racers got through the final straight compression    unscathed. But the soft fresh snow was a trap for the weaker athletes. It was one    crash after another. The Italian Franco Tach had to be transported out with the torn crucial ligament. Fuchs halted any  further runs. The downhill race was postponed  until Sunday and the slalom took    place on Saturday. This angered K.S.C.  president Toni Sailer. "What do they  want? Its either too hard, or too soft",  complained Sailer about the team manager  who had supported this decision. The slalom specialists profited from this change to the program. They were now the centre of attention and provided anexciting competition. Ganslernhang  was the showcase for a duel between Ingemar  Stenmark and the Italian team.  Those who thought the Swede lost his chance after coming in third in the first run behind Piero Gros and Gustav Thöni  were wrong. In the second run, Stenmark  put in an excellent showing and was able to catch up with the competition from southern Europe. The Austrian hope, Hansi Hinterseer, was catching up rapidly. But Hinterseer's  luck didn't hold out: he caught a control    gate and dropped out of the race; a disaster    for the Austrian ski Association.    The best Austrian was Thomas Hauser,  who was slowed by a leg injury and limped home in 25th place. This hadn't    happened at the Hahnenkamm race for a long time. Even president Rudolf Kirchschläger could only resort to gallows humour: "That's just our European hospitality: we set up the course to give everyone a chance to win." What nobody had counted on: Josef  Walcher from Schladming also fought his  way to the top. With start number 26, he wound up in third place and stirred up  the rankings again — this was unfortunate  for the photographers who had already  asked Walcher's countryman  Werner Grissmann to be in the victory  photo. The Swiss received consolation    for the misfortunes of their ski team. Walter Tresch came in 14th place in the slalom and 9th in the downhill. But these    results were more consistent than all of  the other competitors — and he could  celebrate being added to the list of Hahnenkamm  combined winners.