To triumph on the Streif, everything has to fall perfectly into place! A confident athlete and his physical capabilities are only two of many decisive factors on the road to success.
The following puzzle piece is particularly signifficant: an athlete's setup and his skis. Skis are the direct connection betwen racer and piste. This may seem obvious to an amateur, but in reality it's barely comprehensible due to the fact that there's almost nothing measurable about the matter. Everything is tailored to the individual racer. Coaches and service-men work tirelessly to ensure all materials are customised perfectly to the athlete as well as the racecourse.
Ingo Fink from Vorarlberg is one of the very best in this trade. He is today's Super-G victor Matthias Mayer's service-man. "We (Matthias Myer and Ingo Fink) have been a successful team for quite a few years now - since his first Europacup successes to be exact", Fink explains on the subject of his collaboration with the ÖSV-racer (Austrian Ski Association). Long enough to know his athlete's requirements down to a T. The service-man from Vorarlberg picks appropriate models right after they come out of production, or after initial tests assessing glide performance. They work all year round to achieve the perfect setup. In the end, it's still an art to pick the right skis and adjust them to given conditions. "Today Matthias used a new model of skis with which he had never raced before", says Ingo Fink proudly.
Obviouslly the transition paid off, landing Mayer in first place after a sensational run in the Super-G of the 77th Hahnenkamm-Races.