The champion and the outsider

Michael Walchhofer and Scott Macartney were full of smiles at the press conference following at termination of the race. "This was the last of the classics missing in my downhill race collection" says Walchhofer. Macartney: "Great momentum for the US ski team".

The winner of today’s downhill race Austrian Michael Walchhofer was bombarded with questions. “I have to admit, it seems as if I perform better under pressure. It’s premature to say if this win will boost the morale of the Austrian ski team but I certainly hope so. It means a lot for me personally to be able to add the win in Gardena-Gröden to my list of classics.” He then proceeded to analyze the race step by step. “I emerged from the Camel Humps with a lot of speed and thus I struggled to keep my line into Ciaslat. This course is by far the best to exploit my strengths as a glider. I then had to take on Cuche who is in absolute top-form. Vancouver? It’s possible that I will be racing at the Olympics in 2010 but for now I am looking forward to spending the holidays with my wife and children.

Macarteny is evidently happy. “Our team has a few podiums to show so far and it is testimony to our hard work. There are also Sullivan, Nyman and Miller. I miss Bode during training, but the overall team spirit is excellent. My third podium is really important as I had a bad fall in 2003 here in Gardena-Gröden leading to an injured knee. The course was most demanding but also most fascinating between the Camel Humps and Ciaslat. The speed is unbelievable and a lot of the race is spent mid-air. We will return to the USA after the races in Bormio. Christmas? We’ll spend it in Trento or Innsbruck.