FIS race boss Waldner. “Hintermann apologized, he shouldn’t have done that.”

Race director Markus Waldner is not always to be envied for his job.


Niels Hintermann is angry about the FIS after the downhill in Beaver Creek, which was blown away by the wind, and sharply criticizes race director Markus Waldner. The Austrian shows understanding, but defends himself vehemently.

With starting number 14, Niels Hintermann tackles the “Birds of Prey” in Beaver Creek on Saturday. But as soon as the Swiss was in the starting house, SRF commentator Stefan Hofmann expressed his fears: “No one has ever had that much wind.” Hintermann, who is regarded as a good starter, promptly arrives at the first intermediate time after 26 seconds of driving, more than 50 hundredths late.

“Up after the first area, my race was already over,” the 27-year-old is annoyed at the finish about the strong headwind and, despite finishing 9th, makes it clear that he would have liked the start to be shifted down. “Markus Waldner, FIS race director, shoots the bird with this action once again,” Hintermann attacked the person in charge head-on.

Waldner does not leave the statements and explains in an interview with SRF: «It was a difficult day. A lot of work to get the track ready for racing. And then from number 8 onwards we were all a bit surprised that there were suddenly gusts of wind up there. Because our weather forecast was actually: windless, »said the Austrian. One only knew that from 12 o’clock heavier snowfall should start again. “That’s why we were under time pressure to start at 10 a.m..”

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Moving the start down would have cost time. In addition, about an hour before the start of the race, there is nothing to indicate that the wind in Beaver Creek will become a spoilsport. «You must also know that today we were up at 7 a.m. for the jury inspection (at the start). It was totally windless. At 9 o’clock the jury and I as leader of the jury have to decide where to start from. Even at 9 a.m. there was no wind at all. So it was clear to drive from the top», Waldner justifies the FIS decision.

When the wind picked up after the first riders, it was too late for the FIS to react. «If 8 athletes have already crossed the finish line, then you have to go through with it. At the time, Kilde was leading, Odermatt was second – if I were to stop there and restart from the reserve start, then I would want to see how the two would have reacted,” the race director points out.

“We have carded it out among men”

Waldner is aware that the suddenly windy conditions will have a drastic impact on some riders. “Of course it hit a few runners, especially Niels,” says Waldner and adds: “I can tell you with great respect that we heard each other in the afternoon. And everything has now been clarified, we have carded it out among men, as the saying goes. »

The head of the race shows great understanding for the Swiss downhill specialist: “Niels even apologized, he shouldn’t have done that. I understand every runner when things don’t go as they should on race day. Then you’re a bit frustrated and, above all, emotionally at the finish line.” However, he believes that bad luck and luck will balance each other out with the conditions until the end of the season.

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Waldner has an extra motivation for Hintermann: “I can remember here at the 2015 World Cup. It also caught dear Feuz, so he didn’t win the world title there. After that he became world champion and Olympic champion. I also wish Niels all the best that he will be successful sooner or later.”

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