Thomas Dressen ended Germany’s 13-year wait for a men’s World Cup downhill victory on Saturday Taylor Gabriel Jersey , upsetting the pre-race favorites in the classic Hahnenkamm race.Starting 19th and taking advantage of improved visibility during a brief spell of sunshine on a cloudy day, Dressen sped down the 3.3-kilometer Streif course in 1 minute, 56.15 seconds to beat then-leader Beat Feuz of Switzerland by 0.20 seconds.|
”I couldn’t believe it when I finished and saw the `1.’ I thought they were making a joke,” the 24-year-old Dressen said. ”I had to look at the timing board twice to believe it. It’s really been a dream to win Kitzbuehel one time. It’s incredible.”
Celebrating in the finish area and watched by more than 40,000 spectators, Dressen screamed for joy, holding both skis above his head before kneeling down for a moment.
”I was trying to soak up the atmosphere,” said the first German winner of the Hahnenkamm downhill since Sepp Ferstl won it twice – in 1978 and 1979.
Attending Saturday’s race, Ferstl was among the first to congratulate his successor.
”That Ferstl-Streif myth has finally ended,” the 63-year-old Ferstl said. ”I am happy that I can say now, `Thomas has won it as well.”’
Hannes Reichelt of Austria, who won the race four years ago, was 0.41 behind in third, and Aksel Lund Svindal trailed by 1.12 in eighth. The Norwegian, who won Friday’s super-G on the same hill, remained in the lead of the downhill standings, 10 points clear of Feuz.
The German men’s team had not won a downhill since Max Rauffer triumphed in Val Gardena, Italy, in December 2004.
Another victory Carlos Henderson Jersey , however, seemed only a matter of time after the young German speed team of Dressen, Andreas Sander and Josef Ferstl, son of the two-time Kitzbuehel winner, posted several top results in the past two seasons. Ferstl won a super-G in Val Gardena, Italy, last month.
On Saturday, Sander placed sixth while Ferstl was 20th.
”We have a super team, also with the coaches, the ski technicians, the physiotherapists,” Dressen said. ”We try to learn from each other and that’s what brings us forward.”
A downhill silver medalist at the 2014 junior world championships, Dressen got his fifth top-10 result this season, including his first career podium by placing third in Beaver Creek, Colorado, in December.
”For me it is a surprise that it went so well,” Dressen said following his win on one of the most difficult men’s World Cup courses. ”I struggled in the training, especially in the steep section. Today I skied that well for the first time.”
Getting his first victory in Austria was special to Dressen, who moved to the neighboring country as a kid to study and learn racing at the ski school in Neustift in the Tyrol province. Also Andre Holmes Jersey , he lost his father, Dirk Dressen, in a ski lift accident in nearby Soelden in 2005.
”I was in Neustift for a year and then in Saalfelden for five more years. That has definitely been the right way for me,” said Dressen, who was born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Bavarian resort will host men’s World Cup races next weekend.
Feuz, the downhill world champion, was starting to believe he had won the race after his leading time was still holding up after 18 starters, with nearly all favorites having completed their runs.
Several racers, most notably Olympic champion Matthias Mayer and fellow Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr, led the Swiss skier halfway through their runs but lost their advantage on the challenging finish section.
”I am very glad with second place. In Kitzbuehel you are always glad when you get to the finish,” Feuz said. ”Last year I crashed here so it wasn’t easy to get that out of my head.”
The 78th edition of the Hahnenkamm races end with a slalom on Sunday.
The national anthem is going to be a hot topic at the NFL owners meetings.Just don’t expect any far-ranging decisions to be made.
Judging by the comments Sunday from the Texans’ Robert McNair and the Jets‘ Christopher Johnson, the debate among the 32 owners could be confrontational.
McNair, who last year made an analogy of inmates running the prison about players’ demonstrations during the anthem, remains adamant that everyone should stand for the ”The Star-Spangled Banner.”
”Our playing field is not the place for political statements, not the place for religious statements,” McNair said. ”It’s the place for football.”
Johnson, acting owner of the Jets with his brother, Woody, serving as ambassador to the United Kingdom Deacon Jones Jersey , took a far different tack.
”I have immense respect for the players and their efforts,” Christopher Johnson said. ”I think if other teams approached it like that, it would not be such a problem in the NFL.
”I can’t speak to how other people run their teams, but I just think that trying to forcibly get the players to shut up is a fantastically bad idea.”
While the social protests players made last season will be a topic here, reaching an agreement on language in the league’s policy regarding behavior during the anthem is highly unlikely. Owners will meet again in May in Atlanta, and with so much other business to attend in the next three days, the anthem issue figures to extend until then.
”I don’t know if it’ll be a vote or just a new policy coming out,” Giants owner John Mara said. ”I think we can’t go much beyond the May meeting before coming up with some sort of resolution to that.”
McNair and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are among the leaders of the move to ban any demonstrations during the anthem. McNair drew strong criticism from a variety of players after making his ”inmates” comment last fall.
”We’re going to deal with it in such a way, I think, that people will understand that we want everybody to respect our country, respect our flag,” McNair said Sunday. ”And our playing fields, that’s not the place for political statements.
”Fans are upset about it. The fans are our customers. You can replace the owners and the league would survive. You can replace the players, although the game won’t be as good. You can’t replace the fans. If you don’t have the fans, you’re dead.”
Johnson was more willing to search for answers to the anthem issue while also not wanting the players’ messages to be lost. He doesn’t favor seeing the policy changed to having the players remain in the locker room until after the anthem is played, which has been discussed.
”I think that’s a particularly bad idea,” Johnson said.
What about changing the language to the players must stand?
”I don’t agree with that either, but I’m only one of 32 owners,” he added. ”I think that the Jets had a pretty great thing happen last year around the anthem. I think there was an understanding between me and the players that we could use our position – rightly or wrongly Devin Hester Jersey , people pay attention to teams and athletes – but we could use our position to get some great stuff done off the field. I think we have done some great things off the field.”
Another off-field topic is the sale of the Carolina Panthers. Jerry Richardson announced in December that he was selling following allegations of workplace misconduct.
”He’s going to sell the team,” McNair said of the 81-year-old Richardson. ”He’s had all kinds of health problems. … I don’t know all the details, but I know he has some good prospective buyers that appear to be qualified.”
As for investigations into Richardson’s behavior, McNair defended his fellow owner, also citing instances when the Texans faced similar accusations.
”I understand what he’s saying,” McNair said. ”Sometimes people choose to try to make something go away rather than fighting. I think his regret is he didn’t fight some of these things.
”We got confronted with it, too, where people will allege something, they get a lawyer, and what they do is come out and threaten you. And your legal counsel and your insurance people say, `Well, it’s going to cost you X number millions of dollars’ to defend this. And if we can settle it for this.’
”Well, wait a minute. We’re not guilty. Why would we do that?’ That’s the question. Sometimes just to get rid of it, if you can get rid of it, (you) – do it.”
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