The finish area in Kitzbühel

The 10 most emotional moments of Streif downhill

© Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom

The scariest, most elating race in the world – see the 10 most intense moments over the years.

Hannes Reichelt
Hannes Reichelt

The Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel has been staged on the Streif since 1937 – and there is no other ski race that provokes such intense emotions.

The extremity of the emotional spectrum this slope evokes in its fans, followers and skiers is amazing – from fear and horror to elation and joy...

Here are the 10 most emotional Streif moments for you, to experience the Kitzbühel magic first hand:

1. AMAZEMENT – January 19, 2008: USA star Bode Miller, allegedly one of the most naturally talented ski racers in the World Cup, amazed the world by skiing part of the Streif literally on top the advertising banners lining the course. He finished second.

Bode Miller in Kitzbühel, 2008
Bode Miller in Kitzbühel, 2008

2. AWE – January 21, 2012: Swiss powerhouse Didier Cuche is the only racer to win the Streif downhill five times. In 2012, he claimed the record while delivering a three-peat, just two days after announcing retirement post-season. Meanwhile, his 2011 winning run was perhaps the most impressive run down the Streif in history – it left the crowd in awestruck marvel!

Didier Cuche in Kitzbühel, 2011
Didier Cuche in Kitzbühel, 2011

3. HORROR – January 22, 2009: The second training run for the 2009 Streif downhill wrote history with a horrendous crash off of the final jump. Swiss Daniel Albrecht was skiing 140kph when he lost balance in the air. His crash left the audience in utter horror.

Daniel Albrecht crashes in Kitzbühel
Daniel Albrecht crashes in Kitzbühel

4. CONQUEST – January 12, 1980: Ken Read became the first Canadian to win the Streif downhill in 1980. For four years, the Crazy Canucks reigned in Kitzbühel thanks to additional wins by Steve Podborski (twice) and Todd Brooker. There’s been no other period with such non-European domination of the Streif.

Ken Read in Kitzbühel
Ken Read in Kitzbühel

5. ECSTASY – every year: The atmosphere in Kitzbühel is out of this world, for the athletes and fans alike. In 1999, the record year, 100,000 ski fans attended the event. If you have not been there to celebrate yet, make sure to pencil in January 22-25, 2015!

Ecstatic fans in the Streif arrival zone
Ecstatic fans in the Streif arrival zone

6. FEMALE POWER – January 1961: The Austrian Traudl Hecher-Görgl, mother of ski racers Lizz and Stephan Görgl, is so far the last female winner on the Streif, and she won it all: the downhill, the slalom and so of course, the traditional Kitzbühel combined.

Traudel Hecher
Traudel Hecher

7. JOY – January 25, 2014: After a drought of eight long years, Hannes Reichelt redeemed the Austrians as he overcame severe pain and bodily challenges to deliver the coveted Streif title for the home crowds.

Hannes Reichelt
Hannes Reichelt

8. LOCAL PRIDE – January 27, 1974: Hansi Hinterseer goes into the annals of the Hahnekamm Race as a winner in 1974. He is still the last born-and-bred local to win in Kitzbühel.

Hans Hinterseer, 1974
Hans Hinterseer, 1974

9. PASSION – January 2001: Many ski legends have a love and hate relationship with the Streif. That includes legends such as Hermann Maier whose passion for Hahnenkamm brought him five super-G wins and one downhill title. By the same token, 19-time World Cup downhill winner and world champion Peter Müller of Switzerland never tamed the Streif in 16 tries.

Hermann Maier at the start
Hermann Maier at the start

10. FEAR – every year: Even the latest HD cameras don’t do justice to the steepness of the Streif. The steepest section – with the gradient of 85 percent – is on top of Mausefalle, from where the racers sometimes jump 80m. Add to that, the race preparation and the result is an ice rink! It’s not for the faint-hearted – go and see for yourself!

Didier Cuche jumps down the Mausefalle
Didier Cuche jumps down the Mausefalle

Do you have your own emotional Streif moments to share? Post your best Kitzbühel – Hahnenkamm moments with the hashtag #STREIF and your pictures might be presented to the top legends of the race in Monday's Servus TV show!