Sport

Kitzbuhel: Downhill daredevils take on historic Hahnenkamm

Published 1414 GMT (2214 HKT) January 19, 2017
Share
Kitzbuhel gallery 1Kitzbuhel gallery 1
1 of 13
The Kitzbuhel downhill, which takes place on the Hahnenkamm mountain in Austria, is the one race they all want to win. Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Italian Peter Fill was the victor in 2016 and celebrated with Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger. SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The Streif downhill course is the most feared on the circuit, featuring a steep start drop, a maximum gradient of 85% down the Mousetrap section, plus bumps, compressions and plenty of jumps. Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Racers can reach speeds of up to 95mph as they plunge from from 5,462ft to the finish area in the village at 2641ft in under two minutes. JOE KLAMAR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The 2016 race claimed a handful of victims. Norway's World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal was one when he was catapulted on landing off the Hausbergkante jump. Going... JOE KLAMAR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Going... JOE KLAMAR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Gone. JOE KLAMAR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Svindal walked away from his spectacular crash but tore his anterior cruciate ligament and was ruled out for the season. Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Switzerland's Daniel Albrecht suffered a more serious crash when he lost balance over the final jump and landed on his back in 2009. He was placed in an induced coma for three weeks, but made a full recovery and returned to the circuit in late 2010. SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Despite Austria's dominance of the event, Switzerland's Didier Cuche is "Mr. Kitzbuhel" with a record five downhill wins, the last at the age of 37 in 2012. Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Kitzbuhel is an historic town in Austria's Tyrol region, with charming cobbled streets and traditional architecture. ROBERT JAEGER/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The town is awash with hard-partying fans alongside the celebrities and sporting icons during Hahnenkamm week. A record crowd of 100,000 turned up in 1999. The downhill usually attracts about 45,000 alone. JOE KLAMAR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Austrian Karl Schranz won the last of three downhills in Kitzbuhel in 1972, but the race as we know it began in 1937. STAFF/AFP/AFP/Getty Images