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Thomas Dressen ended Germany’s 13-year wait for a men’s World Cup downhill victory on Saturday Dan Hamhuis Jersey Kids , 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 Madison Bowey Jersey , Italy, in December 2004.

Another victory, 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 Womens Alexander Steen Jersey , 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, 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.
Hours before his Swedish countrymen were to play for their second straight world championship, Daniel Alfredsson reflected on how his life has changed since he has become a hockey dad. Alfredsson headlined the group of eight 2018 inductees to the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame on the final day of competition in Copenhagen.

”You’re never going to get the highs of playing in a world championship or especially the world championship final again,” he said. ”But I’m happy where I’m at.”

For the last year Jonathan Allen Jersey , Alfredsson has been away from the NHL, but not far from the rink.

”Three of my sons play for the same organization,” he said. ”I coached two of the teams.

”I had a really enjoyable time. Learned a lot as well: where to set the bar for the kids at different ages and maturity levels. It was a great experience.”

Originally drafted in the sixth round by the Ottawa Senators in 1994, Alfredsson won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 1995-96 and went on to become the franchise leader in goals (426) and points (1,108) in an NHL career that spanned 18 seasons, 17 of them in Ottawa. He served as captain from 1999 to 2013 and helped the Senators reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2007.

Internationally, Alfredsson won Olympic gold with Sweden in 2006 and silver in 2014, along with four world championship medals – silver in 1995 and 2004 and bronze in 1999 and 2001.

After finishing his playing career with the Detroit Red Wings, Alfredsson signed a one-day contract to officially retire as a member of the Senators in 2014 and had his jersey number retired by Ottawa in 2016. He served two seasons as a senior adviser of hockey operations with the Senators before stepping away from the team in July.

”As long as my kids are involved, I’ll be involved in youth hockey one way or another, as a coach or volunteer or anything,” he said about his plans. ”Professionally, I don’t know. I’ve taken a year off. It’s been nice, but part of me missed the competitiveness. We’ll see what happens.”

Asked if he’d heard anything about the future of his fellow Erik Karlsson, a fellow Swede and current captain of the Senators who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in July 2019, Alfredsson said: ”To me, he says that he wants to stay. But it’s not all in his hands.”

Canadian defenseman and current Los Angeles Kings general manager Rob Blake also was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday.

One of just 28 members of the hockey’s Triple Gold Club Richard Dent Jersey , Blake won a gold medal at the world championship in 1994, a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 and was part of the team that snapped Canada’s 50-year Olympic gold drought in Salt Lake City in 2002. All told, he skated for Canada in three Olympics, four world championships and at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, as well as playing a management role in two world championships and at the 2016 World Cup.

Blake named mentors like Bob Nicholson and the late Pat Quinn as members of the Team Canada brain trust that supported him during his playing days. He supports the return of NHL players to the Olympic stage.

”Yes. To me, it was a tremendous experience to be involved in the Village, just like any other athlete,” said Blake. ”That’s probably what I still get asked most about – the Olympics.”

Six others also were inducted on Sunday, including former NHL stars Chris Chelios and Jere Lehtinen in the player category, plus longtime Canadian referee Bob Nadin and France’s second-generation hockey hero Philippe Lacarriere as builders.

Denmark’s Jesper Damgaard, who played in 17 consecutive world championships, received the Richard ”Bibi” Torriani award for his outstanding career as a player from a smaller hockey nation and Latvia’s Kirovs Lipmans was named the winner of the Paul Loicq Award for his contributions to international ice hockey.
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