Wengen Lauberhorn Men’s Downhill Preview

Roy The Boy previews the Mens Downhill on the Lauberhorn in Wengen,Switzerland and is keen on the chances of Hannes Reichelt.


Over 30,000 spectators are expected trek up the Swiss mountain in Wengen to watch three races this weekend with the Downhill on the Lauberhorn being the showpiece event.

This race and those at Kitzbuhel are considered ‘classics’ amongst the ski racing fraternity.  A place every skier wants to win at as they representing the pure distilled spirit of the sport.

At 2.8 miles long the Lauberhorn is almost 50 percent longer (a full minute) than the typical downhill course.  With it being 7,500ft above sea level and the race against the clock taking two-and-a-half minutes, it is also a lung-buster.

The race to the bottom is mighty demanding too.  Despite an average downhill gradient of 25.3 percent and the steepest point being 87 percent (the Hundschopf jump a third of the way down the course) there is something for everyone.

Yet this competition is not all about speed.  It’s about bravery – they go through a narrow tunnel at 80mph after all and the race has claimed lives – and the ability for tired legs to handle technical turns at the end of the course.

Aksel Lund Svindall shares favoritism with defending champion Hannes Reichelt, both priced at 7/2 with Bet365.  I’m Svindall’s biggest fan and the giant Norwegian has paid me off like a broken slot-machine.  However, he is simply not set out for a race like this.

Svindall is equally adept as a Super G racer as a Downhiller and while his list of achievements is long and littered with accolades, achievements and lots of medals his record on this course is below his brilliant best.

Missing last season through injury, he finished third here in 2014, fell off the course in 2013, and finished 12th in 2012, 15th in 2009, 2010 and 2011.  It is not inspiring course and distance form.

Hannes Reichelt on the other hand, he won this race last year and finished second in 2014.  Third in 2013 and second in his breakthrough year, 2012, the Austrian is the clear form pick.

Given last season’s overall World Cup winner, Kjetil Jansrud (an 11/1 shot), has never finished on the podium here he is easily dismissed.  Christof Innerhofer (8/1 third favourite) is a skier with the form in the book, winning this race in 2013 and finishing third in 2012, but it is almost two years since he last clamed a podium finish of any kind.

In fact, it is hard to see where any true competition is going to come from and I have Reichelt in at 2/1 on my tissue.

Recommended Bet:

1.5 points win Hannes Reichelt to win the Wengen Downhill (on Saturday Morning) at 7/2 with Bet365

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