The Streif downhill run in Austria is considered the world's most fearsome alpine skiing challenge and to get a sense of what the competitors will face in the Hahnenkamm downhill double-header this weekend, the Red Bull Skydive Team performed a high-speed, low-level fly-through.
Here is all you need to know:
- The FIS Alpine Ski World Cup visits Kitzbühel this week with the men facing two Hahnenkamm downhill races down the famous Streif run on Friday and Saturday as well as a Super G contest on Sunday.
- The Mausefalle, Hausbergkante and Steilhang are the iconic sections feared even by the most hardened pros in alpine skiing with the likes of Italian Dominik Paris targeting victory to boost his title hopes.
- To get a sense of what the world's fastest skiers will face, the Red Bull Skydive Team have produced a preview as they perform a high-speed, low-level fly-through wearing wingsuits and parachutes.
- Max Manow, Felix Seifert, Marco Fürst and Marco Waltenspiel watched the race as children and have now executed a world first flight over the track to highlight the scary, steep turns and terrifying jumps.
- The skydivers dropped out of a helicopter 2,500 metres above Kitzbühel with the Streif start house at 1,665 metres and the finish at 805 metres as the wingsuit pilots flew through steep canyons, including Mausefalle, Steilhang and Hausbergkante, while the paragliders focused their speed parachutes on the sweeping tracks of Brückenschuss, Geschöss and Alte Schneise as well as shooting over the Seidlalm.
- Jumping from the helicopter, the Red Bull Skydivers reached a speed of 60 km/h in less than a second and, flying over the Mausefalle, they reached dizzying speeds of up to 250 km/h.
- The best skiers accelerate from 0 to 60 km/h in three seconds when they catapult out of the start house with Austrian Michael Walchhofer holding the speed record of 153 km/h on the finish slope back in 2006.
- Austrian skydiver Fürst, 29, revealed: "The fact that we were able to fly past the Mausefalle and Hausbergkante with the wingsuit shows how steep it must be there. That must be just brutal to ski down. It's not the hardest race in the world for nothing!"
- Compatriot Waltenspiel, 36, added: "The challenge is huge. So many factors have to fit together. With the speed glider we have a bit more leeway, but with the wingsuit the jump point and angle have to fit exactly. We've had this project in the back of our minds for four years now and thought that would be a real burner if we could fly the Mausefalle or Hausbergkante with the wingsuit at some point."