Like a boxer having just won one of his greatest fights, Cyprien Sarrazin jumped onto the railings of the finish area and screamed with joy in front of 60,000 spectators. The French skier won the prestigious Kitzbühel downhill in Austria on Saturday January 20. At the end of a breathtaking race, he beat the Swiss Marco Odermatt by 91 hundredths and the Italian Dominik Paris by 1 minute 44, impressive gaps at this level.

The day before, the native of Gap had already distinguished himself by winning on the Streif, the slope – more than 3 kilometers long – the most dizzying and most prestigious of the Ski World Cup. At 29, Sarrazin thus becomes the second Frenchman to achieve a double in Kitzbühel, after Luc Alphand in 1995. But at the time, Alphand had won, on the same day, on a route stripped of some difficulties.

“Beyond the victory, there was the run. I didn’t see Marco [Odermatt]’s race. I was told he made a few small mistakes. I pleased myself from top to bottom. I had speed. Crossing the finish line, I felt like I had done something crazy,” explained the French skier to Eurosport at the end of his race.

A fantastic season

Although a bright sun shone over the Austrian track, it was, on January 20, faster than the day before, with more sections on ice. Marco Odermatt, the Habs’ main rival, set off just before Sarrazin with an impressive pace, taking more than a second from all his opponents. But since the end of December and his first victory in Bormio (Italy), the Frenchman has been walking on water. On Saturday, he impressed in all sectors of the track and beat the Swiss, leader of the general classification of the World Cup, by 91 hundredths. An exceptional performance.

Revelation of the season, Cyprien Sarrazin is establishing himself at the highest level. Saturday in Kitzbühel, he won his fifth podium out of seven downhill runs.

His first breakthrough came on December 28, 2023, when he won the Bormio (Italy) downhill, thus ending eight years without a French victory in this specialty. He then confirmed his progress in Wengen (Switzerland), with two consecutive second places, behind Marco Odermatt. The last French podium on this track dates back to Jean-Luc Crétier in 1998. Cyprien Sarrazin even won the Super-G in Wengen.

In Kitzbühel, on January 19, he became the fifth Frenchman to win after Adrien Duvillard (1960), Guy Périllat (1961), Jean-Claude Killy (1967) and Luc Alphand (1997). In the World Cup rankings, Cyprien Sarrazin is now close behind Odermatt in the race for the small downhill crystal globe, a reward awarded at the end of the season in each of the disciplines.