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This years Hahnenkamm weekend in Kitzbühel kicked off with a unique side event. Despite heavy snow some of the world’s best athletes brought the heat to Pass Thurn, as they displayed their Skijöring skills. Famous racers like Marc Marquez and David Coulthard went head to head with skiing-legends like Darren Rahlves, Armin Assinger and Marc Giradelli. In a tough fought final Roman Hagara and Timo Scheider escaped with surprising victory.

AUSTRIA, Kitzbühel – On Friday some of the best motor sportsmen and ski racers got together to show off their racing skills in the first ever skijöring event in Kitzbühel. Accompanied by dense snowfall and temperatures around zero degrees celcius, they battled it out in front of a cheering crowd. While in classic skijöring, the ski racers are pulled by horses, this time they had a bit more horsepower to work with, as each team got a Ski-Doo to play with. Of course everyone’s goal was to go as fast as they could. The challenge however was not to loose their skiing-partner in the process. Prior to the race’s start the teams were officially drawn by race director Heinz Kinigadner, which led to some exciting match-ups: While Stratos hero Felix Baumgartner teamed up with ORF expert Armin Assinger, Moto GP champion Marc Marquez ended up forming a team with Hannes Trinkl. Prior to the start of the race, it seemed as if team Coulthard/Walchofer was among the event’s favourites. However they fell short in the Semis.

After a short training round the teams of skidoo drivers and ski racers went right into competition. In head-to-head knock-out rounds they all tried to stay on the track, keep up the speed and not loose their skier. Finding the right mixture prooved to be a tricky task and only 6 of the 12 teams advanced to the second round. Staying in the game for a chance to win the prestigeous „golden pineapple“ turned into a tough battle, which forced the race director to take drastic action several times. Out of all teams, the race director himself, Heinz Kinigardner, in his second function as skidoo racer had to take a time penalty giving away the chance to land on the podium. Hans Enn, together with Hans-Peter Steinacher crashed the fence and had to give up early. Finally the teams Alphand/Girardelli, Marquez/Trinkl and Scheider/Hagara made it into the grand finale.

In a striking final, which was started according to the Le Mans rules, the leaders broke away early on. After only one round the DTM champion Timo Scheider and his partner Extreme-Sailing Champion Roman Hagara were able to keep the other teams at bay and managed to extend their lead and finally win the race.

Roman Hagara after his victory: “Timo Scheider and I were a great team! Everything went perfectly. Right from the start we had a slight advantage due to our weight but the defining factor was that we made no mistakes!” He went on saying: “I’m neither a skier nor a motorsports athlete. This must be pretty devastating for our opponents. All of them are athletes and they did not make it easy on each other, everyone wanted to win. For me and Timo this makes it even better!”

The price for the best accident went to Roman Hagara’s tactician Hans-Peter Steinacher and his skijöring teammate Hans Enn, as they got stuck in the fence. The most prestigious price of t e day went to the duo Baumgartner/ Assinger who took home the victory for winning the title of the prettiest duo of the day.

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