Two outstanding French athletes, three triumphs on Ganslern Hill. Jean-Baptiste Grange and Julien Lizeroux received their Hahnenkamm gondolas on Friday.
Their names have been emblazoned on the gondolas for several years now, as they weave their way around the Hahnenkamm lift system. But the time finally came on Friday for Jean-Baptiste Grange and Julien Lizeroux to ”receive“ their gondolas in person – an honour that is not bestowed on every Hahnenkamm winner.
Both French athletes have since ended their sporting careers, but memories of their three triumphs in total will never diminish: “Kitzbühel is everything, for us racers from France too. If you win here, you win for eternity“, said a delighted Jean-Baptiste Grange, who took the Slalom title in 2008 and 2011.
The 37-year-old is the only athlete in the history of the Hahnenkamm Races to have won the Slalom on both the course set on Vorderganslern Hill and finishing straight of the Streif (2008) and the classic course in (2011). He remembers 2008 particularly well: ”I went to the course inspection together with Luc Alphand and saw all the names on the gondolas. I thought to myself: ‘If you want to see your own name up there too, then today is the day.“ Jean-Baptiste Grange, who retired in 2021, was proven right.