Cyprien Sarrazin claimed the first World Cup downhill win by a Frenchman at the iconic Kitzbuhel showpiece since 1997 as he topped the leaderboard on Friday.
The French have endured a long wait since Luc Alphand won the race in 1997, having also done so in 1995, but Sarrazin delivered a superb run down the Hahnenkamm.
He clocked 1:55.75 to edge ahead of Italy’s Florian Schieder by 0.05 seconds. Swiss Marco Odermatt was third fastest.
It continued a strong season for Sarrazin who won in Bormio and had two second places in Wengen.
A second downhill takes place on Saturday.
“Now I know the secret for tomorrow,” the 29-year-old told Eurosport.