Max Franz is one of the biggest hopes in the ÖSV speed team. The 22-year-old already trumped with great results in downhill and super-G last season. In an interview with Skiweltcup.TV Max Franz commented on past season and offered a vision for the Worlds season 2013.
Skiweltcup.TV: The holiday season is nearing its end. Where did you enjoy your holidays and how fit are you by now?
Max Franz: I have not yet had any vacation this summer. I am presently approximately at mid-way point of my fitness training. The main focus by now is on strength training. So far I am very pleased with my progress and hope that it continues to go forward in strides.
Mid-August will see the return to snow in Chile. What is your plan for the next few weeks?
Max Franz: I just concluded a camp with the team in Mallorca. We had perfect conditions for cycling there. Now it is time for routine training until early August. That is when our first on-snow camp in Zermatt takes place. After that we return to Chile.
Head Coach Mathias Berthold commented after the season: "Max Franz had an outstanding season." Does that motivate you for the coming season or are you already feeling the pressure of expectations?
Max Franz: It was a magnificent season. The important thing for me was to be able to race the entire season without injuries. I do not necessarily feel any pressure. For me it is rather an impetus to train even harder in the summer to be stronger and without qualms at the start of the new season. If I can deliver my best performances I do not see anything preventing me from continuing the same way.
You raced all races last season and got to know all the Classic courses. On the "Streif" in Kitzbühel you finished as a young star in 13th place. How important is the routine for the success as a ski racer?
Max Franz: In the downhill the routine plays an important role. You see how even the most experienced racers who have raced all the courses can choose different lines for the key spots on a course. This security needs years to develop. I had the chance to get to know all the courses last season. This coming season promises to be even more exciting.
Kitzbühel is something special for all racers. How much respect does a young racer need to show there and how happy were you to make it down in one piece?
Max Franz: You definitely need to have respect. On the Streif the first and last 30 seconds are what makes the difference. In the middle, you focus on keeping your skis in line. The legendary Mausefalle, entrance to Steilhang etc., are just some of the reasons why every ski racer has respect for the Streif. It is a nice feeling to pass the finish line. If you then see a good place light up, it feels even better.
At the Austrian nationals you took the downhill title ahead of Klaus Kröll. It seems that those beating Klaus Kröll can also dream of a podium place in the World Cup? Do you hope to fulfill this dream already this coming season?
Max Franz: Many things must come together for a podium finish. Your run must be perfect, your skis must be fast and you need some luck as well. But that is my goal and I am working hard for that.
You had your best races in super-G so far. In Gröden you took 5th with bib# 54 and in Kvitfjell you took 5th as well. Are you going to be a super-G specialist next season?
Max Franz: I was initially surprised that my career actually started with a top 10 place in super-G. The two 5th place finishes were two really good runs from me. My heart beats for the speed events but I don’t have anything against a cool slalom either.
You already claimed victory in the kick-off race for the Worlds in Schladming 2013. Among 80 racers you were the fastest in the promotional race in Iceland on a course with a running time of ca 17 seconds. How important is to get a spot on the team at the home Worlds?
Max Franz: Surely that is the main goal for next season. A home World Championship is definitely something special. But there is still much to do until then. A lot of sweat in the summer, no injuries and good, or to be clear, excellent races until then. The promotional event in Iceland was a great experience. It was cool to join forces with so many ski legends, coaches, officials and colleagues to promote the home Worlds.
You are the big hope in the ÖSV speed team. Last season we saw a big question mark on your helmet. Have you found a helmet sponsor after your successful season or does the search continue?
Max Franz: I was happy to see that many companies showed interest in me after last season. Some discussions are underway but there is nothing official on this topic as of now. But I am convinced that I will find a great partner for my future.
What do you want to hear being said about yourself during the 2012/13 season?
Max Franz: "Max Franz wins his first World Cup race!“