Werner Franz ( born March 8, 1972 in Weißbriach, Carinthia ) is an Austrian former alpine skier. He initially specialized in downhill and later successfully combined and super -G. In his repeatedly interrupted by injury career he achieved two victories and a further 17 podium finishes in World Cup race, a victory in the Combined World Cup, a second place in the Super- G World Cup and a third place in the downhill World Cup. At the World Championships he went three times into the top ten, while he never took part in the Olympic Games.
Franz, whose father was a coach in the Carinthian Provincial Association and first coach of his son, celebrated after a few victories in the race student first major success at the national level when he Austrian Junior Champion in downhill in 1990 and 1991. Internationally, he drew attention to himself with the fifth departure place at the Junior World Cup 1990 in Zinal and with his first victory in a FIS run 1991 im Pitztal. He completed a carpentry apprenticeship, but soon focused exclusively on the ski racing. Franz was included in the squad of the Austrian Ski Federation ( Austrians ) in 1990 and was from the winter 1991/1992 of the European Cup Team at. That winter, he won four European Cup downhill, so he decided the exit rating for themselves and third in the overall European Cup was. He came in the same winter also one of the first missions in the World Cup and won on 14th March 1992 20th place in the downhill of his first World Cup points Aspen.
After he had scored in the World Cup in winter 1992/1993 two more times, Franz made at the start of World Cup 1993/1994 season for stir when he surprisingly reached the second place in the downhill on the Saslong in Val Gardena. Initially, this was an exceptional result, until he first drove in winter 1994/1995 two more times into the top ten, and finally again stood second in the Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen on the podium. After a somewhat weaker, affected by injuries 1995/1996 season, Franz succeeded in winter 1996/1997 the rise to absolute world class. He got in four runs, and a combination of the podium, went further six times into the top ten and reached the downhill World Cup the fourth, the fifth and the Combined World Cup in the World Cup in tenth place. Franz succeeded within the Austrian team for the first time the qualification to participate in a major event, he did not come in the downhill World Cup 1997 in Sestriere but the finish.
In winter 1997/1998 Franz was the shape of the previous year's first retained (two podium finishes in the downhill in Bormio, first top-10 results in the super -G), but starting in January he fell back a little, so he from the Austrians not for the Olympic Winter Games was nominated in 1998. But he decided the Combined World Cup in itself, thanks to a second place in the Hahnenkamm combination of Kitzbühel. In the season 1998/1999, Franz was able to increase again. He got in four runs ( two each Val Gardena and Kitzbühel) on the podium, went further eight times into the top ten, each third in the downhill and Combined World Cup and ninth in the overall World Cup was. A hoped- medal at the 1999 World Cup in Vail / Beaver Creek, however, did he finished the World Cup downhill in sixth position.
After a coaching change in the Austrian Ski Federation was from the following season no longer the exit, but the super -G Franz's strongest discipline. For the first time he stood on 21 January 2000, with second place in Kitzbühel in a super -G on the podium, before February 13, 2000 at the Super G in St. Anton am Arlberg his first World Cup victory celebrated, having previously made a total of nine times was second. The 1999/2000 season he finished behind Hermann Maier at the second place in the Super - G World Cup, in the World Cup he came to the third and last time in the top ten. The 2000/2001 season was somewhat less successful, Franz drove only in a super -G on the podium, finishing fifth in the super - G World Cup and as the year eighth in the downhill World Cup. At the 2001 World Championships in St. Anton, he was sixth in the Super -G and eighth in the downhill.
In October 2001, Francis suffered during pre-season in Sölden serious injury in his right knee, which is why he had to pause the entire 2001/2002 season. In comeback Winter 2002/2003 he went three times into the top ten, with his best result was a fifth place in the downhill in Val Gardena. Already the next winter he had to end early again, as it is in January 2004, the shoulder blade broke. The recent comeback in the 2004/2005 season was very successful. He drove that winter exclusively descents and celebrated on December 11, 2004 in Val d'Isere surprising his second World Cup victory. With another three top-10 results, he finished seventh in the downhill World Cup. But with the World Cup 2005 in Bormio, he came only 28th place in the downhill. A fall in the summer training in 2005 in the Chilean Portillo brought Franz another, long forced break. He suffered serious injuries in his right leg and had to miss the entire 2005/2006 season. He tried in the season 2006/2007 a renewed comeback, could not find the connection to the top though. Franz finished the first season downhill in Lake Louise - his last World Cup race - 33rd place and was three weeks later, on 14 December 2006, his retirement from ski racing known.
Francis graduated from the coach education and since 2010 Mr. trainer in Carinthia Ski Association. His cousin Max Franz was also skier.
- Vail 1999: 6 Departure
- St. Anton 2001: 6 Super -G, downhill 8
- Bormio 2005: 28 Departure
Junior World Championships
- Zinal 1990: 5th exit
- 1997/1998 season: 1 combination
- 1998/1999 season: 3rd exit, 3 combination
- 1999/2000 season: 2 Super -G
19 podium finishes, including two victories:
- Season 1991/1992: 3rd overall, 1st exit summary
- 6 podiums, including 4 victories