Sunday, November 22, 2009

Moscow Parallel Slalom

The FIS Alpine Ski Champions Cup in Parallel Slalom took place Saturday night in Moscow (RUS). For the second consecutive year, the Russian Ski Association hosted an Alpine Ski competition in the city of Moscow. The promotional event was staged as a knock-out event on the grounds of the Moscow City Palace of Children's and Youth Creativity. Located not far from the last event's venue (Moscow State University Square), the new ramp area offers a wider range of facilities for all participants, from athletes, FIS officials, to guests and spectators. The new venue will be known as the Moscow Grand Ramp Arena. This year's ramp was 60 meters high and 35 meters wide, with the total length of the slope about 200 meters. The race course had 20 gates, and was 205 m long with an altitude drop of 70 m. Run-time ca 20 sec. There were estimated 30'000 spectators at the venue.
The victory in the ladies' event, making its premiere in Moscow, went to 24-year-old Therese Borssen of Sweden who narrowly beat Germany's Maria Riesch in the Big Final. In the Small Final, Sweden's Frida Hansdotter beat Sandrine Aubert of France.
In the men's race, 20-year-old Marcel Hirscher followed in the footsteps of Germany's Felix Neureuther who took the victory in the first edition of this event held on 2nd January 2009. Hirscher beat France's Steve Missilier in the men's Big Final. In the Small Final, Michael Janyk of Canada, the bronze medalist in the 2009 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, beat the reigning slalom world champion Manfred Pranger (AUT).
Both of the winners netted USD 30'000. Each racer also received USD 10'000 as start money.
Heavy rain and unseasonably warm temperatures of up to 12°C have challenged the preparations in Moscow. The distribution of the snow on the ramp was delayed until a few days ago to avoid the snow melting away. The snow used for the ramp is brought in from the modern Snow Dome Krasnogorsk, Moscow's new indoor ski facility as well as snow produced on site and trucked in.