Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016. Xtreme Verbier, Switzerland: Mythical Bec des Rosses


The final stage of the Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 will be held on Verbier’s legendary Bec des Rosses.
Some mythical mountains helped build the reputation of the villages and valleys, in their neighborhood, most of the time through a long human and sporting history, written by men strongly willing to reach their summits. These myths, since then, ensure the growth and prosperity of these villages, that became ski resorts. Most of them arouse from the 19th century, sometimes even before.
But there is an exception in the restricted list of mythical mountains; a mountain whose legend was built much more recently, much quicker. And that legend is not due to the bravery of men who attempted the ascent. No, the summit, unlike its peers, can be reached without any major obstacle. What has contributed to its lightning reputation is linked to the exploits of a few men and women, not in the ascent, but the descent, of its breathtaking steep face.
The advent of freeride revealed its impressive north face, at the heart of the Swiss Wallis. Today, it is renowned as one of the most dreaded in the world. Within only a few years, its name has gone around the planet: The Bec des Rosses.
Extreme skiing revealed the Bec des Rosses beyond the borders of Switzerland. It now also gives the opportunity to discover others aspects of its history. Through testimonies of the elderly of the valley as well as mountain guides, among many others, this film traces the advent of a unique mountain to passionate people around the world, and uncovers unexpected events of its history.


Since its inception in 1996 the Xtreme has been considered the most prestigious event in the Freeride world. For the grande finale of the Freeride World Tour the elite of Freeride will tackle the mythical North Face of the Bec des Rosses, a dauntingly steep and frighteningly jagged 500m rock-face. In places, the Bec des Rosses presents 55 degrees of slope. In an upright position one can almost lean on the face with ones elbow. With steep and narrow couloirs, high rock cliffs, changing snow and terrain, it demands technical skill, great physical conditioning and a connection with the mountain that only experience can bring. Around 5000 spectators will join the riders at one of the most beautiful natural arenas of the Alps, the Col des Gentianes in Verbier.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016. Xtreme Verbier, Switzerland. Teaser

The grande finale to the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour is less than a week away! Get a sneak
peek of the definitive last stop in Verbier, Switzerland.



There is not a competition face in the world that has seen more glory, defeat, and inspiration than the renowned North face of the Bec des Rosses, looming over the ski resort of Verbier, Switzerland at 3223m. The season of the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour will come to a momentous finale on the 2nd of April when the 28 remaining riders on the FWT drop into the face for one final chance to earn the title of World Champion in each of the four disciplines.
After the last qualifying cut in Haines, Alaska, the original 63 riders have been reduced to a field of just 12 ski men, 6 snowboard men, 6 ski women, and 4 snowboard women. The victor of each category of the Xtreme will be crowned after event and the riders’ top four results of the season will be counted to determine which riders will be crowned the World Champions.
Two starting gates will mark the entrance to the legendary face: one for men and one for women. The riders will descend over 600 meters to the finish line at 2700m while spectators can look comfortably on from the Col des Gentianes, situated directly in front of the face at 3000m or with an accessible spectator area on-mountain next to the finish line. In addition to the FWT, the Freeride Junior Tour by Dakine competition is taking place concurrently on the nearby Mont Gelé on April 3rd.
The exciting conclusion to the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour is the most important event in freeride and is a showcase of the progression of the finest freeride athletes in the world. Watch the event live on the mountain or catch the live webcast with women ski and snowboard categories available on www.freerideworldtour.com, with men ski and snowboarder categories on www.freerideworldtour.com and Red Bull TV with a short women recap of the event on those two channels.

The Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years shows that the base of the sport is growing exponentially.
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Winning run Logan Pehota. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Haines, Alaska

It has been a strong season for rookie Logan Pehota (CAN – 1st) as he has consistently merged freestyle innovation with classic hard charging – this time was no different as he secured first place with a line featuring a stylish 360 combined with technical mastery.

Winning run Anne-Flore Marxer. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Haines, Alaska

The ongoing feud for world champion between the two Swiss riders Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI –1st) and Estelle Balet (SUI – 2ND) was not settled today despite Marxer’s creative line choice and Balet’s authoritative charging of a direct line on the face.

Winning run Ryland Bell. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Haines, Alaska

Ryland Bell (USA – 1st) is name that resonates hard with the Alaskan snowboard scene – the wild card holder and hometown shredder devastated the Alaskan face with two huge 360s and a visionary transfer that put in him in first place.

Winning run Eva Walkner. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Haines, Alaska

Eva Walkner (AUT – 1st) is one step closer to earning her title of world champion today by employing her tried-and-true method of powerful charging topped with a sizeable air.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Thanks for the great ride! Lara Gut World Cup Finals 2016.

It's not important how many times you fail,
the only thing that matters is what you do to stand up again.

Directed by Niccolò Castelli
Soundtrack: Rocky Wood “Blind Hawaii”
Scene taken by «Everybody Sometimes Falls»
Graphic design Andrea Masciadri
FIS Ski World Cup footage granted by courtesy of Infront Sports & Media and SRG SSR



Switzerland’s Lara Gut formally picked up her Overall globe as the top skier of the season. Gut ended up topping American Lindsey Vonn by nearly 300 points. It is her first-career Overall Title.
Gut had a sensational season, earning 13 total podiums, including six victories. She was a true overall skier this season, as her victories came in three disciplines: downhill, giant slalom and alpine combined. Ironically, Gut earned the discipline globe in the super-G, but it was the one discipline where she did not have a win.
For Gut, the Overall and Super G Titles adds to her impressive collection of accolades. She earned the small globe in super-G in 2014, in addition to owning four World Championship medals and one Olympic medal. In total, the Swiss star has 18 World Cup victories and 33 podiums in her still-young career.

Lara Gut was born in Sorengo, Canton Ticino (27 April 1991).
Gut participated in her first FIS races at age 15 in December 2006. At the Alpine Youth World Championship 2007 at Altenmarkt, Austria, she won silver in downhill. In the same year, she became Swiss national champion in super-G, the second youngest champion of all time. In the 2007 season, Gut finished second in the downhill standings of the Europa Cup.
In late December 2007, Gut made her World Cup debut in a giant slalom at Lienz, Austria. In January 2008, at Caspoggio, she won four consecutive Europa Cup races. At her first World Cup downhill race on 2 February 2008, Gut made the podium at third place at St. Moritz, despite falling on the finishing pitch and sliding on her back through the finish line; she finished only 0.35 seconds behind the winner. She followed her World Cup speed debut with a fifth-place finish in the super-G the next day. Following the 2008 season, Gut was moved up to the World Cup team for the 2009 season.
Early in her first full season, Gut won her first World Cup race on 20 December 2008, a super-G in St. Moritz, finishing 0.63 seconds ahead of runner-up Fabienne Suter. Gut became the youngest skier to win a World Cup super-G race, at 17.65 years (17 years, 237 days).
At the 2009 World Championships at Val-d'Isère, France, Gut won silver medals in the downhill and the super combined, more than two months before her 18th birthday.
On 29 September 2009, Gut fell during training at Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and dislocated her hip. She was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Visp, where it was reset. The Swiss Ski Federation initially reported that Gut would be out of competition for at least a month. In January 2010, it was announced that Gut would miss the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver because of slow recovery from the hip injury. She sat out the entire 2010 season, but returned for the 2011 season and earned four podiums, which included a victory in the super-G at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee in January.
Gut switched ski suppliers following the 2011 season, leaving Atomic for a three-year deal with Rossignol.Though she had seven top ten finishes in three disciplines during the 2012 World Cup season, she did not reach a podium; her best results were three top-five finishes.
In December 2012, Gut won her first World Cup downhill in Val-d'Isère, France.
Gut won her first Olympic medal in the downhill in 2014 at Sochi. She took the bronze, finishing 0.10 seconds behind Tina Maze and fellow Swiss skier Dominique Gisin, who both won the gold. In World Cup, she won the Super-G season title and finished third overall in 2014.
After four years with Rossignol, Gut changed to Head equipment in May 2015.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

That's A Wrap. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016, Haines Alaska

And That's a Wrap! Take a look back at the most incredible moments from the epic Haines, Alaska stop on the Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT).



The replay of Haines amazing event is finally available. You can now catch every moment of action that made this competition one to remember;

The Freeride World Tour Held 4th Competion of the Season in Haines, Alaska


The much anticipated fourth stop of the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour delivers a spectacular show as riders throw down amazing lines on the remote heli-accessed competition face.
Thirty-one of the world’s best riders have made the long journey from Fieberbrunn, Austria to the mountains of Southeast Alaska to compete on the fourth stop of the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour. These riders are composed of an elite selection of riders qualifying after the first round of cuts in the Fieberbrunn last week. After several days of waiting through inclement weather, the riders were finally able to catch a first glimpse of the face this morning when they were heli-ported to the remote venue over 30 miles from Haines.
The ENE-facing competition slope in Haines is known simply as “The Venue” and is over 600 vertical meters of pure Alaskan spines, airs, and aesthetically-featured powder fields. The venue is accessed only by helicopter, adding to the remote and isolated nature of this prestigious event. This year, the face was blanketed in an above-average snowpack giving riders confidence to send big lines.
After nearly a week of waiting though low clouds, light snow, and poor visibility, riders were treated to blue skies and a good visibility for the first time this morning. The weather conditions allowed the snow to adhere to the steep spines of the competition face making for picture-perfect riding conditions in consistent, velvety Alaskan powder.

Ski Men

It has been a strong season for rookie Logan Pehota (CAN – 1st) as he has consistently merged freestyle innovation with classic hard charging – today was no different as he secured first place with a line featuring a stylish 360 combined with technical mastery. When it comes down to big lines, it was business as usual for Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA – 2nd) as he crushed an aggressive start into a huge 360, but his 2nd place finish was not able to guarantee the title of world champion until his final trial in Verbier, Switzerland. Finding a spot on the podium has proved elusive for Drew Tabke (USA – 3rd) this season but his typical innovative line selection and massive backflip secured his third place finish and Verbier qualification.

Riders qualified for Xtreme Verbier, Switzerland:


1- Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) – 6900 points

2- Logan Pehota (CAN) – 6500 points

3- Fabio Studer (AUT) – 5280 points

4- Kristofer Turdell (SWE) – 4815 points

5- Léo Slemett (FRA) – 4780 points

6- Reine Barkered (SWE) – 4560 points

7- Felix Wiemers (GER) – 4500 points

8- Stefan Hausl (AUT) – 4300 points

9- Jérémie Heitz (SUI) – 4295 points

10- Ivan Malakhov (RUS) – 4275 points

11- Dennis Risvoll (NOR) – 4090 points

12- Drew Tabke (USA) – 3955 points


Ski Women

Eva Walkner (AUT – 1st) is one step closer to earning her title of world champion today by employing her tried-and-true method of powerful charging topped with a sizeable air. Matilda Rapaport (SWE – 2nd) had her finest finish of the season with a line that not only demonstrated technical mastery of the Alaskan terrain, but also featured an impressive air. Arianna Tricomi (ITA – 3rd) bit off slightly more than she could chew with a line that featured some of most consequential airs of the day but lacked an overall impression of control due to a backslap at the bottom of her line.

Riders qualified for Xtreme Verbier, Switzerland:

1- Eva Walkner (AUT) - 7200 points

2- Arianna Tricomi (ITA) - 6280 points

3- Matilda Rapaport (SWE) - 5805 points

4- Jaclyn Paaso (USA) - 5755 points

5- Nadine Wallner (AUT) - 4955 points

6- Evelina Nilsson (SWE) - 4735 points


Snowboard Men

Ryland Bell (USA – 1st) is name that resonates hard with the Alaskan snowboard scene – the wild card holder and hometown shredder devastated the Alaskan face with two huge 360s and a visionary transfer that put in him in first place. However, the big news of the day was the well-earned title of world champion secured by Sammy Luebke’s (USA – 2nd) run which featured his trademark 360 and buttery-smooth riding. Unfortunately for the gorilla-suit clad Flo Orley (AUT – 3rd), his boss line terminating with a huge air was nullified by a small crash at the bottom of the venue, leaving him with third place.

Riders qualified for Xtreme Verbier, Switzerland:


1- Sammy Luebke (USA) – 7200 points

2- Jonathan Penfield (CAN) – 5290 points

3- Ralph Backstrom (USA) – 5235 points

4- Camille Armand (FRA) – 5070 points

5- Florian Orley (AUT) – 5060 points

6- Christopher Galvin (USA) – 4735 points


Snowboard Women

The ongoing feud for world champion between the two Swiss riders Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI –1st) and Estelle Balet (SUI – 2ND) was not settled today despite Marxer’s creative line choice and Balet’s authoritative charging of a direct line on the face. Rookie Marion Haerty’s (FRA – 3rd) powerful riding through the steep upper headwall would have placed her higher on the podium if she had managed to stay on her feet through a high-speed exit on into the lower part of the venue.

Riders qualified for Xtreme Verbier, Switzerland

1- Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA/SUI) – 7200 points

2- Estelle Balet (SUI) – 6900 points

3- Marion Haerty (FRA) – 6160 points

4- Elodie Mouthon (FRA) - 5580 points

The exciting conclusion and grande finale to the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour is going down in less than two weeks at the Swatch Xtreme Verbier on April 2, 2016.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lara Gut & Marcel Hirscher Grabs the Overall Globe


Austrian Marcel Hirscher clinched the 2015/16 Overall Season title already in Kranjska Gora and today had the chance to formally pick up his amazing fifth consecutive big crystal globe.
Hischer completed the Herculean feat of winning an amazing fifth-straight Overall Title. Hirscher finished the season with an impressive 20 podiums, including eight victories on the season. He also picked up more hardware yesterday when he picked up the giant slalom discipline globe as the icing on the cake of a picture perfect season.
"For the first time, my team and I could come to the Finals more relaxed, not as much at the limit as the other years", said Hirscher. "The enthusiasm and all the emotions came in the last two weeks when we started to realise. We enjoyed this week much more. In my team, the expectations and the pressure are extremely high. On the one side from the outside, with media, public, etc., and on the other side from the inside, with me as a perfectionist, claiming to win the Overall. It’s very demanding for my whole team, and it’s not much fun. But I think it’s also one of the factors that made it possible to earn this globe five times in a row".
Marcel Hirscher claimed his fifth consecutive overall title on Sunday by an impressive 497 points over Kristoffersen. Despite Hirscher secured the Crystal Globe last month, he skied like he had something to prove today. Perhaps Kristoffersen claiming the slalom title with one race to go had something to do with Hirscher’s on-course tenacity on Sunday.
"It’s been a really great season for sure", explained Hirscher. "Before this season started, statistically, I had no chance to win the fifth globe in a row. I never thought that it was possible. But after a really good start into the season I thought, ‘OK, let’s go for it.’ I gave my best. I had lucky moments. I had amazing moments. I had frustrating moments. Everything was in this season and that was for sure something special".


Switzerland’s Lara Gut formally picked up her Overall globe as the top skier of the season. Gut ended up topping American Lindsey Vonn by nearly 300 points. It is her first-career Overall Title.
It’s been a long season for these athletes, especially those like Switzerland’s Lara Gut who race multiple events in an attempt to win the overall title. Lara Gut's consistency paid off this season and in St. Moritz she won her first FIS Ski World Cup Overall title. 
For a good chunk of the season, Gut and Lindsey Vonn battled for the lead in the FIS Alpine World Cup overall standings. That is until Vonn found herself sidelined by a hairline fracture in her left leg, leaving the Gut free to overtake her for a final time. The Swiss skier all but officially won the globe after the races in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, when Viktoria Rebensburg announced that she would race only three of the four races at World Cup finals in St. Moritz. Today, Gut finally held that globe in her hands.
Gut had a sensational season, earning 13 total podiums, including six victories. She was a true overall skier this season, as her victories came in three disciplines: downhill, giant slalom and alpine combined. Ironically, Gut earned the discipline globe in the super-G, but it was the one discipline where she did not have a win.
"Since started ski racing, I feel like I’m considered as a prodigy and a potential winner of the Overall", said Gut. "So the pressure has always been there. I guess I was not mature enough so far. Now I found my way, I can work and improve my skiing in harmony with my team and I learned to handle the pressure. In a crazy season like this one, with the duel with Lindsey Vonn where the lead changed almost every week-end, this experience helped a lot. I always try to do my best, and maybe it’s enough for the Overall, and this year it was the case. I’m very happy and proud to finally hold it in my hands".
For Gut, the Overall and Super G Titles adds to her impressive collection of accolades. She earned the small globe in super-G in 2014, in addition to owning four World Championship medals and one Olympic medal. In total, the Swiss star has 18 World Cup victories and 33 podiums in her still-young career.
In total, 12 individual globes were handed out at the Season Finals. The winners came from seven different nations during the very balanced and competitive season. FIS would like to congratulation all of this season’s crystal globe winners and looks forward to an exciting 2016/17 season!

Overall:
Lara Gut (SUI)
Marcel Hirscher (AUT)

Downhill:
Lindsey Vonn (USA)
Peter Fill (ITA)

Super-G:

Lara Gut (SUI)
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR)

Giant Slalom:
Eva Marie Brem (AUT)
Marcel Hirscher (AUT)

Slalom:
Frida Hansdotter (SWE)
Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR)

Alpine Combined
:
Wendy Holdener (SUI)
Alexis Pinturault (FRA)

As since 1998 on the ladies side and 1992 on the men's side, Austria took both Nations' Cup.

With today’s race the 2015/16 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup came to a close with skiers from seven different nations earning the 12 crystal globes. Next season, the entire circuit will return to St. Moritz for the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February, where a spectacular show surely awaits.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Viktoria Rebensburg Wins The Giant Slalom Race in St. Moritz, Eva-Maria Brem Grabs Giant Slalom Crystal Globe


The battle for the final crystal globe came down to the last skier of the season as Austrian Eva-Maria Brem needed to hold off German Viktoria Rebensburg in today’s Audi FIS World Cup final giant slalom to earn the discipline crystal globe. She did just that, edging Rebensburg by two points thanks to a fourth-place finish.
Brem sat on top of the standings after the first run, setting up the exciting final run. Rebensburg was in the leaders box when Brem came down meaning the Austrian needed a fourth-place finish to earn the globe, which she earned by a mere 0.05 seconds.
"It was an amazing fight this season in the giant slalom and to have it come down to this final race and such a small margin is unbelievable", said Brem. "I couldn't be happier with how everything worked out today".
The silver lining for Rebensburg is she claimed the top spot on the day by 0.46 seconds against surprise runner-up Taina Barioz (FRA). Switzerland’s Lara Gut ended the day, and the giant slalom season, in third place.
It was a picture perfect end to the 2015/16 season in St. Moritz (SUI) as the final Crystal Globes were awarded. In addition to Brem’s giant slalom globe, Switzerland’s Lara Gut formally picked up her Overall globe as the top skier of the season. Gut ended up topping American Lindsey Vonn by nearly 300 points. Rebensburg ended the season in third place in the overall standings.
The giant slalom globe was the only one of the four technical globes that was still up for grabs going into the Season Finals as Rebensburg sat only 52 points behind Brem. After the first run, Brem sat in pole position in first place, while Rebensburger was 0.66 seconds back in seventh place.

Andre Myhrer Wins The Slalom Race in St. Moritz, Henrik Kristoffersen Grabs Slalom Crystal Globe


The 2015/16 Audi FIS men’s World Cup season came to a close today with the last slalom race of the season. Earning bragging rights on the last day of action was Andre Myhrer (SWE), who won by 0.14 seconds against Marcel Hirscher.
Switzerland’s Daniel Yule led the slalom after the first run by a very slim 0.01 margin over Austria’s Marco Schwarz. Initially, it was thought Schwarz had missed a gate and was disqualified, but upon further video review, it was determined he had skied a clean run. Sebastian Foss Solevaag sat just 0.04 seconds behind in the competitive first run.
But only Foss-Solevaag made it to the podium after the second run as he ended in third place behind the strong second runs of Myhrer and Hisrcher. For Myhrer, the victory was his only of the season and just the fourth podium of the year for Sweden’s tech specialist. Meanwhile Hirscher celebrated his amazing 20th podium finish of the season just before heading up on the stage to collect his crystal globe for the Overall Season title.
"It's an unbelievable way to end the season", said Myhrer after his first win since 2012. "The season was a struggle until Japan and to end it this way is great for me and the people who worked with me all winter".
While the day’s win went to Myhrer, the season slalom title was already decided as Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen formally picked up the discipline globe. Kristoffersen finished well out of podium range today in 19th place as he was battling the flu the entire weekend.
"I'm really happy that I managed to wrap the globe up early", said Kristoffersen. "It was tough being sick, laying in bed for two days. My battery is just flat so it was really lucky that everything was already decided. It's been an unbelievable season this year. I've taken a lot of steps - December and January was especially amazing".
Marcel Hirscher finished the season slalom standings in second place behind Kristoffersen, while German Felix Neureuther ended the season in third place in the discipline.
Another title that was up for grabs kept things tense during the slalom. The Nations Team Cup came down to the wire as Austria was in danger to lose the cup for the first time since 1992 with the French still just over 80 points behind entering the day. Once again, it was Hirscher who saved the day as his second-place performance made it impossible for the French to gain enough ground, keeping the Cup on Austrian soli for another season.

Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016. Haines, Alaska

The Fourth stop of the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour in Haines, Alaska is confirmed for tomorrow Monday, March 21st.
It is time for FWT athletes to shine in the mountains of Haines, Alaska – the last stop before the finals in Verbier!

Don't miss the live webcast on :

FWT Website : http://bit.ly/1UdVqMO
Dailymotion : http://bit.ly/1nqWVZa
Youtube : http://bit.ly/1R9Tml7



The Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years shows that the base of the sport is growing exponentially.
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins The Slalom Race in St. Moritz, Frida Hansdotter Grabs Slalom Crystal Globe


American Mikaela Shiffrin closed the 2015/16 Audi FIS World Cup season the way she started it: as a dominant force. Shiffrin won today’s slalom at the Season Finals in St. Moritz (SUI) in convincing fashion with a huge 2.03 second margin ahead of Veronika Velez Zuzulova.
Despite this being Shiffrin’s fifth slalom win of the season, it was still not enough for the American to take the discipline globe as Frida Hansdotter (SWE) earned the bragging rights for the season and formally picked up her globe at the awards ceremony after the race. Hansdotter’s consistency earned her the globe as she finished on the podium in seven of ten races, and was never out of the top-10.
"It's an amazing day for me", said Hansdotter after the race. "To stand there with the globe is something I have always dreamed of and I just don't have words to explain the feelings and emotions and what this means to me".
Hansdotter finished the day in third place, 2.13 seconds behind Shiffrin’s blistering pace.
Shiffrin, in all likelihood, would have been in the hunt for the globe had she not suffered an injury forcing her to sit out two months of World Cup action, in the end, she closed the season fourth in the standings.
I’m happy with how I’m skiing the slalom right now", said Shiffrin. "I’m not quite all the way back in the giant slalom, but I’m feeling very strong and confident with my slalom skiing and will work over the summer to stay at this level and improve".

Second French Podium Sweep of the Season. Marcel Hirscher Grabs Giant Slalom Crystal Globe


The French men dominated today’s Audi FIS World Cup Season Final Giant Slalom as Thomas Fanara paved the way for a French podium sweep. He edged teammate Alexis Pinturault by 0.02 seconds and Mathieu Faivre by 0.14 seconds.
It was the second French podium sweep of the season as they also finished 1-2-3 in the alpine combined in Kitzbühel, which was the first sweep for the nation in 46 years.
"It's just an amazing feeling to get my first career victory", said Fanara. "To share this with my teammates makes it that much more special for. I want to enjoy this moment with the entire French team. So many other racers came up and congratulated me and I could see in their eyes they were sincerely happy that I won today and that means a lot to me".
Marcel Hirscher (AUT) already had the discipline globe wrapped up entering today’s race and finished in fifth place in the race about a half second behind Fanara.
"It was not the easiest season for me to earn the giant slalom globe", said Hirscher. "The French team, especially Pinturault is getting better and better and it won't be easy in the future to beat them. It definitely wasn't easy this season already".
The French sweep also makes the battle for the Nations Team Cup, awarded to the nation that earns the most overall World Cup points for men's, ladies' and combined, a very interesting one. Austria has had a stranglehold on the men's Cup, winning it every year since 1992, but with today's sweep, the French are within striking distance to steal the crown sitting only 85 points behind.
Tomorrow, the men will race their final event of the 2015/16 season in the slalom. Following the race, Hirscher will officially be crowned the season champion and will pick up his amazing fifth consecutive crystal globe as the Overall Season winner.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Switzerland Wins Nations Team Event in St. Moritz


The Swiss success streak continued at the Audi FIS World Cup in St. Moritz (SUI) as the host nation claimed the crown at the Nation’s Team Event. The Swiss have now won three of the five races at this year’s season finals in addition to earning two second-place finishes..
The team of Wendy Holdener, Daniel Yule, Michelle Gisin and Reto Schmidiger topped Germany’s entry with Katrin Hirtl-Stanggassinger, Stefan Luitz, Lena Duerr and Dominik Stehle in a quirky Big Final. The Swiss had two skiers not finish their runs in the final, but thanks to the strong runs by Holdener and Schmidiger, Switzerland earned the win by a very slim 0.04 margin against their neighbors.
Holdener and Schmidiger were the heroes the entire day for the Swiss as they won all of their races. Switzerland beat Norway, Sweden and Germany en route to the team victory.
In the Small Final, Sweden grabbed the third spot on the podium after beating France in three of the four races.
The Nation’s Team Event is a fan and athlete favorite and the stands were packed today under perfect sunny skies in St. Moritz. In total, 11 teams entered the race after FIS expanded the field from the standard eight teams. Austria, Norway, USA and Italy all bowed out in the quarterfinals, leaving the final four teams to duke it out for the three podium spots.
The Nation’s Team Event is due to join the Olympic Program in 2018, making every one of the competitions between now and then an important test for the newest Olympic event.The compact knockout format race features two male and two female racers per team with the best combined time advancing to the next round.
Today after the race, in addition to the Nation’s Team Even awards, the crystal globes for the Alpine Combined title were also awarded. The Swiss had yet again another reason to celebrate as Wendy Holdener officially accepted her globe in front of the home crowd, while Alexis Pinturault (FRA) picked up his globe on the men’s side.

Sixth IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 wrapped up its sixth visit confident that PyeongChang 2018 is moving in the right direction as Games preparations intensify in the final two years.
At a closing news conference with PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (COG) President Yang-ho Cho, Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg expressed satisfaction with construction progress at competition venues and congratulated Games organisers for the success of early test events.
The first round of recent test events — the Alpine World Cup, the Snowboard World Cup and the Freestyle Ski World Cup — won praise from athletes and positive reviews from technical experts. The number of events and the workload for PyeongChang 2018 will soon increase dramatically, with 24 test events set for the next winter sports season.
The first test event, the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating, is scheduled for December at the new Gangneung Ice Arena.
Ms Lindberg said, "There is still a lot of work to do, but PyeongChang 2018 is on track to deliver great Olympic Winter Games for Korea and the world. We are pleased with what we have seen and heard during our visit".
POCOG President Cho said, "This Coordination Commission meeting has been a very productive few days for all of us, sharing constructive feedback and expertise. As we move into the critical operational phase of the Games, I would like to thank the IOC and International Federations for their continued guidance and support. The strong partnership that we share is instrumental to our success".
He added, "As we have seen with our first test events, our continued cooperation is essential to hosting great Games. With our close cooperation, we will ensure great Olympics and Paralympics in 2018".
The Coordination Commission’s three-day visit (14-16 March) included a series of venue visits and discussions with POCOG on all aspects of Games preparations, including the athlete experience, legacy planning, sustainability and transport, as well as plans for the Paralympic Games.
Aware that the Rio 2016 Games are fast approaching, POCOG presented its plan to establish the PyeongChang House in Rio de Janeiro during the Games. The facility will showcase winter sports and PyeongChang’s Games preparations.
The visit confirmed that construction on the Ice Arena and other competition venues remains on schedule. The Coordination Commission also noted the strong and growing commercial support for the Games.
Before leaving PyeongChang, the Commission Chair joined a signing ceremony for the newest PyeongChang 2018 partner, Lotte, a partner for department and duty free stores. With the signing, PyeongChang 2018 has reached nearly 70 per cent of its sponsorship goals.

The PyeongChang 2018 Games, which will take place from 9-25 February 2018, will be the third to be staged in Asia, and the first ever in the Republic of Korea, following Nagano (JPN) in 1998 and Sapporo (JPN) in 1972.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee’s (POCOG’s) ‘New Horizons’ vision aims to expand winter sports in Asia and transform the local Gangwon province into a new winter sports and tourism destination.
From a logistical point of view, the concept for the 2018 Winter Games is one of the most compact ever seen.The vision for PyeongChang is based on a compact geographical area, split between a coastal and a mountain cluster.
The coastal cluster, centred around the town of Gangneung on the Republic of Korea’s eastern seaboard, will provide the setting for the events on ice (speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling), with the main Olympic Village complex and mountain cluster (comprising the skiing and snowboarding courses and the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track) located only a 30 minute car journey away.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Beat Feuz Wins (also) The Super G Race, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Takes Super G Title


For the second straight day at the Audi FIS World Cup Season Finals in St. Moritz, Beat Feuz (SUI) stood on the top step of the podium after he won today’s super-G.
Norwegians Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Kjetil Jansrud tied for second place, finishing 0.10 seconds behind the Swiss sensation. The second place finish for Kilde was enough for the young Attacking Viking to claim the super-G Crystal Globe as he celebrated his triumph as he crossed the finish line. It is the first career globe for the 23 year-old as he led a Norwegian sweep in the discipline with Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal ending in second the third place on the season.
The win also made Norway the dominant force in super-G as it became the first nation to win the super-G season title 10 times.
But for the fans in St. Moritz, the only story line that mattered was the amazing comeback of Feuz, who has reemerged on the World Cup scene in grand fashion since the start of 2016, earning five podiums, including the two victories here in St. Moritz. All of the other 2016 podiums came in downhill, so the super-G victory sets the stage for what could be a very strong season for Feuz next year.
"It's hard to say what exactly is happening here in St. Moritz. It's amazing, to think just one week ago in Norway where I told my coach if I didn't qualify for the super-G here, then I would race as a forerunner", said Feuz after the race. "I was really unsure if I could make it back this season, so to end the season with two wins is a dream."
The atmosphere in St. Moritz could not have been any better, as the host of the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships had dream weather and a fairy tale story in both the men’s and ladies’ super-G races today. In addition to Feuz’s triumph, Lara Gut picked up the super-G globe after her second place finish today.
"I hope that the championships are as good as this week has been, but there's a lot of work to do between now and next season", said Feuz.
In just four races so far, the Swiss have two victories and two second place finishes, in addition to Gut’s super-G globe today and her officially receiving the 2015/16 Overall Globe on Sunday.

Tina Weirather Wins The Super G Race in St. Moritz, Lara Gut Grabs Super G Crystal Globe


Tina Weirather won the last Super G race of the season. Lara Gut came in second +0.41 behind and Cornelia Hütter took third +0.59 seconds out.
Racers were greeted with a dream day and dream conditions in St. Moritz (SUI) with sunny skies and crisp temperatures making for ideal snow for today’s deciding race. The atmosphere in the Swiss resort was also great as fans are enjoying the massive Swiss success and looking forward to the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships here next year.
It was Weirather’s second season victory in the super-G and her third podium in the discipline this season. In comparison, Gut has four podiums in the super-G this season, with three second-place finishes and one victory.
"Most of us were surprised at how fast and tight the course was, but it feels great to win today. I knew to have a chance for the globe, I had to win and the rest was out of my hands. Since the beginning of the season wasn't so good for me, I was surprised that I could still compete for the globe here at the finals.", said Weirather,
Third place on the day went to Austrian Cornelia Huetter, Huetter was in the hunt for the super-G globe entering the race, but was in a must-win situation to take home the globe.Lara Gut was still all smiles despite missing the top step on the podium as she knew her performance was enough to secure the discipline Crystal Globe. For Gut, the Super G Title adds to her impressive collection of accolades. She earned the small globe in super-G in 2014, in addition to owning four World Championship medals and one Olympic medal. In total, the Swiss star has 18 World Cup victories and 32 podiums in her still-young career.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Colorado Ski Country USA’s Mid-Season Skier Visits On the Rise

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced today that its 21 member resorts reported an increase in skier visitation through February. Skier visits at CSCUSA resorts were up by 3.8 percent during the second period of the 2015/16 season, defined as January 1, 2016 through February 29, 2016, compared to the same period of the prior year. The mid-season momentum has also pushed the industry ahead in season-to-date skier visit totals, defined as opening day through February 29, 2016, where visitation at CSCUSA resorts was up by 6.2 percent compared to the same point in time last year.
"We’re very pleased with the way the season is shaping up", explained Melanie Mills, president and CEO, Colorado Ski Country USA. "While we would’ve liked to have seen more significant storms come through Colorado in January and February, the weather pattern was not unexpected given that this is an El Nino year. Resorts received enough snow to hold up their fantastic early season conditions and guests have been enjoying the sunny days and mild temperatures just the same".
With beautiful spring skiing conditions around the state, resorts are welcoming spring break visitors and guests from all over the world. "There are about two months left in the season and snow is in the forecast for this week. We’re optimistic that this season’s positive momentum will continue and skiers and snowboarders will take advantage of the spring conditions, the Colorado sunshine and the outstanding hospitality for which our resorts are known", said Mills.
Final season visitation numbers will be announced at CSCUSA’s 53rd Annual Meeting in June. Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort.

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing 21 Colorado ski & snowboard resorts. CSCUSA is the global voice of the Colorado ski industry. The Association’s primary functions are concentrated in marketing, public policy and public relations.

Mirjam Puchner Wins The Downhill Race, Lindsey Vonn Grabs Downhill Crystal Globe


Austria's Mirjam Puchner won the last Downhill race of the season, her first career World Cup victory. Fabienne Suter came in second just +0.13 behind and Elena Curtoni took third +0.17 seconds out.
Puchner has been strong on the St. Moritz course all week, including having the fastest complete training run yesterday. But nevertheless her triumph in today’s downhill came as a surprise. Her previous best downhill finish was this season in Val d’Isère where she earned eighth place and she entered today’s race ranked 18th in the downhill standings.
"I'm speechless, my goal today was to finish in the top ten, so I am overwhelmed", said Puchner. "I had it a little easier since I started earlier. The light definitely got harder as the race went on. It was a great atmosphere today in St. Moritz, I am really looking forward to the World Championships next year".
Fabienne Suter was the only one of the top-ten ranked downhill skiers to make it onto the podium as the course slowed significantly as the race wore on, leaving the favourites well off the winning pace. Suter was also one of the few racers with a late bib number to find success, much to the joy of the Swiss fans, who were already in a festive mood after Beat Feuz’s downhill triumph an hour earlier.It was Suter’s fifth time finishing in second place this season.
"It’s a good way to end the season", said Suter. "The podium today was good finish for me and now I can look ahead with full motivation for next season".


Lindsey Vonn already had the Audi FIS World Cup ladies’ downhill globe wrapped up entering today’s final race in St. Moritz. Lindsey Vonn raced to the runner-up position behind Nadia Fanchini on 20th February in la Thuile (ITA) . With the second place, the 31-year-old secured the downhill crystal globe. With this eighth downhill crystal globe, Vonn broke Moser-Pröll's record for most in this discipline. Vonn also surpassed Stenmark with a total of 20 globes (all disciplines). Stenmark claimed 19 crystal globes between 1975 and 1984.

Tomorrow Lara Gut has a good shot at winning her second super-G globe as she is only 19 points behind the leader Lindsey Vonn. She is followed by Cornelia Hütter (AUT, 340) and Tina Weirather (LIE, 336). A sixth place (40 points) would be sufficient for Lara Gut to secure the title.

Beat Feuz Wins The Downhill Race, Peter Fill Takes Downhill Title


Switzerland found its speed power again as Beat Feuz won the last Downhill of the season in St. Moritz. Beat Feuz was joined on the podium by American Steven Nyman and Canadian Erik Guay.
"It definitely means a lot to win this race here in St. Moritz today", said Feuz. "With next year being the World Championships, it gives some confidence and it is a great way to end the season".
Peter Fill had a very strong and constant season. Fill may not have won today’s battle in the Downhill at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Season Finals in St. Moritz (Switzerland), but he won the season’s war as he officially collected his Crystal Globe as the top Downhill skier for the 2015/2016 season.
Fill became the first-ever Italian male to win the downhill globe. He was not a headline grabber during the season, earning only two downhill podiums, but his consistency and ability to almost always land in the top 10 earned him the globe.
"It was a great feeling and a dream came true for me today", said a happy Fill. "It was not an easy race for me today as the last racer, the visibility wasn't good and conditions were hard, but in the end it was a perfect day".
Second and third place on the season went to the Norwegian duo of Aksel Lund Svindal and Kjetil Jansrud, Svindal missed the last portion of the season after suffering an ACL injury in Kitzbühel, while Jansrud’s fourth-place finish was not enough to overcome Fill in the downhill standings. It is the first time since 2012 that a Norwegian has not won the downhill globe.


Tomorrow the Super-G title will be decided. In the 7 Super-G events held this season, 14 different athletes climbed onto the podium! So the Cup Standings were very open, with Kilde, Svindal, Kriechmayr, Jansrud, Weibrecht and Janka who could potentially claim the discipline globe. Right now, Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is leading the standings, 25 points ahead of injured Aksel Lund Svindal and 37 points ahead of Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr. Together with defending champion Kjetil Jansrud, who is 40 points behind Kilde, he two young guns (Kilde is 23 and Kriechmayr 24) have the best chances to earn this globe. Mathematically, Andrew Weibrecht (91 points behind) and Carlo Janka (92 points behind) can still grab the Super-G globes, but the likelihood is pretty small, since Kilde, Kriechmayr and Jansrud should all three finish behind them in order for this to happen.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sixth IOC's Coordination Commission Visit Starts in PyeongChang

The IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 began its sixth visit today (14 March) with a series of venue tours in the coastal cluster.
Chaired by IOC Executive Board member Gunilla Lindberg, the Commission assessed progress at the Gangneung Sports Complex, the Kwandong Hockey Centre, the Gangneung Media Village and the Gangneung Olympic Village.
Commission members will receive progress reports on other aspects of Games preparations in a series of meetings with the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee, led by President Yang-ho Cho. Representatives from winter sports International Federations are participating in the three-day visit to provide additional sport-specific expertise.
The Commission’s focus areas will include services for athletes, National Olympic Committees, International Federations, the media, spectators and other Games participants, as well as topics related to the Paralympics, legacy planning and sustainability.
The latest Commission visit follows a series of successful skiing and snowboard test events in PyeongChang, and comes less than two years before the Opening Ceremony. The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games will run from 9 to 25 February 2018.

The PyeongChang 2018 Games, which will take place from 9-25 February 2018, will be the third to be staged in Asia, and the first ever in the Republic of Korea, following Nagano (JPN) in 1998 and Sapporo (JPN) in 1972.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee’s (POCOG’s) ‘New Horizons’ vision aims to expand winter sports in Asia and transform the local Gangwon province into a new winter sports and tourism destination.
From a logistical point of view, the concept for the 2018 Winter Games is one of the most compact ever seen.The vision for PyeongChang is based on a compact geographical area, split between a coastal and a mountain cluster.
The coastal cluster, centred around the town of Gangneung on the Republic of Korea’s eastern seaboard, will provide the setting for the events on ice (speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling), with the main Olympic Village complex and mountain cluster (comprising the skiing and snowboarding courses and the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track) located only a 30 minute car journey away.

Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals. St. Moritz 2016


St. Moritz, will host the Skiing World Cup Finals from the 16th to the 20nd March 2016.
At the end of the World Cup Season 2015-2016 the best racers in Alpine ski sport gather in St.Moritz to compete in the final races They determine the winners for the individual disciplines, who will be awarded the coveted crystal balls.
The location of the World Cup Final is always the World Chamiponship destination of the following year; this is the big test for the organising team of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championship 2017: they can test the design of the runs for the individual disciplines as well as infrastructure, concepts and strategies for the World Ski Championship and make adjustments where necessary that will benefit the World Championship races.


St Moritz has hosted the Championships on four previous occasions since first staging them in 1934. After two Olympic Winter Games – the only ones ever held in Switzerland – and four Alpine World Ski Championships (1934, 1948, 1974 and 2003), St. Moritz is looking to run in 2017 the World Ski Championships for a fifth time – a feat that knows no equal elsewhere in the world, and which but serves to confirm the Engadiners' standing at the forefront of international winter tourism.
In addition to thrilling competitions, the spectators can look forward to a varied program of events: in the finishing area there will be a village with food stands to cater for the public, there will be entertainment and above all an exciting atmosphere generated by the stadium TV station and music.
The Season Finals are always a special event for the ski family. Not only is it an exciting sprint to finish as athletes compete for the World Cup Overall Titles, it is also a chance for the entire Alpine family to come together one last time before the off-season arrives.

St. Moritz (SUI)
WC Finals 2016

March 16th Downhill / Ladies & Men
March 17th Super G / Ladies & Men
March 18th Team / Mixed
March 19th Giant Slalom / Men
March 19th Slalom / Ladies
March 20th Slalom / Men
March 20th Giant Slalom / Ladies

St. Moritz is more than just a holiday resort. It was also the birthplace of Alpine winter holidays in 1864. Nevertheless, St. Moritz first became famous thanks to its mineral springs, which were discovered 3,000 years ago and established the town as a summer spa resort early on.
St. Moritz, lies on the south side of the Alps, in the Upper Engadine Valley, at an elevation of 1,856 m, boasts plenty of sunny days. It was exactly this sun that was legally protected as the emblem of St. Moritz in 1930. St. Moritz was often ahead of the times - for example, the first electric light went on at Christmastime in 1878, the first golf tournament in the Alps took place here, in 1889 and one of the first ski lifts in Switzerland began running in 1935.
St Moritz is Switzerland's most famous exclusive winter resort: glitzy, expensive, and fashionable. Few ski destinations can claim even one five-star hotel, but this sunny Swiss lakeside resort boasts five, including the all-suites Carlton, located in Tsar Nicolai II’s former vacation house. St. Moritz Dorf in the hillside over the lake includes Via Serlas’s jet-set shooping "luxury mile", with boutiques like Emilio Pucci, Gucci, Chanel or jewelleries like Bucherer, Cartier or Chopard. St. Moritz Bad, at the lake’s foot, hides local gems among its shops, restaurants and hotels.
The valley offers nine ski areas accessed with a single ski pass. Several of them are connected by lifts; the rest are connected by bus. The Engadine Ski Paradise: St. Moritz-Corviglia, Corvatsch, Diavolezza are synonymous with breathtaking and unforgettable skiing experiences. 60 modern transportation facilities open up on 350 km of snow covered runs at altitudes from 1,800 to 3,300 metres above sea level of slopes in nine different skiing areas with 37 mountain restaurants.

13th Glacier Bike Downhill Race in Saas-Fee

Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016. Haines Alaska Teaser

Only a few days to one of the most epic stops on the FWT: the freeride Mecca of Haines, Alaska!



The Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing in the world’s best mountain resorts. Created in 2008, the FWT became even more global in 2012 following the union of North American-based Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, and the European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour. Besides the successful implementation of this truly global FWT, the increase of Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) and Junior Freeride Tour events in recent years shows that the base of the sport is growing exponentially.
The FWT represents top-level big mountain riding, the most progressive and pure discipline of skiing and snowboarding. Riders use the entire mountain as their canvas, from cliffs, cornices and chutes to powder fields and trees. FWT events have invitation-only athlete rosters but the full FWQ series allows athletes to compete in 1 to 4-star level events and qualify for the FWT the following season. All FWT competition venues are handpicked for their terrain, as well as their steepness, and offer a wide range of options to those competing.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wendy Holdener Takes Victory in Lenzerheide and the Alpine Combined Globe


It was a dream day for Switzerland as the Alpine nation saw Wendy Holdener ski to her second career victory, topping the field by a convincing 0.46 margin in the third alpine combined race of the season. Putting the exclamation mark on the banner day was Lara Gut’s third-place finish which lifted her to the 2015/16 Overall Season Title.
Holdener, who just earned her first career victory a few weeks ago at the City Event in Stockholm, has been on a roll since then, taking two more second-place finishes, including in the alpine combined in Soldeu (AND). That finish, together with today’s victory also lifted Holdener to the alpine combined Season Title.
"I feel like I still don't know that I won a globe", said the 22-year-old. "Maybe tomorrow I will realise it. I honestly didn't think it would happen this morning".
Due to foggy conditions, the slalom was run first today before the deciding super-G. Holdener led the field after the slalom run, and despite a slight mistake in the super-G managed to hold onto that lead as she came down to the finish area with tears in her eyes celebrating the victory in front her home fans.
"My slalom run was really solid", said Holdener. "But I thought that it wouldn't be enough that's why I had to give it all out in the second run. I actually made so many mistakes in the super-G that I thought it was over. But then I saw the spectators cheering so loud and told myself 'oh maybe that's a podium.' When I actually saw the green light it was such a relief".
Gut, who was 9th after the slalom, came down as fastest skier in the super-G, until eventual runner-up Michaela Kirchgasser (AUT) knocked Gut out of the leader box for just a mere 0.01 seconds. But Gut was still all smiles despite missing the top step on the podium as she knew her performance was enough to secure the Crystal Globe.
"Now I can go to St. Moritz and only focus on my skiing", Gut said at the press conference. "There is no need to speak about points but just about the races. I will only get the Globe on the last day anyway".
For Gut, the Overall Title adds to her impressive collection of accolades. She earned the small globe in super-G in 2014, in addition to owning four World Championship medals and one Olympic medal. In total, the Swiss star has 18 World Cup victories and 31 podiums in her still-young career.

Kjetil Jansrud Wins Super G in Kvitfjell


A great speed weekend came to a closet in Kvitfjell (NOR), with the last regular super-G before the Finals. Only four athletes earned a Super-G podium more than once this season (Svindal, Hirscher, Kilde, Weibrecht), so the outcome of today’s race was wide open, and the Cup standings very tight.
Local Kjetil Jansrud, who grew up in the region, naturally knows this course perfectly and put that knowledge to good use today to claim the victory. Vincent Kriechmayr (2nd +0.17) and Dominik Paris (3rd +0.32) rounds out the podium.
The win also keeps his hopes alive for the super-G globe as he is 40 points behind current leader and teammate Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
"I skied well yesterday“, said Jansrud. "But I didn't quite make it as fast as I wanted. Today it's other way around. I felt like I skied just a decent run and no big mistakes. I skied according to plan and it's also good for confidence that you can win with such a run. It feels like Norway was expecting this, so it’s great to deliver. It's where I grew up, then definitely, I want to win here again".
Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr finished in second place, equaling his best career result earned last season in Kvitfjell. The 24 year-old's worst result this season is a 11th in Kitzbuehel, which puts him in second place in the C super-G standings, 37 points behind.
"I like to come back to Kvitfjell, I really like this hill. Two years ago I had my first Top 10 here and last year my first World Cup podium. It was my goal to be among the fastest racers in the super-G, but the globe was not a concrete goal. It’s going to be exciting in St.Moritz".
One athlete on fire at the moment is Dominik Paris (ITA). He took his sixth podium of the season, all coming since February. Despite the good results, the South Tyrolean felt that he had a hard time in super-G and couldn’t find his speed properly. But Kvitfjell fixed it and gave him confidence again.
"I’m feeling much better", said Paris. "I had to struggle in super-G, so to finish the season in this way really makes me happy. I don’t think I can go for the globe, but it would be great to have another strong run at the Finals. This slope suits me, I like it in Norway. I scored my first points in Super-G here, so I have good memories here".

13th Glacier Bike Downhill Race in Saas-Fee

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cornelia Hütter Wins Lenzerheide Super G


Austria's Cornelia Hütter mastered the 7th super-G race of the season on Saturday to claim her first career World Cup victory, in front of 6500 cheering spectators.
The 23-year-old finished in 1:14.52 on the Beltrametti course under sunny skies, just 0.10 seconds faster than local favourite Fabienne Suter. Hütter's team-mate Tamara Tippler rounded out he podium, 0.35 seconds out.
Hütter admitted she had struggled with a sore knee in recent weeks but that it felt good again in training in the last two days.
"Today is just amazing", said Hütter. "I don't now what to say. The whole season has been great and now I'm on the very top, it's unbelievable".
Cornelia Hütter and Tamara Tippler both recorded their first podium finishes in super-G this season. Tippler and Hütter finished in second and third place respectively in Lake Louise. Hütter also podiumed in Altenmarkt/Zauchensee and Tippler came in third at Soldeu.
"Tamara is actually my room-mate", Hütter explained. "Last night we were joking and said that that it could be our day today and we actually made it. She is a really good friend and it's great that she is on the podium with me".
Swiss skier Fabienne Suter came down after the favourites with bib 24 and claimed her 11th career podium in super-G, three years after the last one in St. Anton in January 2013.
"This morning I was a little bit nervous", Sutter admitted. "I didn't ski well on the warm-up hill and I thought 'maybe today it won't work'. My legs were kind of weak but I managed to change that and I am very happy with the result".

Dominik Paris Wins Downhill in Kvitfjell


Italian Dominik Paris claimed his second win of the season after the downhill of Chamonix and comes back only 4 points behind the leading duo Svindal/Fill in the Cup Standings.
The surprise of the day came from Frenchman Valentin Giraud-Moine. The 22 years-young keeps breaking personal records and made a big step by taking his first World Cup podium ever. His best perforance so far was 12th in the Super-G in Jeongseon last February. Thanks to his solid run, he finished second only +0.20 behind Paris today and got his qualification for the Finals in St.Moritz.
"I feel really good", said Giraud-Moine. "It’s amazing to get this first World Cup podium. I had little mistakes, I had the feeling not to be in the race at 100% and not to be able to do what I wanted, but I kept calm and my skis were fast, I carried a lot of speed into the finish and that was it. I’m so happy to go to the finals and to have an extra race, it’s only bonus, I’m looking forward".
Steven Nymann also shines on this end of the season and earns his third season podium in a row in downhill. After a third place in Jeongseon and a second place in Chamonix, the American laid down a clean run and took the third spot on the podium, +0.24 off Paris' pace.
"I've been really nervous", said Nyman. "I've had that mental battle and I had to settle myself down and focus on the necessities. I know everything is working right, I know my body is right, I just have to perform. I had higher expectations [for this season]. I started out very slow, I'll have to really establish myself in the beginning. But I've had a really good end of season, so if I mix those together, hopefully I can make a push for the title".

Friday, March 11, 2016

Vail Resorts To Invest $13 Million at Wilmot Mountain

On January 19, 2016 the Company acquired Wilmot Mountain. Located approximately 65 miles north of Chicago, Illinois, Wilmot serves the Chicago area, which is one of Vail Resorts' most important destination geographies with approximately 800,000 skiers and riders. The acquisition was completed for total cash consideration of approximately $20 million.
Now Vail Resorts announced an investment of $13 million to re-imagine the entire guest experience at Wilmot Mountain. In addition, the Company announced that Wilmot will be included in the Vail Resorts season pass lineup, offering the best resort access and value in the snow sports industry on one season pass.
"We think our guests from Chicago and Milwaukee will be thrilled with the investments we are making at Wilmot for the 2016-2017 ski season, which represents one of the biggest transformations ever undertaken for a Midwestern ski area", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "And, with our Epic Local Pass, our guests will now be able to ski Wilmot and all of our world-class ski resorts in Colorado, Utah and Lake Tahoe".
The Company’s $13 million commitment to upgrade and modernize Wilmot Mountain will include:

New Lifts. Three new four-person chairlifts will replace existing lifts. Combined with a new high-speed rope tow in the terrain park and two new surface conveyor lifts in the beginner area, the new lifts will increase capacity by up to 45 percent, allowing skiers and snowboarders more time on the slopes.
Base Area Transformation. The entire base lodge will be transformed, including the addition of 400 seats and upgrading the food and beverage offering to accommodate more guests. In addition, the facility will be modernized to offer seating for families, groups and adults, including a new bar and Wi-Fi throughout the facility. The Iron Kettle restaurant will be completely redesigned and will include a new lounge and bar where parents will be able to watch their children ski and snowboard and enjoy a full-service bar and food service in an energized, yet comfortable, setting.
New Kids’ Ski and Snowboard School and Enhanced Beginner Area. A dedicated and state-of-the-art children’s ski and snowboard center will be created adjacent to the learning terrain at the base of the ski area, featuring a playful open space for kids along with their own lunch and break room. This dedicated space will be a hallmark addition to create the premier ski and snowboard school experience in the Chicago area. The learning terrain will be re-graded to be more accessible for teaching beginners and two new surface conveyor lifts will be added for easy access.
New Terrain Park and High-Speed Rope Tow. A new expanded terrain park will offer unique and innovative features designed and created by terrain park staff at the Company’s western resorts, as well as the addition of a new high-speed rope tow to enable skiers and snowboarders to spend more time in the terrain park.
Expanded State-of-the Art Snowmaking. Significant improvements will be made to the snowmaking infrastructure including the addition of new energy-efficient snowmaking guns and pumps to increase the snowmaking capacity and allow Wilmot to open more terrain earlier in the season and create the ability to recover terrain quickly during the season.
Enhanced Alpine Racing Features. Improvements to both the race arena and timing systems will be made to better support the local ski clubs and racing programs, and attract bigger races in the region.

In addition to the on-mountain improvements, Vail Resorts will incorporate its best practices in all aspects of guest service and on-mountain operations. This includes guests having the ability to purchase lift tickets online with their mobile devices, world-renowned ski and snowboard school programming to help guests of all abilities improve and the high level of service that guests have come to expect at the Company’s collection of mountain resorts. Additionally, the Wilmot team will be working closely with the Company’s other urban ski areas and western resorts to incorporate best practices in grooming, snowmaking, safety and guest service, among other operational areas.
This transformational plan will coincide with Wilmot Mountain guests’ opportunity to purchase Vail Resorts season passes allowing them to ski in their own backyard and at nine world-class resorts out West: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; and Heavenly, Northstar California and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe. The Company’s season passes offer guests the flexibility to choose which pass is right for them based on how much, and where, they plan to ski and snowboard.

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Winning run Elodie Mouthon. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen

It was an important day in the snowboard women division with former world champion Elodie Mouthon (FRA – 1st ) laying down the highest scoring line of the day with control and amplitude.

Winning run Sammy Luebke. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen

Team USA swept the podium with favorite Sammy Luebke (USA – 1st) once again taking the top position with grab mastery and his trademark smooth riding. Newcomer Jonathan Penfield (USA – 2nd) took second with a solid riding style that he shared with his compatriot Christopher Galvin (USA – 3rd).

Winning Run Arianna Tricomi. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen

After the competition was once again under way, rookie Arianna Tricomi (ITA – 1st) finally put together the winning run after impressive performances throughout the season.

Winning Run Dennis Risvoll. Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen

Dennis Risvoll (NOR – 1st) was the king of the day in Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen with a huge line featuring two gigantic backflips to stomped landings.

 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Freeride World Tour Held 3rd Competion of the Season in Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler


Brilliant blue skies and ample fresh snow provided the conditions riders needed to put their best effort forth for their last chance to qualify for the upcoming stop in Haines, Alaska, and as well as the 2017 FWT season. Electricity was in the air as the Austrian skies parted for the first time in days, revealing the impressive Wildseeloder (2,118m) competition face. The 400 vertical meter face hardly resembled its former self with a fresh coating of snow that provided perfect conditions for freeriders to execute their finest lines of the season – some in a last ditch effort to make the qualification cut-offs for the final two stops of the tour and ultimately next year’s FWT.
After much anticipation due to the event being postponed three days because of constant snowfall and low visibility, 54 riders were anxious to finally get a chance to drop in to the face this morning from the two start gates – one for women and one for men. The stakes of this event were high and the quality of the riding reflected the intensity of the athletes.

Ski Men

Reigning champion George Rodney (USA) will hang up his skis for the competition season to allow a knee injury to heal and did not make an appearance today. It was a nail biter for the men with so much on the line as the greatest talents in the sport were hungry to qualify. Dennis Risvoll (NOR – 1st) was the king of the day with a huge line featuring two gigantic backflips to stomped landings. Loic Collomb-Patton (FRA – 2nd) has been riding hard all season and today was no exception with massive, well-executed airs, and a stylish 360. Felix Wiemers (GER – 3rd) ran last but certainly was not least, coming in third place with two backflips and a big air. The strain to qualify was evident as some of this season’s top riders such as Jérémie Heitz (SUI), Ivan Malakhov (RUS), or Drew Tabke (USA), failed to place high on the podium yet graciously secured their place to move on to the next competition by earning just enough points today.

Ski Women

Ski women certainly started off the day with intention after complicated snow conditions on the face resulted in a pair of lost skis and a re-run status for Hazel Birnbaum (USA) and Nadine Wallner (AUT), respectively. After the competition was once again under way, rookie Arianna Tricomi (ITA – 1st) finally put together the winning run after impressive performances throughout the season. Wallner (AUT – 2nd) was able to come back and execute an excellent second run with big airs placing her second, just in front of Lauren Cameron (CAN – 3rd), with both skiers securing their spot in Haines, Alaska. Eva Walkner (AUT) and Jaclyn Paaso (USA) also put down very impressive, full-throttle lines with Paaso taking a huge air near the bottom of the venue. Both riders will make the trip to the American continent with notable riders such as Lorraine Huber (AUT) and Evelina Nilsson (SWE) not earning enough points today to move on to the next stop.

Snowboard Men

The snowboard men ran last today but also expressed an incredibly high level of riding due to the need to qualify for the fourth event on the FWT. Team USA swept the podium with favorite Sammy Luebke (USA – 1st) once again taking the top position with grab mastery and his trademark smooth riding. Newcomer Jonathan Penfield (USA – 2nd) took second with a solid riding style that he shared with his compatriot Christopher Galvin (USA – 3rd). Ralph Backstrom (USA) did not stay on his feet but will still qualify for Haines along with young Frenchman Camille Armand and veteran Florian Orley (AUT).

Snowboard Women

It was also an important day in the snowboard women division with former world champion Elodie Mouthon (FRA – 1st ) laying down the highest scoring line of the day with control and amplitude. It was an emotional second place for Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI/FRA – 2nd) as she tackled the face with authority, scoring her just above fellow francophone Marion Haerty (FRA – 3rd) who has been impressing judges all season. Notably absent from the podium is favorite Estelle Balet (SUI) whose fourth place finish will still guarantee her spot on Alaska along with Mikela Hollstein (FIN).

Vail Resorts Announces The Return of The Epic Pass For The 2016-2017 Season


Skiers and snowboarders who are already dreaming of the 2016-2017 season can now rejoice. The Epic Pass returns for the 2016-2017 season, again providing the greatest value in skiing and snowboarding for those who want unlimited, unrestricted skiing access and the versatility to sample 13 world-class resorts in the U.S. and Australia. Available for just $809 for adults, purchasing now locks in savings of up to 35 percent versus individual lift tickets. Plus, purchasing in the spring unlocks Buddy Tickets – providing six friends or family members with discounted single day lift tickets. With just one pass, guests are geared up for endless experiences in the mountains – whether that means visiting a tried-and-true favorite, or first-time exploration of a new destination. Guests can purchase season passes and start planning winter vacations at EpicPass.com. 
The 2016-2017 Epic Pass offers unlimited access to 13 world-class resorts in the U.S. and abroad – including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin.

"The Epic Pass continues to set the bar in terms of pass value. From unrestricted access to iconic resorts across more than 32,000 acres of skiable terrain, to year-round access to the mountains, our mission is clear – providing an accessible, world-class experience for our guests. The Epic Pass provides our guests with ultimate ease and flexibility to revisit their favorite resorts, plus an opportunity to sample new destinations every year", said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. 
For guests who are willing to plan around a few restrictions, the Epic Local Pass provides an even greater value. For $609, skiers and snowboarders get unlimited and unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with limited restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood, plus a total of 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek with holiday restrictions. "The Epic Local Pass is an incredible value, paying for itself after just four days of skiing or snowboarding", said Lynch. "Whether you ski five days or 50, you won’t find a better way to conveniently access some of the world’s most iconic winter destinations".

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).