Sunday, January 3, 2021

Petra Vlhova Keeps the Crown in Zagreb


For the second year in a row, Petra Vlhova won the "Snow Queen Trophy" in the Sljeme's "Crveni spust" Slalom course.
"It was a really hard day for me today, I had to find my confidence again and the entire day was a fight, especially the second run. I thought I was out of the podium picture, but I kept fighting through the finish. When I saw I was only the 11th fastest in the second run, I thought I was for sure out of the podium, but then the green light showed up and I couldn’t believe it", Vlhova said.
Petra Vlhova recorded a podium in four of her seven World Cup slalom races in Zagreb. Vlhová joins Marcel Hirscher (5), Mikaela Shiffrin (4), Marlies Schild (4), and Tanja Poutiainen (2) as the only skiers on multiple slalom World Cup wins in Zagreb.
Petra Vlhová now has won 11 women's slalom events in the World Cup, second-most among active skiers behind Shiffrin (43). She has finished on the podium in 16 of the last 19 World Cup slalom events including 3 victories this season.


A consistent Katharina Liensberger finished in second place. Liensberger is the only skier to finish on the podium in all four women's slalom events in the World Cup this season. She has finished also in the top 7 in each of the last 11 women's World Cup slalom races, including a third place in both events in Levi this season and a second place in Semmering last week and today in Zagreb.


Last Slalom winner Michelle Gisin finished third 0.22 sec. behind the winner. Gisin has won her first World Cup event in the Slalom in Semmering last Tuesday, after recording nine World Cup podium finishes. Michelle Gisin made it onto the podium for the third time in the fourth slalom of the season. Five days after Semmering, Gisin showed again her brilliant physical shape in Zagreb, where she had previously often shown trouble. In difficult conditions, the 27-year-old belonged to the quartet that set itself apart from the competition in the first run and did not swap places afterward.

Mikaela Shiffrin finished just out of podium range in fourth place (+0.27).
Petra Vlhova's victory in Zagreb means she increases her lead in the overall season rankings to 615 points, with Michelle Gisin second (487) and Mikaela Shiffrin third (385).

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Matthias Mayer Conquers The Stelvio

Matthias Mayer is grabbing his first podium of the season on one of the toughest races on the World Cup, the Downhill in La Stelvio.
Double Olympic champion Mayer (gold medallist in Downhill at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and in the Super-G in Pyeongchang in 2018) finally made the top of the podium for his 10th Alpine Ski World Cup victory. He had finished second (Super-G, 2018) and third (Downhill, 2019) here previously.
Today Matthias Mayer takes his win by just 0.04s from team-mate Vincent Kriechmayr who was also second in Tuesday's Super-G.
It was the sixth career Downhill victory for Mayer, who acknowledged after the race, that the victory could have gone to anyone.
"It was a very challenging race today and a very close one (...) From start to finish you had to give it everything. You can’t say that this curve was better or that curve made the difference. When the race is so close anyone can win. It’s a very difficult slope (...) It’s very exhausting. We have a lot of turns that need a lot of power. The visibility is very difficult and also the snow conditions", said Mayer.


Vincent Kriechmayr is grabbing another podium in one of the toughest courses on the World Cup. After yesterday's second place and first podium of the season in the Super-G, the 29-year-old finished again in second place in the mythical Downhill at the Stelvio. 
"I am really happy with the race today, with my result (...) There are so many turns at the Stelvio but I think in the middle part I lost a little bit too much time against Matthias. The rest was pretty good (...) it’s one of the toughest races of the whole season after Kitzbühel maybe the most difficult one", said Kriechmayr.


Finishing in third place just 0.06 behind Mayer was Swiss racer Urs Kryenbuehl.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Michelle Gisin Takes First World Cup Win in Semmering Slalom

Michelle Gisin Takes First World Cup Win in Semmering Slalom. Until today she has nine World Cup podium finishes without a single win. Eight years ago, Michelle Gisin made her slalom World Cup debut here.
"It's crazy, it's amazing. My first win exactly eight years after my first World Cup Race here in Semmering. I'm just so happy. We've been working on this for so long", Gisin said.
The last Swiss woman to win a World Cup in the slalom was Marlies Öster in Berchtesgaden on 20 January 2002. With today's victory, Gisin ended for Switzerland a World Cup drought of 162 events in the women's slalom without a single victory, the longest in any discipline.
Only 0.11 sec behind Gisin, Katharina Liensberger finished in second place. She delivered a solid second run, climbing one step to the second spot of the podium.
Prior to today's second place, Katharina Liensberger has finished in the top 7 in each of the last nine women's World Cup slalom race, including a third place in both events in Levi this season.
"It's not a first place but it feels like one", Liensberger said.
The leader of the first run, Mikaela Shiffrin, was able to stay on the podium but finished in third place, 0.57 sec. behind the winner.
In her last 46 slalom participation in the World Cup, Shiffrin finished on the podium 43 times (34 wins). She has finished on the podium in the World Cup 99 times, 56 in the Slalom discipline.

The current leader of the overall World Cup standings and bearer of the red bib in Slalom Petra Vlhova (SVK) finished just out of podium range in fourth place.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle Storms to win the Super-G in La Stelvio

Ryan Cochran-Siegle grabs his career-first victory in today's Super-G at the Stelvio in Bormio.
Victory comes after his first career podium ten days ago in Val Gardena, where he finished second in the Downhill. It has come with an impressive 0.79 advantage over Austrian Vincent Kreichmayer.
After being the fastest in both downhill training sessions at the weekend, he has become the USA's first winner on the Stelvio since Bode Miller in the 2007 Downhill.
The last time an American skier won a World Cup Super-G was Bode Miller at Hinterstoder in 2006.
"It's definitely a shock to me. I had a good Super G race in Val Gardena but being consistent and having a good competitive approach I've been a little bit off in Super G (...) In a way it made it easier, not feeling like I had pressure, understanding the hill, understanding my own skiing (...) It's pretty spectacular and it's still not really registering", Cochran-Siegle said.


Third place went to Norwegian Adrian Smiseth Sejersted, who is also having an amazing start of the season, earning his first two career podiums less than a month apart. His first career podium, second place, came in the Val d’Isere Super-G.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Henrik Kristoffersen Shines in Madonna di Campiglio

Henrik Kristoffersen takes the win tonight on the famous "Canalone Miramonti" in Madonna di Campiglio. He finished in 12th position in the opening run, 1.25 seconds off the leader but after an impressive second run, he was able to climb to the top of the podium. This is his third win (2015, 2016, and 2020) at this venue and his first victory/podium of the season.
Kristoffersen’s first triumph of the season marked his 18th World Cup slalom win and 22nd overall. He joins Alberto Tomba in second place for most World Cup slalom wins in Madonna di Campiglio. Only Ingemar Stenmark has more (5). Kristoffersen has now 40 podium finishes in the slalom in the World Cup. 
"It's probably the most emotional victory for me. In the last period, I was struggling to ski fast and I was very disappointed. Skiing is my life. I have my family and skiing, nothing else. So it feels amazing to win a race and succeed, even with only one good run", said Kristoffersen.


Tonight Kristoffersen was joined on the podium by his teammate Sebastian Foss-Solevaag +0.33 behind and Alex Vinatzer +0.34 off the pace. Foss-Solevaag is among the most consistent performers in the slalom discipline. He finished in the Top 10 in nine of the last ten slaloms, more than any other competitor. Last season, he finished in the Top 10 in all the slalom events, with the only exception of 14th place in Zagreb. Foss-Solevaag claimed three World Cup podiums in the slalom, after his third place in Zagreb on 6 January 2015 and St. Moritz on 20 March 2016.


Italian Alex Vinatzer proved once again he can fight for the top spots, closing his home race in the third position, only one-hundredth of a second behind Solevaag. The Italian youngster walks away with his second career podium after the third-place claimed in Zagreb in early January.