Monday, February 24, 2020

Freeride World Tour 2020. Third Stop: Ordino Arcalís, Andorra

In a few days, The Freeride World Tour is back for another action-packed event!

Date: February 28 - March 4, 2020; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Federica Brignone Wins Second Alpine Combined of the Season in Crans Montana

Today, under warm temperatures and difficult conditions, Federica Brignone repeated her performance from last season with an impressive Super-G and Slalom runs to claim her third career Alpine Combined victory at Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Skiing from first place after the Super-G, the Italian attacked Mont Lachaux with the fastest slalom run to finish 0.92 seconds ahead of an impressive Franziska Gritsch from Austria and 1.82 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Ester Ledecka.
Federica Brignone has now won four of the last five Ladies' Alpine combined World Cup events held in Crans-Montana, in 2017, 2018, 2019 and today.
"I don’t know what the magic [is] here in Crans-Montana for me, but it’s really amazing. The crowd is amazing. I don’t know. I feel a little bit lucky today, but it was a good fight. For sure, I made my race with the super G", reflected Brignone. "There is a kind of magic here. I’m always really comfortable with the snow and with this slope. Today, I wasn’t even stressed at the slalom. I just tried to do my best and really attack from the start to the finish".
She also takes the lead of the Overall (she is now 73 points ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin with 11 races remaining) and the Alpine Combined Standings with only one AC race to go in La Thuile. Last season she won the first and last Alpine Combined race in Crans-Montana, but no globe was awarded because the FIS rules require two races to be contested in order to award a discipline globe.
Franziska Gritsch, a 22 years old specialist in technical events, completes a surprising Super-G run in 5th place which, in addition to her technical slalom skills, allows her to grab the second seasonal podium after St.Moritz Parallel Race.
Ester Ledecka, who put together a great Super-G run added to an excellent slalom one, grab her third World Cup Podium after Lake Louise (1 place, Downhill, 2019) and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (3 place, Downhill, 2020).

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Lara Gut Takes Double Victory in Crans-Montana

Second consecutive victory for Lara Gut in Crans-Montana. It was her 26th career World Cup victory.
All eyes were today on Gut-Behrami with bib 17, one position earlier than her start on Friday, to see if she could once again win despite progressively slowing conditions on the course.
"Yesterday I was in the flow from the top to finish. Today it was a little bit more complicated. The snow was a little bit softer, and I was struggling a few times with comparing the feeling I’ve had during this season. I didn’t trust myself 100 percent just to push. Sometimes I was a little bit too light on my turns. I’m happy anyway even if it wasn’t perfect or how I wanted it in my mind. I was happy to push and take risks", concluded Gut-Behrami who felt like she conquered her fears over the past two days. "Even if I made mistakes, I was just pushing forward. I mean, I won the race on the last three turns just because I didn’t give up and I tried to be fast and win meters from the top to the finish".
Corinne Suter repeats second place on the podium +0.02 behind Gut. With today's second-place Suter is crowned as the new speed queen. She is the first Swiss female skier to win the Downhill title since Chantal Bournissen won it in the 1990-1991 winter season.
Like in Friday’s Downhill, the Austrians also claimed third place on the day in one of the closest races of this season as Nina Ortlieb completes the podium (+0.05 s.). It was her first World Cup Podium.

Filip Zubcic Wins Giant Slalom in Yuzawa Naeba

Filip Zubcic writes history in Niigata Yuzawa Naeba (JPN), claiming his first-ever World Cup victory thanks to a phenomenal second run. Zubcic was sitting in 12th position after run 1 and clocked the fastest time in run 2, taking a spectacular victory in Naeba.
It's a historic day for Croatia, as Zubcic's victory marks the first Croatian World Cup victory outside the Kostelic family, the first one ever in Giant Slalom among the men.
"I am very proud to be the first Croatian man to win a World Cup Giant Slalom race. I was always hoping to win a World Cup race and I knew it could come this season as I have been skiing really fast lately. This victory is for my family and my team, who have been supporting me for the last 21 years!", said Zubcic.
Marco Odermatt, third after the first run, was one of the few who managed to stay in the top positions despite the rough course and celebrates today his second podium this season (+0.74s) after the Super G victory in Beaver Creek. The Swiss skier shows to be fully recovered after his knee injury in Alta Badia in December, which kept him far from competitions for around one month.
Tommy Ford also performs a significant comeback and closes in third (+1.07s), sealing his second career podium after winning the home race in Beaver Creek in December.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Lara Gut Wins Downhill in Crans-Montana

Two years and a month later, Lara Gut returns to the top of the podium with a resounding victory in the Downhill of Crans Montana. To find his last victory in a Downhill we have to go back one more year, to January 2017 in Cortina.
Crans Montana was the scene of a Swiss double in front of 7000 spectators cheering on their heroines. Lara Gut crossed the finish line in the lead in front of her teammate Corinne Suter, conquering her 8th World Cup wins in Downhill and 25th of World Cup career.
Corinne Suter, in second position +0.80 gets her fifth podium of the season. It's her third Downhill seasonal podium, and she still leads the Downhill standing on Ester Ledecka by 120 points. She will have the opportunity to close the Downhill standing leading before the World Cup finals in Cortina with tomorrow’s Downhill.
Stephanie Venier completes the podium +0.92 seconds back. It is the second podium of the season for the Austrian skier.
Petra Vlhova was fourth 1.08 behind, to score an unexpected 50 World Cup points for a career-best result in Downhill. The Slovakian slalom specialist only ever started one World Cup Downhill until last month in Bansko where she surprised with a 6th place reconfirmed by another top ten in Garmisch Partenkirchen.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Crans-Montana/Valais 2025

In April 2019, Swiss-Ski, Crans-Montana, and the canton of Valais have submitted the candidacy of Crans-Montana for the World Ski Championships 2025 at the headquarters of the World Federation FIS in Oberhofen am Thunersee, Switzerland.
The first information session for candidates, in all disciplines, for the organization of the 2025 World Championships took place at the scheduled International Ski Federation meeting in Dubrovnik-Cavtat/CRO. In Alpine skiing, the candidates already disclosed to the general public are Garmisch-Partenkirchen/GER, Saalbach-Hinterglemm/AUT and Crans-Montana/Valais.
On January Marius Robyr, the executive director of the Crans-Montana/Valais bid committee for the Ski World Championships in 2025, presented the project to the population of Valais. The local population was invited to Le Régent in Crans-Montana to hear details of the Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 candidature project, which will be presented to the FIS in May.
Several notions that are important to the bid committee were central in the speech: authenticity, youth, sustainability, emotion, and passion. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Crans-Montana has a long tradition of alpine racing dating back to 1911.
On 7 January in 1911, the foundations for the fascinating history of skiing in Crans-Montana were laid. Englishman Sir Arnold Lunn, skiing pioneer, was the trailblazer, organizing the 1st downhill in the history of Alpine skiing from the Plaine Morte Glacier to Montana. From 1977 until 2019, Crans-Montana has organized some 47 FIS World Cup races and over 50 European Cup and FIS races, two World Cup finals 1992 and 1998, the European Cup finals in 2009, the Junior World Championships in 2011, as well as the unforgettable World Championships in 1987 on its Mont Lachaux and Nationale pistes.
In order to host this celebration of global skiing once again, the considerable budget for the organization amounts to some 77 million francs. For the event, the Haut-Plateau resort is going to build a completely modernized multi-purpose finish stadium, as well as offering more hotel infrastructure and also increase the capacity of parking and also the Violettes ski lift.
The Crans-Montana/Valais 2025 bid is considered an outsider against Germany’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen and especially against the Austrian candidate, Saalbach.
The resort which is to host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2025, will be decided at the 52nd FIS Congress in Thailand in May 2020.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Yuzawa Naeba Preview

February 22nd Giant Slalom / Men
February 23rd  Slalom / Men
Naeba is one of the most popular ski resorts in Japan due to its accessible location from Tokyo and the relatively long snow season.
It has been the venue for numerous international events including the 2016 Alpine Skiing World Cup.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Crans Montana Preview

Ladies Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup moves to Crans Montana for the World Cup Downhills (one replacing Rosa Khutor/RUS) and the Alpine Combined Events. Located on a sunny plateau at 1,500 m above the Rhone Valley, Crans Montana offers visitors an outstanding Alpine panorama over the most beautiful peaks in the Alps, such as the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. The ski domain of Crans Montana (1500-3000) allows skiers and snowboarders to enjoy snow thanks to 30 lifts and 140 km of pistes (53.2 blue, 70 red and 16.8 black) including the mythical Plaine Morte and the National. The Piste Nationale downhill course was remodeled on 2006/07 and two tunnels added to improve access during competitions.

Crans-Montana stretches up to the Plaine Morte glacier at an altitude of 3,000 meters, where the first alpine ski race took place in 1911 when the English skiing pioneer Sir Arnold Lunn organized the world's first timed downhill ski race, on the high Valais plateau from the Plaine Morte glacier to Mollens. Crans-Montana has so far hosted more than 25 FIS European Cup and FIS World Cup competitions, two World Cup Finals (1992 & 1998), the European Cup Finals 2009, and the unforgettable 1987 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Petra Vlhova Wins Slalom in Kranjska Gora

Petra Vlhova won her third slalom in a row with a nearly perfect second run posting the fastest that permit her to climb the rank from the fourth to the first place. Vlhova secured the 56th Zlata Lisica or “Golden Fox” Trophy awarded to the best competitor among the weekend’s two races.
Anna Swenn-Larsson could have snapped the three-year-long winning streak of Mikaela Shiffrin, and Petra Vlhova, who combined have won the last 25 slaloms. She was skiing the second run extending her lead to a massive 1.17 seconds at the final split, but she lost her balance a few gates from the finish and fall over, making the dream of his first World Cup victory fade away.
"I won today and of course I was really lucky because Anna, she was really fast, and if she [didn’t make] the mistake, she [would] win of course. It’s a different victory, but it’s still a victory so I am so happy that I could find something inside me. Because in the first run, I did really bad. In the second run, I tried to push. And in the end, I was lucky, but I took the victory and I am so, so happy because I won again in front of like a ‘home’ crowd and it’s amazing", said Vlhova before thanking her fans in the crowd.Wendy Holdener (SUI) finished 0.24 seconds behind Vlhova in second for her 24th career podium result in slalom followed by Katharina Truppe (AUT) by 0.89.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Alice Robinson Claims World Cup GS in Kranjska Gora

Today's Women Giant Slalom has been very demanding with icy and bumpy conditions that have made the race exciting and very tight.
With those conditions, Alice Robinson put together two solid runs with a few many mistakes during the first run but almost perfect for the second and claimed her second victory of the season in the Giant Slalom of the 56th Golden Fox Trophy held at Kranjska Gora.18-year-old New Zealand sensation Alice Robinson offered a new demonstration of its potential at today’s World Cup race to claim her second World Cup Victory.
Teenage skier charmed the alpine world last year when at the Season Finals in Soldeu Grandvalira she claimed a second-place finish, behind Shiffrin, after earning the qualification spot for the Finals as the Junior World Champion. This season confirmed she confirmed in Sölden is one of the rising stars in Alpine Skiing.
Robinson beat Petra Vlhova by 0.34 seconds, with Wendy Holdener of Switzerland and Meta Hrovat from Slovenia tied in the third position 1.59 seconds back.
"It was amazing. The second run was definitely on the limit. I was just kind of pushing as much as I could and definitely had a couple fumbles but I kept the speed going, so yeah, I’m really happy", Robinson said after the race. "I wasn’t really sure. I was going for it, everything that I could… and sometimes when you’re on the limit you’re not sure whether it’s going to be really fast or it’s not. … When I got to the bottom and I saw the lead, I was super excited".
Federica Brignone who shared victory with Petra Vlhova in the previous Giant Slalom in Sestriere a month ago and she has been in the top five in all the last event discipline this season, placed just eighth. Still, she remained on the top of the Giant Slalom standings.