Sunday, January 31, 2016

Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016. Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Teaser

Coming up next week: the second stop of the Freeride World Tour in Chamonix​-Mont-Blanc.

The legendary alpine playground with a rich history of alpinism and freeride will once again welcome competitors to the Mont Blanc massif. With stunning vistas in every direction and a population of hardcore mountain enthusiasts, Chamonix is guaranteed to deliver an exciting event.

Date: Feb 6, 2016; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

Here's a sneak peek of upcoming action!

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.

2016 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in Saas Fee, Switzerland

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Freeride Junior World Champions Crowned in Grandvalira, Andorra

Today’s competition on the Tossa de Caraup face is a true testimony of the future of the sport of freeride. Skiers and snowboarders, men and women both raised the bar for their respective sports in the only worldwide freeride junior championship competition.
Athletes from as far as the United States, New Zealand, and Mexico, representing over ten countries, descended on the Andorran freeride mecca to show spectators just what they have to throw down to push the sport’s limits. Beyond the top-notch skiing, the young vibes and excellent attitudes of the riders have demonstrated the type of comradery that pushes the growing sport in a positive direction.
After a dawn hike to the venue finish line, riders were ferried the last stretch to the summit with a short heli ride where they scoped the competition face offering a plethora of options for creative line choices and a multitude of airs. Weather conditions were nearly optimal, providing the young riders with clear skies and soft, spring snow. The competition face topped out at 2660m and offered just over 300 vertical meters of featured terrain at an average of 35° for the young competitors to test their skills.

Ski Men

It was truly a privilege to witness such an impressive level of riding in the ski men division. As the sun did its work on the face, airs and tricks complimented with full throttle skiing were the norm. Team Canada had an extremely strong showing with Jackson Bathgate (CAN) taking the top of the podium with a powerful run featuring big airs as well as stomped spins with his compatriot Nigel Zielger (CAN) taking second place with another strong run with stylish big airs. Xander Guldman (USA) took third place with an extremely technical line highlighted by a massive backflip.

Ski Women

The ski women were able to take advantage of slightly softer snow conditions to put on an impressive show. Synnove Medhus (NOR) was able to earn the top score with a run demonstrating her ability to stomp a multitude of airs. Olivia Askew (USA) took second place by taking a creative line on the right side of the venue with finesse and confident airs. Perhaps the most stylish women’s line of the day can be claimed by Illona Carlod (FRA) whose clean and tight style put her in third place.

Snowboard Men

It’s always a pleasure to see the hometown hero take first place and that’s exactly what spectators were treated to when they watched Josep Maria Naudi Descarrega (AND) raise the bar much higher than any of the other riders with a solidly stomped run featuring massive airs on the skiers right of the venue. Loic Aubert (SUI) followed in a distant second with solid riding and a few grabs, bringing him just in front of Finn Duffey’s (NZL) playful run with plentiful smaller airs.

Snowboard Women

The snowboard women held their own with promising young Jazmine Erta (ITA) stomping the most solid run with some airs to earn her first place. Fiona Torello was able to link up a line with a few airs and excellent line choice to place her just slightly above Gaelle Melet (SUI).

Viktoria Rebensburg Claims Second Straight Giant Slalom Win

Second after the opening leg, Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg didn't put in a perfect second run but managed to carry enough speed onto the final pitch to pull out the win.
The 26-year-old clocked an aggregate time of 2:29.82 to edge local favourite Slovenia's Ana Drev, who finished 0.32 seconds off the pace. Tina Weirather had another impressive GS showing this season to round out the podium in third, 0.34 seconds behind.

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Wins Downhill at Garmisch

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde takes his first ever World Cup win in Garmisch followed by Slovenia's Bostjan Kline (+0.22) and Switzerland's Beat Feuz (+0.24).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Winning Run Kristofer Turdell (SWE). Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Vallnord Arcalís, Andorra

The level of competition was incredibly high today as riders were able to combine creative freestyle tricks with full-throttle runs. Jérémie Heitz (SUI) had a screaming fast run but once again saw the first place spot slip away as Kirstoffer Turdell (SWE) hammered an incredibly impressive line down the face with a huge air, taking the top spot. With a risky but technically difficult line with big airs, Ivan Malahkov came in very close behind Heitz. Unfortunately, local favorite Dani Fornell-Prat (AND) sustained a leg injury along with Kiwi crusher Sam Smoothy (NZL).

Winning Run Jackie Paaso (USA). Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Vallnord Arcalís, Andorra

Jaclyn Paaso (USA) always sends it big and today was no exception. With some huge airs up high on the venue, Passo was able to once again emerge victorious in today’s event. Former champion Eva Walkner (AUT) put together a solid run skiing a creative line on the skier’s left of the venue for a second place finish. Third on the podium was rookie Evelina Nilsson (SWE) who demonstrated excellent control and solid riding.

Winning Run Sascha Hamm (GBR). Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Vallnord Arcalís, Andorra

It was tough to keep an eye on Londoner Sascha Hamm (GBR) as he hammered a powerful line with big airs right off the summit to take the top spot. Christoffer Granbom (SWE) followed suite with a powerful run and airs that showed mastery of the difficult conditions bringing him into second place. Young Chamoniard Camille Armand (FRA) came in third with a strong run that featured a smoothly stomped backflip mid-venue.

Winning Run Estelle Balet (SUI). Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Vallnord Arcalís, Andorra

Reigning champ Estelle Balet (SUI) once again took the top spot as her creative line choice demonstrated this young rider’s experienced skillset. Marion Haetry (FRA) took an impressive line in the same zone as Sascha Hamm, but unfortunately had some loose riding near the finish that pushed her into the second place. Mikaela Hollsten (FIN) held a strong run together that nudged former Olympian Kjersti Buaas (NOR) off the podium.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Winners are Crowned in Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra

The 2016 edition is the second time the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR makes its appearance in Vallnord-Arcalís. 61 male and female professional riders across two disciplines have made the trip to Andorra for the first out of five stops on this world championship tour.
Riders and spectators alike were treated to blue skies and some high clouds with excellent riding conditions in the Andorran resort. After a relatively dry start, a recent storm dumped enough snow on the fantastically featured peaks of this ski resort that is quickly becoming the most important freeride destination in the Pyrenees mountains.
Riders made their way to Basser Negre zone after a short climb from the Basera chairlift. The terraced and feature-dense Coste Negre face offered riders a combination of tight couloirs along with clean run-outs and a multitude of options for taking big air. From its summit at 2680m, the competition face measures nearly 400m vertical meters at 40° allowing competitors ample opportunity to get creative as they make their way towards the finish line.
After the building anticipation of the summer months, riders were finally able throw down their best lines for the first time this season. While shady aspects harbored excellent riding conditions, the sun-kissed aspects offered a bit more of a challenge for riders as conditions were less consistent on these faces.

Peter Fill Wins Hahnenkamm Downhill

Italian Peter Fill won the famous Streif downhill in Kitzbühel (AUT) on a race day that pushed everyone to their limits. Switzerland found its speed power again as Beat Feuz and Carlo Janka finished in second and third place.

Lindsey Vonn Breaks All-Time Downhill Record

American Lindsey Vonn raced to her career 37th World Cup downhill victory on Saturday, breaking Annemarie Moser-Pröll's (AUT) record.
Vonn timed 1:37.01 down the Olympia delle Tofane course in the majestic Italian Dolomites to lead Canada’s Larisa Yurkiw by 0.28 and Switzerland's Lara Gut by 0.67 seconds.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Clean Sweep for France at Hahnenkamm Combined

The French team took it all it the Alpine Combined in Kitzbühel. Alexis Pinturaultt wins, followed by Victor Muffat-Jeandet (2nd +0.89) and Mermillod Blondin (3rd +0.92).

Aksel Lund Svindal Wins Kitzbühel Super-G

Two hundred points are up for grabs at today’s men’s Audi FIS World Cup races in Kitzbühel (AUT) and Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal claimed the first 100 with his victory in the super-G. It was his amazing seventh victory of the season as he has been unstoppable in this year’s speed races.
Second place in the super-G was a surprise as American Andrew Weibrecht finished 0.31 seconds behind Svindal to claim his second-ever career podium finish. Hannes Reichelt earned his third podium of the season, taking third place and giving the home fans good reason to celebrate.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vail Resorts Acquires Wilmot Mountain

Vail Resorts announced today that it has acquired Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin near the Illinois state line, expanding its collection of premier urban ski areas in the Midwest. Located approximately 65 miles north of Chicago, Wilmot Mountain has long been a favorite of skiers and snowboarders in one of the top geographies for the Company’s mountain resorts. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Monday, January 18, 2016

76 International Hahnenkamm Race (Kitzbühel, Tirol, Austria)

The 76 International Hahnenkamm Race is one of the highlights of the ski racing season. On the weekend of 22 to 24 January 2016 Kitzbühel hosts four events of the Men's Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup: Super G, the famous Downhill on the Streif one of the most demanding runs of the FIS downhill calender, Slalom and Combined. With a total prize money purse of 550,000 Euros and nearly 80,000 spectators expected during the weekend, the Hahnenkanmm races are by known as the most prestigious during the World Cup season. The Kitzbühel races are part of the the Club 5+ Alpine Classics, a union of the leading alpine ski race organizers from all over the world. It was founded 1988 upon an idea of worldcup founder and sports journalist Serge Lang. Charter members had been the “Five” downhill classic sites in the alps”, Gardena/Gröden (ITA), Garmisch (GER), Kitzbühel (AUT), Wengen (SUI), Val d’Isere (FRA).
Kitzbühel is one of Austria's best known and fanciest winter sport resorts. The city is situated along the river Kitzbühler Ache, and the car free historic centre is spectacular with cobbled streets and lovely medieval buildings.The Kitzbühel Ski Paradise located at 800 meters above sea level, is conveniently embedded in the Kitzbüheler Horn, Bichlalm and Hahnenkamm mountain ranges offering 55 modern lifts, managed by the Bergbahn AG Kitzbüheland, serving 170 kilometres of ski runs (91 kilometres snow-covered) for all levels and abilities and 33 kilometres of signed ski routes.For 75 years, the annual Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbühel, Austria, has produced unforgettable triumphs and unspeakable tragedies, a heritage that is full of myths and legends. Nowhere else is skiing celebrated so intensely. The city, the nation, and the entire winter sports world go crazy for the battles that play out on the slopes, and the race down the Streif is the most anticipated event of all - the Superbowl of skiing.This thrilling feature documentary follows four athletes on their 12-month journey leading up to the most important ride of their carreer. Facing an adrenaline high and total loss of control. It gives rare insights into the minds of the athletes and their struggle between risk and reward.
Recently, Kitzbühel was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Alpine Ski Resorts by the CNN.

The Hahnenkamm-Race is one of the highlights of the annual ski-racing calendar. Over 40 TV stations cover the race and it is a priceless event that captivates even those who do not usually follow ski racing. Only the best win on the hardest Downhill in the world. The names of past winners read like a who’s who of ski racing, from Killy, Sailer, Schranz, and Collombin, to Klammer, Read, Zurbriggen, Heinzer, Aamodt, Strobl, Maier, Eberharter, Walchhofer, Rahlves and Cuche.
From the breathtaking start at 1665 metres (5465 feet) above sea level, racers plunge down the slope’s vertical drop of 860 m (2822 ft) at speeds up to 150 km/h (93mph), covering the 3312 metres (10,866 feet) of the course in less than two minutes before dramatically crossing the finish line in the spectator-packed finish area. Yet the Hahnenkamm-Races are more than simple statistics, and behind these numbers lies the greatest ski spectacle in the world. The Downhill on Kitzbühel’s almost impossibly difficult slope, the Streif, leaves one continually searching for superlatives that could adequately portray it. The simplest way to describe this drop down the most fearsome slope on the World Cup tour is simply: "The Race". What Wimbledon is for Tennis and Monaco is for Formula 1, "Kitz" is for ski racing.

2015 Races

The 75th edition of the Hahnenkamm Rennen in Kitzbühel couldn’t have had a better opening race. In the morning of January 23rd, an exciting super-G took place on the notorious Streif with Italian Dominik Paris putting down a flawless run and with a time of 1minute, 09.99 seconds earned his first career’s SG victory. It was close to a perfect day for the home team as Matthias Mayer and Georg Streitberger finished in second and third place, 0.06 and 0.34 seconds behind the winning time.

Later, under the floodlights of the slope next to the Streif, 27 skiers from the morning’s Super-G entered a one run slalom to chase the title of 2015 Hahnenkamm Alpine Combined winner.
After a strong super-G run where he finished only 1.47 seconds behind winner Paris, Alexis Pinturault was the favorite for the win and he didn’t disappoint. The Frenchman crossed the finish line 0.69 seconds faster than Hirscher and 0.94 seconds ahead of surprise third place winner Czech Ondrej Bank.

The Kitzbühel downhill is considered the scariest downhill in the world, but that is only until the weather decides otherwise and forces the start to be lowered half the way down the famous Streif.
Despite the general disappointment due to the short downhill, last year race certainly didn't lack in excitement and in the end the winner was the same one as in both full-length training runs – Kjetil Jansrud. The Norwegian who was leading both the super-G and downhill season rankings was once again the man to beat on the Streif as he crossed the finish line a mere 0.02 seconds faster than super-G winner Dominik Paris. In third place, French Guillermo Fayed finished 0.21 seconds behind and earned his second career’s podium.

After a week focused almost entirely on speed, Sunday in Kitzbühel is all about the slalom on the Ganslern.
In the first run, home favorite and 2013 winner Marcel Hirscher treated the crowd to a perfect run which earned him the lead. But in the second run, Mattias Hargin who has been knocking on the door of a podium multiple times this season finally pulled off a perfect second run and went one to achieve his maiden victory. Last year’s winner Felix Neureuther was fifth after the first run but managed to step up his game in the second run to earn his 6th slalom podium of the season.

Cortina d'Ampezzo Races

Cortina d'Ampezzo and the "Olympia delle Tofane" piste are ready  to host the World Cup Downhill and Super G races.
The Ladies' Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues next weekend in Cortina d'Ampezzo with two events. Cortina Classic Races kicks off with the Downhill on Saturday followed by the SG on Sunday. The races will take place on the marvellous Olimpia delle Tofane slope. One of the most spectacular settings on the World Cup, surrounded by the jagged Dolomites and atop a gorgeous town where high-end clothing stores are intermixed with ancient stone churches, the Olympia della Tofane downhill course starts at an elevation of 2,320 meters and the Super G begins at 2,160. The finish area sits at 1,560 meters.

Cortina d’Ampezzo made its debut on the FIS World Cup with Men’s Downhill in 1969 and became a fixture on the Women’s Downhill tour for three years beginning in 1975. After a long hiatus, the venue has been an annual stop on the Women’s World Cup since 1993, hosting downhill, Super G and Giant Slalom, which is not on the line-up since 2011 but will be back in 2017.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the most charming ski resorts in Italy. Located near the north-eastern border with Austria, and surronded by the imposing peaks of the Tofana, the Monte Cristallo and the Sorapis Dolomites, Cortina is known as the "Regina delle Dolomiti". The resort is part of the Dolomiti Superski Ski Paradise. The Dolomiti Superski pass is one of the world’s largest lift pass areas with over 1200 kilometres of maintained pistes served by nearly 500 lifts on one ticket. Cortina offers, with the purchase of a Valley Skipass, the chance to ski in the skiing area Cortina d'Ampezzo, Auronzo-Misurina and San Vito di Cadore with a total of 140 kilometres of pistes served by 51 lifts and linked by buses. Snowmaking was increased to cover 95 per cent of the slopes.
Recently, Cortina d'Ampezzo was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Alpine Ski Resorts:by the CNN.
Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the twelve resorts belonging to the european association "Best of the Alps", which get together the most exclusive and well known destinations in the Big Five Europe's Alpine countries.

The FIS Ski World Cup races occurs along the Olympia delle Tofane: a name loaded of history and glory. A slope that reminds the splendour of the VII Winter Olympic Games in 1956. From January 26th to February 5th of that year, the most beautiful pages of winter sport history have been written. The Austrian ace Anton Sailer won, first in the history, all the races in the program, that time only three: downhill, slalom and giant slalom. Cortina reminds the 60th anniversary of the Olympic Games and the long history of the ski in Ampezzo valley started in 1901 with the first competition. A crescendo of international events: in 1941 the World Championships, downgraded cause of the Second World War, and in 1956 the Olympic Games. In 1954 the Cortina Ski Club organized the downhill “Coppa Ilio Colli” to commemorate its young athlete, prematurely passed away in Madesimo. This international race took place along the years until 1969 when it began to be part of the World Cup barely instituted. At the beginning the men and later, since 1975, the ladies until 1984. Cortina started again in 1990 with the replacement of two men downhills: in the first of two the local Kristian Ghedina triumphed for his first victory in the World Cup. An organizational and sport success that persuaded Cortina to get back where the history was interrupted: since 1993 to nowadays, new races have been added and records have been defeated. The Olympia delle Tofane welcomed five races in eight days in 1993, four consecutive took place in 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2014. The greatest champions have been glorified along this unique slope. The Queen of the Queens is Lindsey Vonn ready to compete again in this 2016 edition to be part of history, to be a legend.

That black and white image, a bit grainy, of Toni Sailer whizzing next to the Pomedes rock is in the history of skiing. 1956 Olympic Games in Cortina: for the first time the world could see, thanks to the pioneering television coverage of Rai - Italian Television, the beauty of the Olympia delle Tofane slope. If it were not for the speed that puts fear, this track seems a fairy road drawn between firs and larches on the slope leading down from the Middle Tofana. But the history has written several of its pages on this snow, from the early successes of Anne Marie Moser Proell in the Seventies, until the magic of Lindsey Vonn in recent seasons. All true champions have enhanced themselves on the Olympia delle Tofane, from Picabo Street, to Katja Seizinger, to Renate Goetschl, to finally our Isolde Kostner, because on this slope the athletes can make the difference. It requires courage, technique, talent and strategy to win here. From the start, to the wall of Pomedes, to the curves on the Diagonal, to the dip in Scarpadon, until the gentle slope of Rumerlo you can find speed. The real danger is to be distracted by the beauty of the mountains ahead, Cristallo and Faloria. But for those who start to win there is no time to look around. The Olympia delle Tofane levers the breath, asks a lot to the athletes but also grants spectacle.

2015 Races

Last year, Italy's Elena Fanchini won the first of the two Downhill races scheduled in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Fog in the top section of the course forced the jury and organisers to lower the start. With 11 gates less to negotiate, the run was around 30 seconds shorter. Elena Fanchini clocked a time of 1:09.59, while Canada's Larisa Yurkiw came in second, just 0.15 seconds behind and Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg took third, 0.31 seconds out.

After first’s shortened Downhill, the ladies got to race from the top on Sunday 18th in stunning conditions. With bib 20, USA's Lindsey Vonn needed "a couple of turns to figure out the snow" but then charged down the Olympia delle Tofane course to finally set the time to beat in 1:39.61. Running with bib 22, Austria's Elisabeth Görgl was the fastest in the top two sections but made a small mistake in the lower part and crossed the finish line in second position, 0.32 seconds back. Italian veteran Daniela Merighetti, who won her first and only World Cup race in Cortina Dowhnhill in 2012, rounded out the podium, 0.54 seconds off the pace.
With her 32nd career World Cup win in downhill earned on the day, Lindsey Vonn equalled Austria's Annemarie Moser-Pröll's all-time record of 62 World Cup victories, across all disciplines.

And after equalling the record of World Cup victories on Sunday, Lindsey Vonn didn't have to wait long to break it. The American mastered the super-G race on Monday to earn her 63rd career win. With bib number 22, Vonn clocked 1:27.03 down the Olympia delle Tofane course.
Austria's Anna Fenninger finished second, 0.85 seconds off the pace and Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather was third, 0.92 back.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Viktoria Rebensburg Wins World Cup Giant Slalom in Flachau

The intense week of tech racing at Skiweltcup Flachau ends well for Viktoria Rebensburg who claims her 1st win of the season ahead of Ana Drev (+ 0.94) and Federica Brignone (+ 0.99).
Trailing first-run leader Ana Drev by a mere 0.02 seconds, Viktoria Rebensburg pushed the limits in the second run to claim her first win of the season in a combined time of 2:29.51.
"It's a pretty good feeling", said Rebensburg. "I mean this is always for sure the best feeling, being up on the podium. Yeah, and I think today everything was putting well together".
The second run started under sunny conditions but snow came back as the afternoon went on, making the visibility tougher for the last 15 racers.
"For sure, it was not so easy in the second run with the conditions, but yeah, in the end it worked out, (...) my feeling wasn’t also the best and I was not sure if it was fast or not, but yeah, when I came down here I saw nine tenths, so everything was working kind of good, so I’m pretty happy and really satisfied and proud", Rebensburg added
Slovenia's Ana Drev held her nerve and raced to her first World Cup podium, finishing second, 0.94 seconds off the pace. The 30-year-old already led the first run in Lienz giant slalom, but she slid off the course in the second run.
"I almost can’t believe it because I've been on the World Cup for such a long time and sometimes I didn’t believe any more that I could succeed, so I’m really happy", said a smiling Drev.
Drev's career-best result was a seventh place in Courchevel last December before today's result.
"I’ve been skiing now for three years pretty okay, just I get some injuries and a lot of pain and this season actually I’m skiing without all this stuff and it makes it so much fun and that’s why I’m much better", Drev added.
Italy's Federica Brignone rounded out the podium, 0.99 seconds out. The 25-year-old was eager to finish in the top 3 again after skiing out in the second run in Courchevel and a fifth place in Lienz.
"I’m pretty happy for today because it was a tough race", confessed Brignone. "During the second run, the weather changed and I was a little bit stressed at the beginning. I said 'Yeah, I can see nothing.' I had to change my goggles and just try to push harder".
"I don’t really care about the weather when I’m racing, (...) I just try to push and ski fast, but I felt awful. I felt like I was making mistakes all the way and yeah, I was just telling me ‘Push, push’ and ‘not turn’ or ‘go faster’ ‘cause I felt really really slow. Then I heard about - I don’t know if you were the speaker at the moment, or I don’t know - I heard like “Ah, mistakes,” and I said, “Yeah, I’m doing mistakes. I have to go” But, yeah, I just tried to push harder and when I saw the green light I was really like “Wow”", Brignone continued. 

Hat Trick for Norway in Wengen: Henrik Kristoffersen Wins Slalom

The 86th Lauberhornrennen are now in the books. After Kjetil Jansrud’s win in the Alpine Combined, Aksel Lund Svindal’s win in the Downhill, another Norwegian was expected to lead today’s Slalom in Wengen: Henrik Kristoffersen. And the current carrier of the red leader bib totally lived up to expectations and set the pace in both runs.
"I had a pretty good feeling the whole way. I pushed really hard both in the first and second run. It's kind of tiring, but the feeling was good for sure. It's a little strange for me too. I'm a little surprised because I'm usually a little bit more of a technical skier, but I'm skiing pretty OK at the moment so I'm pretty happy", said Kristoffersen.
The new king of Slalom was followed by an Italian duo. After being unlucky at the beginning of the season, the Olympic winner from Vancouver 2010 finally laid down two strong runs and could claim the second position + 0.30 off Kristoffersen’s pace. With this podium, Razzoli now takes over the 6thposition in the 2015/16 slalom ranking.
"It's important because from the start of the season, I ski very well and very fast. I'm not lucky in Val d'Isere, fourth in Campiglio, mistake in Santa Caterina, and now I am on the podium. It's important for this, I am very happy for my skiing and it's OK for the next time", said Razzoli.
Rounding up the podium today in Wengen was Stefano Gross, by finishing 0.68 seconds behind. 5th of the first run, Stefano Gross pushed hard in the second run to finally earn his first podium of the season. The Italian likes the Berner Oberland, especially since he grabbed his only World Cup win so far in Adelboden.
"It’s great to be on the podium, especially since it’s unexpected on this flat slope, which is not really adapted to my skiing. Today I managed to ski how I ski in the training, attack and see what happens. I had a good feeling and the result followed naturally", said Gross.

Saas-Fee To Host Again The Ice Climbing World Cup

From 21th to 23th January 2016, Saas-Fee will once again play host to the Ice Climbing World Cup. This year the famous week-long iceclimbing event will be even more spectacular thanks to new climbing features.
The car-free alpine village of Saas Fee with its unique competition wall inside a circular car park at the edge of town is set against the spectacular backdrop of the towering Swiss Alps. It is also one of the oldest and liveliest stops on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup.
From next Saturday, ice-climbing freaks from across the globe will once again flock to Saas-Fee. A programme of action-packed sporting events and legendary ice-climbing parties in the multi-storey car park.
The ice climbing competitions in the park of Saas-Fee are an excellent opportunity national and international athletes and the lively atmosphere of theice climbing scene to witness first hand! The competitions will take place in a special, unique location, so surely there is no more second time. The 10-storey car park in Saas-Fee, where the competitions can take place regardless of weather, with its roundabout provides a great backdrop audience.

The disciplines: Lead and Speed

In Lead climbing, competitors have to master a long, difficult and unfamiliar route in a given amount of time. Routes can be anything up to 35 metres in height. Besides the ice wall itself, climbers must contend with obstacles such as overhangs, hanging ice blocks and tricky rock sections. Ice climbers consider this discipline the ultimate challenge. The winner is the competitor who covers the greatest distance in the allotted time. One way of measuring this is by counting the number of carabiners that the climbers manage to clip the rope through.
As its name suggests, the competition’s second discipline is all about speed. As soon as the starting barrier falls, the competitors leap onto the 15-metre vertical wall of ice and scramble to the top at a breath-taking pace – just like Spiderman! Top athletes can complete the course in an incredible 13 seconds. Since 2012 this discipline is run in parallel.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Aksel Lund Svindal Dominates the ‪Lauberhorn‬ ‪Downhill‬ in Wengen

Aksel Lund Svindal dominates the Lauberhorn downhill race in Wengen today as he raced to his sixth victory of the season, topping Hanned Reichelt by 0.19 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Klaus Kroll +1.52 seconds off the pace.
Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal is quite simply a force to be reckoned with in downhill this season. Of the five World Cup downhill races contested so far, he has claimed victory in four. His only slip up was a seventh-place finish last month in Santa Caterina.It was a tricky day on the Audi FIS World Cup tour, with the weather challenging the Organisers. In the morning, heavy snow was falling and the decision was made to lower the start to the Alpine combination start. The sun came out just in time for the race, but after about 20 skiers, a dense fog rolled in midway down the mountain, forcing a lengthy delay.
Svindal came down wearing bib 18 and skied through the start of the fog, but it had little effect on him as he was nearly flawless on the run and crushed the rest of the field.
"It was hard today, but I just focused on finding the best line and skiing a clean run", said Svindal. 
Reichelt was the next skier and also put in an excellent effort and looked very happy to land 0.19 seconds behind Svindal. It was Reichelt’s second podium of the season as he also finished in second place in the Santa Caterina downhill.
"I can say I love this hill and this slope", Reichelt said. "Today was really a tough race with the visibility. I was really on the limit from the start to the finish area. I think it was one of my best runs, but Aksel had a better one. In Langentrejen, there was fog. It was really tough to see the next gate and I said to myself, ‘Ok, you have to risk that.’ I had to just focus on skiing fast".
"It was a fast run that Aksel had today and I was really happy to come down and see that I was so close to him. Second place today for me is a good result", added Reichelt.
Before Svindal and Reichelt came down with the top times, Kroll held the lead for most of the race, but he ended up finishing 1.52 seconds behind Svindal. Despite the large margin, Kroll was still happy with the podium finish, his first since 2013 in Lake Louise.
"It was good enough today, (...) It was a long time ago, the last time I was on the podium, so I’m very happy with the result today", Kroell said. "My run was really good and I skied good today. The difference today was I made no mistakes, my skiing was really good. Confidence is back for sure".

Friday, January 15, 2016

Second Win in a Row in Flachau for Veronika Velez-Zuzulova

Second after the opening run, Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia gave it her all and cruised to a second consecutive slalom victory this week. She was the fastest of the second run to finish in an aggregate time of 1:49.99 ahead of Sweden's Frida Hasdotter (+0.20) and her team-mate Petra Vlhova (+0.53).
Before this successful week, Velez Zuzulova last topped the podium in January 2013. The 31-year-old admitted she was happy she didn't have to wait another three years.
"It's a dream week", Zuzulova said with a big smile. "For the first victory on Tuesday, I had to wait a long time. For the second one, only two days. But now I am happy that there is a short break because this is the kind of stuff I am not living every day. It cost me a lot of energy. A lot of emotions. So, it will be nice that I can go home a little bit and take in new energy for the next race".
With Petra Vlhova's victory in December at Are, Slovakia has now recorded a total of three wins this campaign. That was the first time of the season that both Slovakian racers were on the podium together.
"We are making history from the beginning of the season, it’s not just today, so for sure it’s amazing", Zuzulova commented. "You can see that there are many Slovakians here. We will have the World Cup in Slovakia and the people from Slovakian TV just told us we are beating even ice hockey. The people are watching in Slovakia. It’s really something amazing because the ice hockey is the sport number one in Slovakia, and now its maybe skiing".
With this sixth podium finish out of seven slalom races this season, Frida Hansdotter extended her lead in the slalom standings and sits now 156 points clear of the winner of the day at the top of the table with 505 points
"Night events are so much fun", said Hansdotter. "It’s such a nice atmosphere and it’s so fun to race when you see all the people down here cheering for you, so I love this race and delighted to be on the podium again today".
Fifth after the first run, Petra Vlhova did well in the second run and moved up to third place to join her team-mate.
"Two girls from Slovakia, a small country, together on the podium is just amazing", concluded Vlhova at the press conference.

Kjetil Jansrud Wins Alpine Combined in Wengen

Today’s Audi FIS World Cup Alpine Combined race in Wengen (SUI) definitely favored the Downhill specialists as Norwegians Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal out-paced the rest of the field followed by French speed specialist Adrien Theaux.
"You're at the start and you try and push it. That's what I did, you have to be aggressive going in, but I never know what to expect", said Jansrud. His slalom run was far from perfect, especially in the last pitch, but he managed to stay in the race and won it. "I think I pulled of a pretty good run on the top and the middle section and suddenly I kicked off in the last third there and I felt like I wasn't going to save it, but somehow I found my new outside ski and managed to fight my way to the bottom. That made me quite surprised when I came in and saw the green light, so that was a happy moment. It's pretty sweet".
Svindal led all racers after the downhill portion of the program, topping Theaux by 0.72 seconds. Jansurd wasn’t far off the pace, ending in third place only 0.90 seconds behind his countryman. Unfortunately for the technical specialists, the downhill skiers were simply too fast in the first run as the gap for most racers was well over one second, and in many cases more than two seconds.
The big difference gave the speed skiers the slight advantage in the slalom run as the relatively flat course worked to their advantage. Jansrud had a particularly good slalom run, clocking in nearly a second faster than Svindal and edging his teammate by a slim 0.04 seconds. Theaux was also faster than Svindal in the slalom, but could not make up enough time and ultimately finished 0.13 behind the Norwegian duo.
"I had a big margin from the downhill and that's definitely what secured the podium", said Svindal. "It was a bit of a bonus today, a double victory for Norway, we didn't really expect that".
Theaux, who rarely finds himself in slalom gates, was pleased with his performance and pointed to superb hill preparation as the key to his chance at a podium result.
"Some days are good, some days not, but today was OK in slalom", said Théaux, before mentioning one point that definitively helped to reach the podium today: "The slope was really good and the snow was perfect for us because when you are a downhiller and you start 29 or 30, sometimes the snow is not good, but today was very good so I'm very happy".

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Colorado Ski Country USA Sees Surge in Early Season Skier Visits

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) reported today that total skier visits at its 21 member resorts were up 10 percent during the first period of the 2015/16 ski season, defined as Opening Day (October 29, 2015) through December 31, 2015, compared to the same period last year. This year’s first period skier visits also bested the first period five-year average by 13 percent, making it the third consecutive year early season visitation has been up over the five-year average.
The surge in visitation numbers can be attributed in part to excellent winter conditions in Colorado and pent up skier demand fueled by El Nino buzz. "Before ski season even started there was a lot of talk about this being a Godzilla El Nino year and what that would look like for Colorado", said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of CSCUSA. "As resorts opened and ski season got underway, many skiers and snowboarders, particularly our savvy in-state riders, took advantage of some of the best early season conditions we’ve had in recent memory".
Several snowstorms brought abundant snow to Colorado resorts in November and December, driving bookings and allowing resorts to open ample terrain during the busy holiday period. "Thanks to some well-timed storms, resorts were able to offer amazing conditions during the holidays and many resorts reached the 100-inch milestone before the end of the year", commented Mills. "Even a couple very cold days between Christmas and New Year’s didn’t keep folks from taking advantage of the powder conditions", commented Mills. The snow was just a part of what drew skiers to the slopes. "Travelers know that when they visit a Colorado Ski Country resort they’ll be met with friendly employees, personal interactions and a welcoming spirit, and that goes a long way with our guests", said Mills.
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.

Lauberhorn (Wengen, Switzerland): The Essence of Downhill Ski Racing

"You have this run that’s 2.85 miles long in the most beautiful place on earth and its all yours, see how fast you can go down it, see where you can grab your tuck & see how much fun you can have".
US Ski Team athletes Bode Miller & Chad Fleischer take us turn-by-turn through Lauberhorn, one of downhill skiing's most historic and challenging course.


The Lauberhorn Races (Wengen, Switzerland)

The 86th International Lauberhorn Races will take place next weekend in Wengen, Switzerland.
As part of the Men's Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup this is taking place from January 15th to 17th with three events, a Super Combination, a Downhill and a Slalom races. The International Lauberhorn races are part of the the Club 5+ Alpine Classics, a union of the leading alpine ski race organizers from all over the world. It was founded 1988 upon an idea of worldcup founder and sports journalist Serge Lang. Charter members had been the "Five" Downhill classic sites in the Alps: Gardena/Gröden (ITA), Garmisch (GER), Kitzbühel (AUT), Wengen (SUI), Val d’Isere (FRA). The 1st International Lauberhorn Race Wengen took place in 1930. On November 28, 1929 along with the co-founders of the Swiss Academic Ski Club (SAS) in Berne Ernst Gertsch signed the founding document of the Lauberhorn Race. After the pioneering years (from 1924), with this race the wonderful story of Alpine ski racing really began to unfold. A story that is marked, to a large extent, by Arnold Lunn and Ernst Gertsch who guided it through many perils. It was long, difficult and often bumpy road.
Wengen (1274 m) is a car free resort located on a sheltered, sun-soaked terrace, 400 metres above the picturesque Lauterbrunnen Valley. The fantastic surrounding scenery is dominated by the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau massif. The holiday destination of Wengen is situated in the in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, 18 kilometres from Interlaken, the Lakes of Thun and Brienz, and close to the UNESCO World Heritage Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn. The Jungfrau Region Ski Paradise offers 45 lifts and 213 kilometres of pistes in three different ski areas: Grindelwald-First, Wengen (Kleine Scheidegg-Männlichen) and Mürren-Schilthorn, with its revolving Piz Gloria Restaurant, made world-famous by the James Bond film On her Majesty's Secret Service offers 45 lifts and 213 kilometres of pistes.

Updated program

Friday, January 15th 2016
10:30/14:00 CET Men's Alpine Combined (Downhill and Slalom)

Saturday, January 16th 2016

12:30 CET TBC Men's Downhill

Sunday, January 17th 2016

10:30/13:30 CET Men's Slalom

2015 Lauberhorn Races

Last year, Hannes Reichelt laid down a flawless run and after already earning three podiums in Wengen he finally claimed his first Lauberhorn victory.
Behind Reichelt, a strong Swiss trio – Beat Feuz, Carlo Janka and Patrick Kueng finished in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place for the pleasure of the 24000 people who came to the venue to cheer for them.

In an exciting turnaround of events in the second run, Felix Neureuther climbed up from his 5th position finish in the first run to claim his second victory in the Wengen slalom. In second place, only 0.20 seconds slower than Neureuther was Stefano Gross. Rounding up the podium today, 0.44 seconds slower than the best time was young Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen who claimed his ninth World Cup podium.

Alpine Combined
After a two-year hiatus from the podium, Carlo Janka had two perfect runs to win his first race since 2011. With a total time 1.31 seconds slower than Janka’s, Victor Muffat-Jeandet finished in second place and earned his first ever World Cup podium. The Frenchman was 27th in the downhill but clocked the fastest slalom run of the day for an impressive climb in the rankings. In third place, Mr. Wengen – Ivica Kostelic grasped his 60th career podium in a season where he has been struggling to find his usual consistency.

5th World Snow Day

On 17th January 2016, the 5th edition of World Snow Day will take place. The 5th edition will include 625 events in 42 countries who have registered to organise activities.
The 5th edition of World Snow Day has a total of seven nationwide events. Austria, Canada, China, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, Poland, will stage events throughout their countries.
The nationwide events include: ‘Apen Bakke’ (Open Day) in Norway, where 100 resorts will open their doors to an estimated 130,000 participants for free skiing and snowboarding; School snow sports concept in Austria includes 125 resorts offering school children the chance to try snow sports for as little as five Euros; while in China 20 resorts across the country – increased from five resorts last year - will support free and discounted passes for children.
In addition, World Snow Day in Latvia will break its previous record of 113 events with 143 events set to take place. The event will have lessons, safety demonstrations and fun races. The Canadian Ski Patrol World Snow Day will host over 20 events to show children the fun of snow sports with an emphasis on safety. World Snow Day in Iceland will include seven resorts hosting free or discounted ski passes for families.
Half price children’s lift passes at Serbia’s major ski resorts, Mongolia’s second World Snow Day with free lessons and passes at Sky Resort Ski Complex, and free lift passes at Sky Tavern (USA) are just a few of the other World Snow Day activities.
Other notable events include a snow festival in Shymbulak (KAZ); World Cup hosts Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA) hosting a World Snow Day with an abundance of activities; free ski and snowboard lessons from 43 ski and snowboard schools in Poland. The Southern Hemisphere will also celebrate with World Snow Day on the sand in Peru and free ski and snowboard lessons in Johannesburg (RSA).
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper said, "We want to make World Snow Day a consistently strong day for snow sports in the calendar. Thanks to the incredible Organisers we now see another year with over 600 events. This places us on the right track to achieve this vision".
FIS would also like to thank its loyal and committed World Snow Day partners Audi, European Broadcasting Union, Eurosport, Infront Sports & Media, Best of the Alps, World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, European Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, for their efforts to make World Snow Day a success.

World Snow Day is the second phase of the 'Bring Children to the Snow' campaign. The first phase of the campaign, called SnowKidz, was launched in 2009. The SnowKidz project aims to encourage FIS Member National Ski Associations to promote snow sports within their country. Meanwhile, World Snow Day looks beyond the FIS membership to the wider snow sports community. It seeks to motivate children aged from 4-14 by encouraging all stakeholders to celebrate all things snow around the world simultaneously.
The concept for World Snow Day was developed by FIS in consultation with other organizations involved in snow sports, such as the National Ski Associations, their ski clubs and event organizers, ski schools, ski industry, tourism organizations, mountain lift associations and many more, in order to tackle the general decline in youth participation in snow sports. The World Snow Day aims to support and encourage involvement from children and families alike with the goal of creating a new channel to reach the younger target groups and to bring newcomers to snow whilst offering something special to those who already participate.
This event shares the common mission with the IOC’s Sport for All Commission to promote sport and physical activity to people of all ages and abilities across the world. The initiative, including World Snow Day, has featured as a case study in the IOC’s first Sport for All guide - Get Moving! - which combines practical guidance and inspirational cases aimed at assisting and motivating participants in the development of new programmes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Veronika Velez Zuzulova Wins World Cup Slalom in Flachau

In front of a huge crowd with more than 10'000 cheering fans, 68 racers battled it out under the lights in difficult conditions for the sixth Slalom of the season. In the lead after the opening run, Slovakia's Veronika Velez Zuzulova, didn't let anyone prevent her from earning her third Wolrd Cup victory. She finished in a combined time of 1:46.58 to edge out her nearest rivals Czech Republic’s Sarka Strachova and Swedish's frida Hansdotter both respectively +0.31 and 1.05 seconds off the pace.
"I had to stay calm and focused before the second run and I managed it, so I am really happy to be on top of the podium tonight, because I had to wait a long time to win again", Zuzulova told reporters.
Veronika Velez Zuzulova’s fast skiing paired well with her husband’s second run set on the Hermann Maier course, sending her to her first win of the season.
"It was a really nice course, and it was the first time that I skied the course of my husband (in a World Cup) … so I am really happy that I managed to win", said the newly crowned Snow Space Princess. "It will be a nice memory for us".
Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic, who sits second in the overall slalom standings, finished the evening in second.
"I am really happy about this second place, even though I could have skied faster", Strachova said. "I feel really good this season. I’m healthy and the results are going my way".Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, the most consistent slalom skier and winner of last year's race in Flachau, struggled with the soft snow and rutted track in the first run and had to be content with rank 6. The Swede moved up to third place after an aggressive second leg.
"I am satisfied with my second run", Hansdotter confessed. "I had a hard time in the first run but for sure you need to be able to ski well in all types of conditions. So I can't only blame myself for this. But I am so much better when the snow is harder and you know what you can do and ski the way you want. There is one more race on Friday and I am really looking forward to having another chance and taking revenge". Hansdotter concluded.

Ladies' Alpine Ski World Cup Slalom in Flachau

Today 12th of January the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup once again comes to Flachau (Austria). Flachau is well known as a proven venue of numerous important ski events. Since 1993, World Cup and Europa Cup races the World Cup Finale 2002 as well as the junior WM 2007 (together with Zauchensee) were successfully staged Thousands of spectators celebrated each time a great ski celebration.

Flachau (AUT)
January 12th Slalom / Ladies

The cancelled ladies' AUDI FIS Ski World Cup Giant slalom and Slalom races from Ofterschwang (GER) will be rescheduled in Flachau (AUT) with the following programme:

January 15th Giant Slalom / Ladies
January 17th Giant Slalom / Ladies

Last year more than 15'000 spectators flocked into town on Tuesday evening for the 5thnight slalom race staged in Flachau. Sweden's Frida Hansdotter took advantage of a 0.23 second lead from the first run to remain in first place after a very solid second run under the floodlights. She posted a combined winning time of 1:49.59, while runner-up of the day Slovenia's Tina Maze was 0.61 seconds off the pace. USA's Mikaela Shiffrin, who was 8th after the first run, put everything on the line to finally get on the podium, just a mere 0.02 seconds behind Maze.

Flachau is located in the Salzburger Sportwelt (skiing from 1.000 up to 2.200 m height). With its 9 ski resorts (Flachau, St.Johann/Alpendorf, Wagrain, Zauchensee-Flachauwinkl, Flachauwinkl/Kleinarl, Radstadt/Altenmarkt,Eben, Filzmoos, Goldegg), 99 lifts and 350 kilometres of pistes (140 blue, 170 red, 40 black), the Salzburger Sportwelt surpasses all your skiing expectations. Salzburger Sportwelt is the home of Hermann Maier, Andreas Schifferer, the successful snowboarding Riegler sisters and the ski legend Annemarie Moser-Pröll.
Flachau is a member of the Ski Amadé, Austria’s biggest ski alliance: one ski ticket for 5 ski regions (Salzburger Sportwelt, Schladming-Dachstein, Gastein, Grossarltal and Hochkönig) with 860 km of slopes (280 blue, 483 red, 97 black) and 270 lifts. 80 percent of slopes (equal to about 690 kilometres) are serviceable by snowmaking equipment. The area is named in honour of the city of Salzburg´s most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

GoPro: Alaskan Airdrop with Xavier De Le Rue

Join Xavier De Le Rue, Ralph Backstrom, and Sam Anthamatten as they journey to Alaska to attempt a new way to get up and down the fresh snow covered mountains.
Shot 100% on the HERO4 camera from

Monday, January 11, 2016

Salomon Freeski TV: Moment's Notice Part 2: Chamonix

During filming of Salomon Freeski TV Season 7, we asked Salomon Freeski team members if they could drop everything and chase a storm to Japan on only 24 hours notice. This season that same question led us to Chamonix, France and some of the most ideal conditions the crew has ever seen.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Henrik Kristoffersen Wins Adelboden Slalom

Adelboden (SUI) finally saw some action on the slopes today as Norwegian young gun Henrik Kristoffersen won the Audi FIS World Cup men’s under snowy, foggy skies. Henrik Kristoffersen takes his 10th career win at the slalom in Adelboden.
The 4th slalom of the season ended being extremely thrilling with Henrik Kristoffersen winning +0.06 ahead of Marcel Hirscher and +0.60 ahead of Alexander Khoroshilov.
Kristoffersen finished the first run in third place sitting 0.32 seconds off the pace, but in the second run he was flawless on the tricky ‘Zeilhang’ the last steep pitch that leads into the finish area.
Both Kristoffersen and Hirscher have finished in the top three in all four of this season’s slalom races, with the two exchanging bragging rights for the top spot. Kristoffersen has the edge after today as he was won three of the races (Adelboden, Madonna, Val d’Isere), while Hirscher has one slalom win (Santa Caterina) against the Norwegian this season.
Adelboden has been particularly good to Kristoffersen, he has been on the podium the last three seasons here, finishing in third place in slalom 2014 and also third place in the giant slalom in 2015. Hirscher is also very strong in Adelboden as he has been on the podium every year here since 2010.
Third-place finisher Khoroshillov has steadily been improving on the World Cup tour. It was his second consecutive third-place finish, and his fifth career World Cup podium.
The racers were complimentary of the course in the famous Chuenesbargli hill as they recognized the massive effort put in by the Organizing Committee to prepare for the race as yesterday’s giant slalom was cancelled due to the tough conditions of the snow.
"When you watch, it looks like it is soft, but actually it was quite icy and hard and good conditions for me", said Koroshilov after the first run.

Lindsey Vonn Wins World Cup Super G in Zauchensee

Lindsey Vonn triumphed at Zauchensee. After winning both legs of a downhill doubleheader, she totally dominated the first super-G of 2016.The 31-year-old American didn't let anyone come close. Second and third place went to Lara Gut and Cornelia Hütter who were respectively 0.70 and 1.25 seconds off the pace.
Lindsey Vonn extended her super G win streak to four with this victory. Despite some initial doubt, Vonn absolutely crushed the course for her 73rd overall World Cup victory.
With the victory, Vonn closed to within 38 points of Gut’s overall World Cup lead. She credits her two-victory success this weekend to a long break back home in Colorado over the holidays with family and friends.
"I had a lot of confidence after Lake Louise and then in Val d’Isere I felt like I lost my confidence a little bit after going out in the downhill,",she said. "I went home, I had a good break and I feel energized again. I feel really good mentally and physically, and I think that showed in this weekend’s racing".
"It’s a perfect start to the New Year", she added. "Hopefully I can just continue on in this direction and hopefully just keep winning".
Overall World Cup Lara Gut, who failed to finish yesterday's downhill, was eager to put that disappointment behind and came in second place, 0.70 seconds adrift.
The Swiss ace really threatened Vonn's lead until the last intermediate time but made a mistake in the lower section.
"I am happy to be skiing well again in super-G. In Lake Louise, the only super-G we had, the way I skied it was terrible, so I’m happy to be back and do what I can. Sure I made a big mistake and I lost a lot of time in from the last split to the finish, but that’s skiing and it’s better to be second with a mistake than trying to win, but you have no idea what happened. I can work on that".
Austria's Cornelia Hütter continued her fine form and raced to her fourth podium this season. The 23-year-old is still chasing her first career World Cup victory.

Super G Zauchensee 2016 (73rd WIN) par lindseyvonnfans

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lindsey Vonn Wins Zauchensee Sprint Downhill

Lindsey Vonn, who clocked the fastest time in the opening run, put a strong second run together to lead the rest of the pack by at least one second. She crossed the finish line with a combined time of 2:11.17 to clinch her 36th career World Cup win, equalling Annemarie Moser-Pröll's downhill record.
"The light was flat, and there was a lot of bumps, but I did a solid second run", Vonn said. "I didn’t let the pressure get to me, and to be tied with Anna Marie is incredible, so I’m very happy and looking forward to tomorrow".
Vonn had a substantial lead after the first run and admitted she didn't ski too aggressively in the second.
"First run, I think I skied really solidly, and then second run, I was a little bit more conservative because I knew I had a big lead and I knew that everyone was having trouble with the bumps, so I just tried to ski relaxed and it worked", Vonn explained.
Second after the first run, Canada's Larisa Yurkiw held on to her position and finished exactly one second off the winning pace, while young Austrian racer Cornelia Hütter was third 1.66 seconds back.
Yurkiw confirmed she was comfortable on the Kälberloch course as she skied to her career first top 6 two years ago in Zauchensee (11 January 2014) and won the downhill run of the super combined the next day.
"I think it was a bit of a redemption day", Yurkiw confessed. "When I was standing in the start, I realized, however many years ago, I won this downhill run in the combined, and I had so much pressure and I totally choked. And I was too young for that, so now I felt like I have the skills to handle myself and I thought I should make sure I come down with a big lead then it’ll be okay".
Many racers struggled in the “Panorama-Kurve” section, which saw current World Cup overall leader, Switzerland’s Lara Gut ski out in the first run. Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather, who was among the favourites, failed to complete the second run after skiing out in the same portion.
In the downhill standings, Lindsey Vonn leads now with 300 points, 50 points clear of Cornelia Hütter.
"The second run was so hard and the visibility was so bad, and it was really bumpy and it was more out of control skiing, but I hoped that yeah, I am on the podium and I am really happy about it", Hütter conlcuded.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ten Most Beautiful Alpine Ski Resorts By CNN

Here is the CNN's list of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Alpine Ski Resorts:

Zermatt, Switzerland

Saas-Fee, Switzerland

Grimentz, Switzerland

Wengen, Switzerland

Kitzbühel, Austria

Lech, Austria

Alpbach, Austria

Megeve, France

Courmayeur, Italy

The Swatch Freeride World Tour 2016 Kicks Off In Vallnord Arcalis (Andorra)

In two weeks on January 23, 2016, the finest freeriders in the world will head to Vallnord Arcalís, Andorra for to commence their journey to be crowned world champion of the 2016 Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT).
As the snow begins to fall across the Northern Hemisphere, athletes across the world are preparing for another season of exciting action on the prestigious freeride tour. The 2016 edition of the Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) is destined to be one for the history books as it will host the most talented freeriders on the planet competing on legendary venues across the world for a total prize purse of 467,000 USD.
With a total of 62 athletes representing 14 countries, this diverse assembly freeride athletes is composed of 27 male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers, and 7 female snowboarders. Some of the most recognized names in their respective disciplines will face-off during the five competition stops over the 2016 season. These finely tuned athletes will test their limits after putting in countless hours of physical and mental preparation over the summer months. Athletes will attempt to secure their name in freeride history as they push the limits of the sport on the road to the Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland.
As the sport of freeride grows by leaps and bounds every year, the Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) is proud to welcome Peak Performance as the Outerwear Partner for the tour this season. Founded in Åre, Sweden in 1986, Peak Performance develops gear as a result of an organic process marrying function with fashion.

Event Calendar and Cut
Few people have even heard of this hidden gem deep in the Pyrenees mountains straddling the France-Spain border – but that doesn’t mean that this ski resort in Southern Europe isn’t gaining a reputation among hardcore freeriders for having incredible terrain and a welcoming alpine culture.
Famous already since 1998 for organizing extraordinary freeride events, the Vallnord Arcalís in Andorra is originally known for the ‘El Dorado Freeride’ – a popular stop on the Freeride World Qualifier. For the second time, the organizers will welcome the athletes of the Freeride World Tour in 2016.

Date: Jan. 23, 2016; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, AND
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

FWT16 - Teaser Vallnord Arcalís par FreerideWorldTourTV

The legendary alpine playground with a rich history of alpinism and freeride will once again welcome competitors to the Mont Blanc massif. With stunning vistas in every direction and a population of hardcore mountain enthusiasts, Chamonix is guaranteed to deliver an exciting event.

Date: Feb 6, 2016; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

Anyone who has been to the Austrian Alps know that mountain culture runs deep in the Tyrolean Pillerseetal valley. Fantastic terrain combined with a legendary event village and warm welcome from the local community is a treat for athletes and spectators alike.

Date: March 6, 2016; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, AUT
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

The following cut takes place after event NO. 3:
- Top 14 Men Ski (from 26)
- Top 7 Women Ski (from 14)
- Top 7 Men Snowboard (from 14)
- Top 5 Women Snowboard (from 8)
Are qualified for FWT Alaska and for FWT17

Descending the impossibly steep and aesthetic terrain of the Alaskan mountain is every freerider’s dream. This dream becomes reality in one of the most unique venues in freeride history. Take a ride on the wild side as riders push their limits on the most revered lines in the world, far from any ski resort or chairlift.

Date: March 17, 2016; Location: Haines
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

The following cut takes place after event NO. 4:
- Top 12 Men Ski (from 14)
- Top 6 Women Ski (from 7)
- Top 6 Men Snowboard (from 7)
- Top 4 Women Snowboard (from 5)
Are qualified for FWT Verbier

For over 20 years competitors have given their most astounding performances during the Xtreme Verbier. It’s a place where legends are made and broken on the most committing and infamous venue of the tour: the Bec des Rosses. The intimidatingly exposed pyramid-shaped peak has long challenged top riders to face their fears and put everything on line to the seek the glory of victory on the definitive grand finale of the tour.

Date: April 2, 2016; Location: Verbier, SUI
Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

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.