Thursday, February 28, 2019

Freeride World Tour 2019. Next Stop: Ordino Arcalís (Andorra)

Date: March 2-8, 2019; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra

The world’s best gather in Andorra to prepare for Crunch Time and the second to last event of the season in the Pyrenees freeride capital.
It’s that time of the season again when points mean everything: world title race, qualification for the finals in Verbier and the 2020 season. It’s with all of this on the line that sets the stage for what is sure to be a highly contested competition in the Pyrenean freeride capital of Ordino Arcalís, during the March 2nd - 8th weather window.
The official ceremony in Ordino will kick things off on March 1st, in Plaça Major and the atmosphere will be buzzing as always in the event village in Arcalís from March 2-3. Activities and events will include a free ski test and the FWT Party in Ordino on Saturday, March 2nd.

The 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 show 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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Vail Resorts To Acquire Falls Creek and Hotham Resorts in Victoria, Australia

Vail Resorts announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the ski fields at Falls Creek Alpine Resort and Hotham Alpine Resort in Victoria, Australia.
Falls Creek, Victoria’s largest ski resort, features a variety of terrain including fantastic beginner and intermediate trails that are well suited to families and first-timers.
Considered the 'Powder Capital' of Australia, Hotham is the only resort in the Southern Hemisphere where the village is located on top of the mountain, ensuring ski-in, ski-out opportunities from anywhere in the village.
The acquisition, which is subject to certain regulatory approvals, is expected to close prior to the commencement of the Australian snow season in June 2019.
Vail Resorts will purchase Australian Alpine Enterprises Holdings Pty. Ltd and all related corporate entities that operate Falls Creek and Hotham resorts from Living and Leisure Australia Group (LLA), a subsidiary of Merlin Entertainments, for a purchase price of approximately AU$174 million, subject to certain adjustments at closing, including an increase (or reduction) in the price for operating losses (or gains) incurred for the period from Dec. 29, 2018 through closing. The acquisition includes ski school, retail/rental, reservation and property management operations at both resort areas.
"We are thrilled to welcome the guests and employees of both Falls Creek and Hotham into the Vail Resorts family and further strengthen our position in Australia, which is one of our most important international markets. The acquisition of the leading mountain resorts in Victoria is part of our continued strategy to drive season pass sales and build loyalty with guests from around the world", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "After our success connecting with skiers in Sydney and across New South Wales since acquiring Perisher in 2015, we have a huge opportunity to create a deeper connection with Melbourne and broader Victorian skiers and riders".
"Vail Resorts has a great track record in developing world-class resorts", said Nick Mackenzie, Managing Director of Merlin Entertainments’ Midway division. "We’re confident that guests, employees and the surrounding communities of Hotham and Falls Creek will benefit from Vail Resorts’ expertise, investment and know-how, and we wish the teams every success for the future".
When the transaction closes, the 2019 Epic Australia Pass and 2018-19 Epic Pass will include unlimited, unrestricted access to Falls Creek and is expected to include unlimited, unrestricted access to Hotham, subject to certain approvals.

Vail Resorts is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 11 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Ski Men. Winning Run Markus Eder. Freeride World Tour 2019. Fieberbrunn

Markus Eder (ITA) continued his 2019 world title campaign with a beautifully floated 360 at the top of the venue with tons of exposure below, a fast and smooth middle section with plenty more air time, a very creative floaty transfer, and a massive backflip at the bottom for another well-deserved win.

Snowboard Men. Winning Run Victor De Le Rue. Freeride World Tour 2019. Fieberbrunn

Victor De Le Rue (FRA) charged into top of venue throwing a big 360 over tons of exposure, which he followed by a huge air, another 360 and then yet another 360 to cap off an amazing run which he spent most of the time spinning consecutive front and backside 360s.

Snowboard Women. Winning Run Marion Haerty. Freeride World Tour 2019. Fieberbrunn

Marion Haerty (FRA) was the last rider to go for the day and did not disappoint with a steep and technical top section, multiple airs linked together through the middle and two clean bottom airs to take the win and further cement her spot in the overall rankings.

Ski Women. Winning Run Hedvig Wessel. Freeride World Tour 2019. Fieberbrunn

Hedvig Wessel (NOR) took the win by pointing her skis into a big and fast top air, then stomped a smooth middle air, and cemented her spot at the top podium with a huge backflip at the bottom.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Federica Brignone Wins First and Last Alpine Combined of the Season in Crans Montana

Today, under blue skies and warm temperatures, Federica Brignone repeated her performance from last season with an impressive Downhill run to claim her third career Alpine Combined victory at Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Skiing from first place after the Downhill run, the Italian attacked Mont Lachaux with the eighth fastest slalom run to finish 0.38 seconds ahead of an impressive Roni Remme of Canada and 1.04 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Wendy Holdener.
Federica Brignone has now won three of the last four ladies' Alpine combined World Cup events held in Crans-Montana, on 24 February 2017, 4 March 2018 and today. She is the only female skier to win multiple ladies' combination events in Crans-Montana. Until today only Marie-Theres Nadig has won three ladies' combination World Cup events in a single ski resort. Nadig won three times in Val d'Isère from 1978 to 1980.
Brignone also claimed a second place in the Alpine combined race in Crans-Montana on 26 February 2017. Only Lindsey Vonn (4, St. Moritz) and Nicole Hosp (4, St. Moritz) have also claimed at least four World Cup podium finishes in ladies' combination events at a single venue.
Federica Brignone is now the first skier to win consecutive ladies' Alpine combined World Cup events since Tina Maze in 2012-2013.
Canadian Roni Remme, fifth in the alpine combined at World Championships, was able to hold her off with the fastest slalom run of the day despite a mistake to claim her career-first World Cup podium in second place.
Wendy Holdener has finished in fourth, sixth, fourth and third place respectively in her four ladies' Alpine combined events in Crans-Montana.
This podium came after winning in Åre her second world title in the ladies' Alpine combined event.
Federica Brignone has finished on the podium of the ladies' Alpine Combined overall World Cup standings in the last two seasons: second in 2016/17, third in 2017/18. No Italian woman has ever won the overall World Cup standings in the combination/Alpine combined event.
This is the first and only, after the cancellation of the Val d'Isere race, ladies' Alpine combined event this World Cup season. The winner of the race will also claim the World Cup standings lead in ladies' alpine combined, but no globe will be awarded for the single race contested in the seasonal calendar (FIS rules require two races to be contested in order to award a discipline globe).

Kristoffersen Wins Bansko Giant Slalom Race, Hirscher Takes Crystal Globe

In Åre Henrik Kristoffersen found his way back to the top of the podium earning his first World Championship medal ahead of his main contender: Marcel Hirscher.
A few days after in Bansko Kristoffersen again top the podium  +0.04 sec. ahead of Hirscher. Thomas Fanara of France finished in third place (+0.39).
Henrik Kristoffersen only World Cup victory in the Giant Slalom came in Méribel on 21 March 2015 despite he has claimed 16 World Cup podiums in the discipline. 
Until today, Marcel Hirscher has won 13 of the last 16 World Cup Giant Slalom races. Alexis Pinturault (Val d'Isère 2017) and Žan Kranjec (Saalbach-Hinterglemm 2018) won the other two in this run.
Today's second place secures for Marcel Hirscher the Giant Slalom crystal globe. He is currently 218 points ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen. This is Hirscher's sixth crystal globe in the Giant Slalom, surpassing Ted Ligety (5) and Vreni Schneider (5) for second most all-time (men and women). Ingemar Stenmark holds the record of eight in this event.
Marcel Hirscher has now won 19 World Cup classifications (all disciplines, including the slalom crystal globe this season), second most all-time behind Lindsey Vonn (20), tied with Stenmark (19).
For Thomas Fanara is the third time he finished in the Giant Slalom podium this season. He was second in Alta Badia and third in Adelboden.
Fanara has now collected 14 World Cup podiums, all in the Giant Slalom. His only World Cup win came in the St. Moritz giant slalom on 19 March 2016.
He was the oldest man to have finished on the podium of a World Cup giant slalom race when he finished third in Adelboden at the age of 37 years and 306 days (24.04.1981).

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Sofia Goggia Wins Downhill in Crans-Montana

Sofia Goggia of Italy won her first race of the season since her comeback from an ankle injury in the ladies' downhill at Crans-Montana (SUI) on Saturday. The warm, sunny day at the Swiss resort turned out to be a most unusual race for the competitors, but Goggia's dominance on the track was never in doubt as she posted blazing fast splits from start to finish.
Joana Haehlen, who won her first FIS Junior World Ski Championships medal at Crans-Montana, skied the second fastest run of the day for her career-first podium. The Swiss skier tore her ACL in April of 2018 but opted not to have surgery and to strengthen the joint on her own instead. She was beyond pleased that she could compete at the highest level with her knee in its current condition, and she is in the midst of the best season of her career. Haehlen missed out on the typical finish line celebration, however, because her run time was not immediately available due to a timekeeping issue.
The race concluded with Austria's Nicole Schmidhofer, the current leader of the downhill standings, rounding out the podium unofficially in third place. Following the flower ceremony, race officials were able to check and verify the race times for athletes who were affected by the timekeeping issues. Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland, who also did not receive a run time upon crossing the finish and was unofficially in the fourth position prior to the check, was confirmed as the final podium athlete in third place. Schmidhofer was verified in fourth place.
Longines, Official Partner and Timekeeper of the FIS, and Swiss Timing, in charge of operations on site, released the following statement on the matter:
"There were unfortunately timekeeping issues at the Audi FIS World Cup ladies' downhill race in Crans Montana (SUI).
The problem was due to connection issues between the infrastructure installed on the finish line and the timekeeping room. Consequently, the electronic timekeeping did not stop the finish time automatically for some of the competitors.
Longines, Official Partner, and Timekeeper of the FIS, and Swiss Timing, in charge of operations on site, are currently investigating the facts of this incident and will take on board fully the findings of this inquiry.
Despite the fact that the results were not displayed accurately in the finish area or on television, a manual backup timing system was used for the athletes that were affected as per FIS rules.
As a result of implementing the manual backup system, the top three finishers of today's downhill race are; First place, Sofia Goggia (ITA); second place, Joana Haehlen (SUI) +0,36; third place, Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI) +0,45.
Longines and Swiss Timing are very disappointed by this incident and wish to apologize to the athletes, organizers and spectators

15 Days To Go Until Soldeu El Tarter 2019 Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals

For the first time, Grandvalira / Soldeu-El Tarter, Southern Europe’s biggest ski resort, is hosting the Men’s and Women’s Alpine Ski World Cup Finals.

"Skiing is the most important economic motor of this country, and it is with projects of this level that we will stand out from other resorts", said  Josep Mandicó, Mayor of the parish of Canillo.
The 2019 World Cup Finals "will place Andorra on the world map as a point of reference for winter sports", said Josep Pintat, President of the Andorra Ski Federation.
"Organizing a unique event with high media coverage, such as the Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals, is a great opportunity to strengthen Andorra’s international position, particularly for Soldeu and El Tarter sectors of Grandvalira as top-level ski destinations", said Conrad Blanch, CEO Soldeu Organizing Committee.

The World Cup is the most important international circuit-based alpine ski competition in the world, along with the Winter Olympics and the Alpine World Ski Championships.
In 1965, just eight years after the opening the country’s first ski resort at Pas de la Casa - Grau Roig and one year after Soldeu - El Tarter first opened its doors, alpine skiing was declared a "sport of national interest" in Andorra. Since then Andorra has produced 28 Olympic Skiers and has been represented at 10 Winter Olympics, starting with Innsbruck in 1976.
Andorra, the Pyrenean country lying between Spain and France, is the ideal destination for anyone looking to ski and enjoy nature and incredible landscapes. With over 300 km of ski slopes and exceptional snow conditions throughout the whole season, this is a destination with everything you need to enjoy winter and snow sports to the max.
Grandvalira was established in October 2003 when the management of SAETDE and ENSISA (the companies operating Pas de la Casa - Grau Roig and Soldeu - El Tarter) announced a long-awaited Merger. The physical union created the biggest ski resort in the Pyrenees and one of the biggest in Europe, with 210 km of slopes, allowing skiers with a single pass to enjoy the entire skiable area.

For several years, Andorra has been hosting Alpine Skiing competitions. Andorra was the venue for the First Alpine Skiing European Cup on March 1974 at Pas de la Casa. The ski resort hosted again the European Cup the following year. After a few years, on the 1990-1991 winter season, the competition returned to Pas de la Casa to host two Slalom events. Since 2003 Andorra became a main venue of the European Cup Circuit.
In 2006 Soldeu presented his candidature to organize a World cup event and after the organizational success of the European Cup, the ski resort was entrusted with hosting the first Alpine Skiing World Cup event in 2012 at the Avet slope, Soldeu.
After hosting the European Cup Finals in 2014 and 2015 the World Cup returned to Soldeu-El Tarter on February 2016. The Super-G and Alpine Combined Events took place on the new Àliga course.
The European Cup Finals in 2018 were the last test before the 2019 Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals will take place in Soldeu-El Tarter Andorra from 11 to 17 March.

The World Cup Final Events will take place in the Soldeu and El Tarter sectors on the Avet and Àliga courses.

The Avet course is where the Slalom and Giant Slalom categories take place, and in 2012 it was chosen to host the races for the Ladies Alpine Ski World Cup. The competition stage takes place in Soldeu, and its classic layout was approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS) in October 2007. For the 2019 Alpine Ski World Cup finals, the finish area has been modified with an incredible skiable platform at the bottom of the Avet course and the town of Soldeu.
It is 1.259 meters long (GS course), with a vertical drop of 416 meters and an average gradient of 37% and a maximum gradient of 70%.
The course can be reached via the eight-person Soldeu gondola and the six-person Soldeu chair lift.

The Àliga course is where the speed categories, Downhill and Super-G, take place.
In 2016, Andorra hosted the Super-G and Alpine Combined World Cup races. 
The competition stage takes place in the El Tarter sector, and its trail is approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS). In recent years, the course has been prepared both to ensure the safety of the skiers as well as to make it as spectacular as possible.
It is 2800 meters long (Downhill course), 60 meters wide with a vertical drop of 756 meters where skiers can reach speeds in excess of 120 km/h.
The course ends in the town of El Tarter, so fans can even get close to the finishing line on foot to enjoy the competition.

Freeride World Tour 2019 Third Event Took Place Today In Fieberbrunn

Fieberbrunn (Austria) is one of the most technical and challenging venues on the calendar, the boiling pressure for crucial leaderboard points; these were the ingredients for another stellar line-up of performances by the world’s best freeriders at a picture perfect day in Fieberbrunn. With the legendary “Wildseeloder” venue blanketed under blue skies and cold fresh snow, the intrepid roster of athletes wasted no time in choosing big lines and creative features hoping to finish the day standing in the winners circle.

Ski Men

Markus Eder (ITA-1st Place) continued his 2019 world title campaign with a beautifully floated 360 at the top of the venue with tons of exposure below, a fast and smooth middle section with plenty more air time, a very creative floaty transfer, and a massive backflip at the bottom for another well-deserved win. Andrew Pollard (USA-2nd Place) had a solid run with a smooth step up 360, a nicely floated corked 360 and smooth skiing from top to bottom. Léo Slemett (FRA-3rd Place)the last rider to go, opened up a new, very steep and exposed line at the top sticking a huge double air, which he followed by fast riding through the middle and a beautiful backflip at the bottom for a strong run. "Amazing moment and I’m really happy. It’s the first time in three years of competing here that I was able to do the line I wanted. It’s crazy to have had three good comps in a row!", said Markus Eder.

Ski Women

Hedvig Wessel (NOR-1st Place) took the win by pointing her skis into a big and fast top air, then stomped a smooth middle air, and cemented her spot at the top podium with a huge backflip at the bottom. Jacqueline Pollard (USA-2nd Place) stuck airs in every part of the venue and applied her big mountain style and smooth technique to a great run overall. Elisabeth Gerritzen (SUI-3rd Place)strung together smooth airs all the way down the mountain for a highly fluid run.
"Being able to be on top of these amazing mountains gives me so much energy. I’m really thankful to be on the Freeride World Tour, and to ski with these amazing girls. I did the line I wanted and a backflip so I’m really happy", said Hedvig Wessel.

Snowboard Men

Victor De Le Rue (FRA-1st Place) charged into the top of venue throwing a big 360 over tons of exposure, which he followed by a huge air, another 360 and then yet another 360 to cap off an amazing run which he spent most of the time spinning consecutive front and backside 360s. Dave Baird (USA-2nd Place) wowed judges and viewers with a beautiful sequence of two huge back to back airs at the top of the venue, followed by smooth riding and a couple more nice airs through the finish. Sammy Luebke (USA-3rd Place) had a hard-charging run carrying tons of speed through the top and stuck a nicely floated 360 in the middle section for a solid run.
"I was really impressed by everyone’s runs, hitting so many features, so I added a few features to my run and I ended up first! I’m super stoked", said Victor De Le Rue.

Snowboard Women

Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) was the last rider to go for the day and did not disappoint with a steep and technical top section, multiple airs linked together through the middle and two clean bottom airs to take the win and further cement her spot in the overall rankings. Anna Orlova (RUS-2nd Place) chose a very technical line at the top, which she executed smoothly followed by a couple of smooth airs. Erika Vikander (USA-3rd Place) had a smooth run with a nice looking surf slash style and a clean air at the bottom.
"I saw that line last year and really wanted to do it. I’m super stoked, feel so emotional right now and confident for the next one", said Marion Haerty.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Alexis Pinturault Wins the Alpine Combined in Bansko

Bansko is back on the World Cup Tour, with three men’s competitions held this weekend in the Bulgarian resort in the Pirin mountains. The racing weekend started today with an alpine combined, made of a super-g run and a slalom. A race in which all five World Champions from Åre 2019 participated.
In that discipline, there is one active skier that’s dominating the field. It’s the reigning World Champion Alexis Pinturault. The Frenchman showed a very strong super-g performance in the morning, where he was less than 0.20 off the pace of speed specialists like Mauro Caviezel and Vincent Kriechmayr. In the second run, he could demonstrate his slalom skills, that reached a new level this season and take the win of this alpine combined in Bansko. With that success, he also won the discipline standings, for the 5th time in his career, and joined Carole Merle for the French record with 22 World Cup wins.
Marcel Hirscher finished in second place of the alpine combined. After a super-g run where he didn’t push his limits, the Austrian set the fastest time in the slalom and was able to move up from 20th place to the podium. Despite being the reigning Olympic Champion and the World Champion 2015, Hirscher has never won an alpine combined on the World Cup Tour. Today he collected his 6th podium in that discipline.
Slovenia took the third spot on the podium with Stefan Hadalin. The tech whiz was a Junior World Champion in alpine combined in 2016 but focused on slalom since he made his debut on the World Cup Tour. This was successful, as he managed to clock the fastest times in some slalom runs this season, and claimed a career-best 8th place in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. But he still has great skill in speed as well and one week after his sensational second place at the World Championships alpine combined, he confirmed with his first World Cup podium in career.
Unfortunately, the winner of the Wengen alpine combined Marco Schwarz injured himself on the landing of the finish jump. A knee injury is suspected. The Austrian young gun, who was 4th of the Overall standings, flew back home for further medical checks.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues in Bansko and Crans-Montana

After the World Ski Championships in Åre and a quick stop at the Stockholm City Event, the World Cup Tour moves on to Bansko (BUL) and Crans Montana (SUI).

Crans-Montana is located in the heart of the Swiss Alps in the canton of Valais, on a plateau above Sierre at an elevation of about 1,500 m, facing the Rhône valley. Crans-Montana is really two villages, their centers a mile apart and their fringes merging. The resort is reached by road or by a funicular railway from the town of Sierre in only 12 minutes.
The ski resort has direct access to 140 kilometers of marked pistes, a third of them have snow cannons which guarantee an excellent ski season, served 27 ski lifts. The ski area is split up into four areas: Adrenaline, Détente, Découverte, y 100% Glisse, each of them suitable for a type of skier. Crans offer one of the longest downhill of the region: The Piste Nationale, a 12-kilometer-long ski run.
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.
Crans-Montana is also the Swiss candidate for the 2025 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Bansko (Bulgaria) is the largest ski resort in the Balkan area and by far the most well-known ski resort in South Eastern Europe. Located just 160 kilometers away from Sofia, the contemporary town of Bansko is a unique mixture of old traditions and modern style, where new-built hotels and apartment houses are separated from more than 100 years old ethnographic houses by just a tiny, stone-paved street. The town center is a listed World Heritage Site.
The ski pistes are located in two main ski centers: Chalin Valog (1100-1600 m) and Shiligarnika (1700-2500 m). They are approximately 10 km above the town on the northern slopes of Pirin Mountain and are easily accessible for approximately 25 minutes ride on a Gondola lift which starts from Bansko. The total length of the marked pistes is 75 kilometers. During recent years a multi-million euros investment in a brand new skiing area has been made by the management company of the resort.
Since the 2007-2008 season, Bansko has already hosted 5 events (3 - Ladies and 2 - Men's) in different ski disciplines from the FIS World Cup calendar, as well as 2 FIS World Cup snowboard events.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ramon Zenhausern and Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Stockholm City Event

Hammarbybacken in Stockholm staged an exciting show today with the City Event. Nina Loeseth and Ramon Zenhäusern dealt with the intense rhythm the best and walk away with World Cup wins.
On the ladies’ side, Mikaela Shiffrin held on all the way through the heats, beating successively Katharina Truppe, Ragnhild Mowinckel, Anna Swenn Larsonn and Christina Geiger in the big final, to take her 57 victory in the World Cup.
Ramon Zenhäusern used the momentum he built up in the last few races (5th in Are, 4th in Scladming and 6th in Kitzbuehel) to ski to his second consecutive victory in Stockholm. The two meters tall Swiss was able to use his tallness to his advantage and made his way into the big final beating successively Manuel Feller, Marcel Hirscher, Daniel Yule and André Myhrer.
Marco Schwarz of Austria, on the tail end of several impressive performances at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, skied to a noteworthy third place.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Salomon TV: The Art Of The Turn

On December 2017 Salomon TV brought 3 generations of ski racers together - a legend (Gunther Mader), a champion (Luca Aerni), and a rising star (Paco Rassat) - to reveal the sensation of the perfect turn.

Now he publishes a second part starring 2018 Olympic Bronze medalist, Victor Muffat-Jeandet, one of the fastest and most-powerful skiers in the world. This is him doing what he does best.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Marcel Hirscher Takes Victory on an Austrian Podium

Marcel Hirscher claimed the third slalom World Championship gold of his career, drawing level with the men's record set by legendary Swede Ingemar Stenmark.
Hirscher finished 0.65 seconds ahead of compatriot and nearest rival Michael Matt.
Marco Schwarz (+ 0.76) completed the Austrian clean sweep in third, making it the first time a nation has won all three medals in the same event since the Austrian women's downhill team in 1999.
Marcel Hirscher is a phenomenal skier. After traveling to Åre with an illness, he managed to save a silver medal in the giant slalom today, and laid down one of the most perfect runs of the season in the slalom today, to claim a 5th World Championship gold medal. He joined Toni Sailer for a record of 7 World titles (WSC & OWG) in career. This medal also saved the Austrian honor as it was their first gold in those World Championships.
He wasn’t in a great shape so far this season and besides his podium in Madonna di Campiglio, he struggled to find the pace he had last season. But Michael Matt knows how to surpass himself at big events. Like at the Olympics last winter, where he finished in 3rd position, and like his brother at the 2007 World Championships in Åre, he skied very tight lines and risked a lot to finally earn his first WSC medal in career.
Young gun Marco Schwarz can successfully look back on his World Championships. After bronze in the alpine combined, silver in the team event, he claims bronze in the slalom. Three medals, and a 5th place in the giant slalom, where he laid down the fastest time in the second run, that’s the sign for a bright future for Schwarz, who is no longer “only” a slalom specialist, but became a serious Overall skier.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Slalom Gold in Åre 2019

Despite suffering from a chest infection that left her gasping for breath, Mikaela Shiffrin did the nearly unthinkable on Saturday by winning her fourth consecutive slalom world title at the Åre 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. She had to battle back in the second run after sitting in third position following the first leg. While amazing even herself, she became the first skier in history to win four consecutive World Championship golds in a single discipline. She started off the series with gold in the super-G, picked up GS bronze, and concluded again with gold.
Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden, who actually lives in Åre, delivered a home performance to remember by skiing into the silver medal position to give the host country its first hardware of the championships. In Maribor just before the start of this event, she skied her way back onto the World Cup podium for the first time since 2014. In Åre, she said she didn't really feel any pressure from the crowd or the event despite its magnitude and the fact that it was being contested literally in her backyard.
Petra Vlhova moved up from fifth position after the first run to collect her third medal of these World Championships with bronze. She adds to her medal haul including silver in the alpine combined and gold in giant slalom. It came as a surprise to her after Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, the first run leader, encountered great difficulty in the second run and could not hold her time. Still, Holdener leaves the event with two gold medals of her own in alpine combined and the alpine team event.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Henrik Kristoffersen Wins Giant Slalom Gold in Åre 2019

Henrik Kristoffersen found his way back to the top of the podium and he chose one of the most important races of the season to do so, earning his first World Championship medal ahead of his main contenders in giant slalom: Marcel Hirscher and Alexis Pinturault.
The World Ski Championships in Åre was the stage of a very exciting giant slalom race, where the best athletes of the season battled hard to claim the medals. The winning trio is used to podium placements, as all three stood together on a giant slalom podium seven times already between the World Cup and the Olympics. But never in that configuration, with Henrik Kristoffersen at the top.
His last World Cup win came in the slalom in Kitzbuehel in 2018, and his last and only World Cup win in the giant slalom was from Méribel 2015. So it was about time for Kristoffersen to be back on the top of the podium. After three fourth places and no medal at World Championships so far, the pressure was high and the Norwegian tech whiz proved that he can stand it. His first run was solid, finishing +0.18 off the winning pace, but his second run was incredibly smooth and fast. In the end it was -0.20 faster than his closest contender.
In the second place, Marcel Hirscher claimed his eighth World Championship medal, the fourth in giant slalom. The Austrian traveled to Åre with the flue and wasn’t feeling very fit in the days preceding today’s giant slalom. But right in time for his first race at these World Championships, he was feeling better and ready to push hard. Despite he wasn’t able to defend his title from St. Moritz 2017, he was very happy with a medal considering the chaotic preparation.
The last spot went to Frenchman Alexis Pinturault. After having a hard time at the World Championships in St. Moritz, where he wasn’t able to earn a medal, Pinturault started in the week with his first World Champion title in the Alpine Combined. The relief was big, but he also became hungry for more. In the lead after the first run, he was in a good position for another medal, and despite falling back two spots, he could celebrate another bronze medal, the second of his career after his third place in Vail-Beaver Creek in 2015.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Slovakia's Petra Vlhova Wins Giant Slalom Gold in Åre 2019

The start of the second competition week at the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre (SWE) provided weather that was the total opposite of the start of the first week which saw sunny skies and degrees well below freezing. But even rain, wind, and temperatures considerably above freezing did not stall the ladies' giant slalom. Mikaela Shiffrin was a pre-race favorite but only managed the fourth fastest time in the first run, trailing Viktoria Rebensburg, Petra Vlhova, and Ragnhild Mowinkel.
Winds increased as the day went on which impacted both the racers and slope crew who fought to maintain the good conditions and secure material along the course. The start position was moved down to the reserve start for both runs due to the wind.
"It was a strange day. The winds kept changing but this is an outdoor sport and I decided to do my best in the second run to see where I end up", said Mikaela Shiffrin after the first run.
The racers who managed to hold their line performed the best in the second run. Shiffrin took the lead by 0.49 seconds after crossing the finish line. Mowinckel fell behind her to ultimately finish fourth as Shiffrin secured the bronze medal.
"There was more fighting (in my second run) and it was more aggressive and more deserving of the podium. So I’m really happy with that and coming away tonight with a bronze medal after the gold in super-G is very much a dream come true", reflected Shiffrin.
Petra Vlhova, who was second after the first run, beat Shiffrin by 0.38 seconds and proved to be faster than even Rebensburg. That meant she claimed the first ever World Championships gold medal for Slovakia.
"I am so proud that I am from Slovakia because we are not a big country and now I am a world champion so it’s amazing. The whole team did a great job, and finally, I showed everyone who Petra from Slovakia is". said Vlhova.
Viktoria Rebensburg, the silver medalist at Vail 2015, kept her lead for most of the second run but then lost time at the very end, finishing 0.14 seconds behind Vlhova, claiming silver in the end.
"It’s a cool story since I raced in my first World Championships here in 2007, I also had a really good run so for now, it’s cool that I could win a medal here. For me it’s a really special place, I have so many nice memories from here, and it's a special thing for me", said Rebensburg.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Switzerland Wins Team Event in Åre 2019

The alpine team event proved one more time that even if alpine skiing is an individual sport, the team spirit is alive! And as in the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Switzerland was able to beat Austria in the big final. Italy took the third place thanks to a young and dynamic team.
16 nations participated in this 4th edition of the team event as a parallel race at the World Ski Championships, and so far, Switzerland had never claimed a medal in this event. But with athletes like Ramon Zenhaeusern and Wendy Holdener, who both already claimed individual victories in parallel events, Switzerland was unbeatable tonight. The pair was completed by Daniel Yule, the winner of the slalom in Madonna di Campiglio this year and Aline Danioth, the rising star in the Swiss tech team, with Sandro Simonet and Andrea Ellenberger as reserve racers. All six could collect their gold medal right after the race, and bring Switzerland to the top of the medal standings of these World Ski Championships at Åre 2019
As in PyeongChang, Austria earned the silver medal, losing only against Switzerland in the big final. Marco Schwarz, who won the City Event in Oslo at the beginning of the year, Michael Matt, Katharina Liensberger and Katharina Truppe moved up the ranking beating successively Argentina, Slovakia, and Italy. With Franziska Gritsch and Christian Hirschbühl as backup racers, the strong Austrian team was able to keep his winning streak of one medal per event on the men’s side in these World Ski Championships.
The fight for third place was a tight one between Italy and Germany. Young gun Lara Della Mea convinced by winning all her runs and with the help of Irene Curtoni, Simon Maurberger and Alex Vinatzer, the young and explosive Italian team managed to claim the bronze medal. The decision came down to the very last heat, where Alex Vinatzer DNFed but Linus Strasser straddled a gate higher up, giving the third place to the Italian team.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Alexis Pinturault Wins Alpine Combined Gold in Åre 2019

He has been the top favorite in alpine combined for many years and today, for the first time, Alexis Pinturault can call himself a World Champion in that discipline. With Slovenia's Stefan Hadalin and Marco Schwarz from Austria, two youngsters complete the podium of the World Ski Championships Alpine Combined in Are 2019.
The wind and warm temperatures have affected today’s alpine combined. First because in the morning, the downhill had to be shortened to avoid the exposed parts at the top, and then because in the afternoon, it was difficult to get a hard surface and the course had to be watered and salted to ensure fair conditions.
But in the end, three deserving athletes, who have proven to be excellent overall skiers, are standing at the top of the podium. Alexis Pinturault has already won 7 alpine combined races on the World Cup Tour and claimed the season standings four times. However, at big events, he had never managed to earn a medal in that discipline so far. This winter, the French record holder in terms of the number of World Cup wins decided to focus more on the slalom than on speed. A good decision, as he has already celebrated three podiums in that discipline this season. And also in today’s alpine combined it proved to be worth it, as he lays down the second fastest time in the slalom and moves up from the 24th place to World Championship gold.
The fastest in the slalom leg was Slovenia’s Stefan Hadalin. The youngster was coming up strong in slalom this season on the World Cup, with for example the fastest time in the second run in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, where he scored his career-best performance with a 8th place in the end. In 2016, at the Junior World Ski Championships in Sochi, Hadalin already claimed the title in the alpine combined, and today he confirmed at the highest level. This silver medal is the biggest highlight to date in the career of the 23 year old, but certainly not the last.
Marco Schwarz is also 23 years young and he started 2019 in the best possible way. He claimed his first World Cup win in the City Event, immediately followed by his first win in the alpine combined in Wengen. Surfing on that successful wave, nothing seems impossible for Schwarz and today, at his second World Championships in career, he collects his first medal. And it may not be the last one, as the Austrian team is pretty strong at parallel events (claimed Silver at the Olympics last year) and Schwarz is sitting in 5th place of the slalom standings at the moment.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ilka Stuhec Wins Downhill Gold in Åre 2019

Course workers and slip crews were busy to get the ladies' racetrack ready following overnight snowfall for the downhill race which ultimately had to be run from the second reserve start due to weather on the upper mountain. Still, it proved to be a memorable day for all in attendance.
Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec repeated her performance from two years ago in St. Moritz (SUI) by winning the downhill title. It was the first successful defense of the ladies' downhill title since 1989.
It was not a bad run, not at all", Stuhec said, laughing. "I still have to gather all my feelings because I’m quite emotional so it might take a while".
The Slovenian speedster missed the entire 2017-2018 season due to injury but has made a swift comeback to the podium.
"None of what happened before actually matters because it’s a new day and a new chance. We all start from zero and it’s the same for everyone. I just do my best and apparently, it was good enough".
Sharing the podium with Ilka Stuhec was silver medalist Corinne Suter, Switzerland’s new speed star. She was overjoyed with tears, having already won bronze in the super-G earlier this week after securing her career-first World Cup podium last month.
"I’m feeling a bit better because after the Super G I was so surprised that I got a medal and today I hoped for a medal but the run wasn’t perfect so I’m just super happy about my second place today”, she said.
Lindsey Vonn was, of course, the talk of the day as she competed in her last downhill race and finished an impressive third, ending her career on the podium just like Aksel Lund Svindal did in the men’s downhill on Saturday.
"I think everyone knows my mentality by now, I always risk everything all the time, which is the reason I’ve been able to win so much and it’s also the reason why I crash so much and have had so many injuries", Vonn said. "I risked it all today. I was so nervous all day and had serious anxiety. I wanted more than anything to finish strong. I didn’t want to end up like I did on Tuesday, in the fence".
At 34 years of age, Vonn became the oldest woman to win a World Championships medal with her performance and the only woman to collect a medal at six World Championships.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Kjetil Jansrud Wins Downhill Gold in Åre 2019

The World Ski Championships downhill was a tough day, with difficult weather conditions from early morning on. But in the end, Kjetil Jansrud took his chance and won his first World Champion title. Teammate Aksel Lund Svindal and Austria's Vincent Kriechmayr round out the podium. Congratulations to the deserving athletes.
The downhill season wasn't going so well for Kjetil Jansrud. So far, he didn't score a single podium placement and couldn't find the speed he had last season when he claimed an Olympic medal. But today, despite the fact that he had surgery on his hand two weeks ago, he became a World Champion for the first time in his career. With five Olympic medals, including one gold, and three World Championships medals, now including a gold as well under his belt, Jansrud is confirming that he is ready to take over the lead of the Norwegian speed team.
Aksel Lund Svindal had announced it. The World Ski Championships downhill would be the last race in his career. And the storyline became just perfect with the living legend taking the Silver medal, only +0.02 behind his teammate. 16 years at the highest level, where he collected 11 globes (including two Overalls), 36 victories and 80 podiums on the World Cup, as well as 4 Olympic medals (including two gold) and not less than nine World Championship medals (including five gold), will mark the highlights of his career. But Svindal is not only a living legend of alpine skiing, but he will also especially be missed as a genuine person and a great sportsman.
In third place, Austria’s Vincent Kriechmayr claims his second World Championships medal, after the Silver medal in the super-g. After winning both races at the World Cup Finals in Åre last winter, he confirmed that this snow and this hill fit his skills and managed to walk away with two medals around his neck. Kriechmayr was known as a very talented skier and it was just a matter of time to see him at the very top of the rankings. And he is now having the best season of his life, leading the super-g standings, sitting in 4th in the downhill standings, and claiming his two first medals at a big event.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Wendy Holdener Wins Gold in Alpine Combined

The ladies’ alpine combined developed into a battle between Wendy Holdener, Petra Vlhova, Ramona Siebenhofer and Ragnhild Mowinckel who were all gunning for World Championship medals under the lights at Åre (SWE). Thanks to two strong runs, it was Wendy Holdener who grabbed gold in the end, a mere three-hundredths of a second ahead of Vlhova.
The day dawned following heavy snowfall overnight and light snow continued until lunchtime when the downhill portion of the ladies’ alpine combined was carried out. Due to challenging visibility and conditions at the top, the start position was moved down to the super-G. Ramona Siebenhofer of Austria led the downhill run ahead of Ilka Stuhec and Ragnhild Mowinckel.
Ramona Siebenhofer was close to securing a podium finish, but four-hundredths separated her and Mowinckel after the slalom. The Norwegian scored the first World Championships medal of her career with bronze. Accordingly, Austria was left without a medal in the ladies’ combined for the first time since 1991.
"Oh, insane. It’s so cool. This is some of the things you dream of and to put it all together on one day when it counts is the best feeling ever. I’m also super excited about my downhill in terms of Sunday and just being able to get the whole slalom run down in a pretty okay manner. I’m super excited about that," said Mowinckel. "This (Åre) is as close to home as it gets. It’s so much fun and having friends and family cheer me on. Even the Swedes I feel cheered me on here. Yeah, kind of like home. I’m super excited about that for sure".
Silver medalist Petra Vlhova was in the eighth position after the downhill and really turned it on in the slalom. In the end, there were just three hundredths between her and Wendy Holdener, to the advantage of the Swiss racer. For Holdener it was her second consecutive World Championships gold in alpine combined following St. Moritz in 2017.
"I’ve had really good training sessions recently and once I had a good downhill run I had the feeling that I might make it," said Holdener afterward.

30 Days To Go Until Soldeu El Tarter 2019 Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals

At 30 days before the gathering, the two slopes where the different events will be held are practically ready for the big event that will take place from 11 to 17 March.
Ever since the International Ski Federation (Fédération Internationale de Ski, FIS) chose the Soldeu El Tarter sectors at Grandvalira for the 2019 Alpine Ski World Cup Finals in October 2015, the resort has worked relentlessly to host the largest sporting event in Andorra's history. The milestone event will be held from 11 to 17 March. During this time, the country will host the best skiers in the world, who will compete for the title on the Aliga de El Tarter slopes, where speed skiing competitions will be held, and the Avet (Soldeu) slope, the venue for technical disciplines.
During this time, and more intensely after hosting the European Cup Finals last year, the resort has gotten an overhaul, fitting it with the latest technology and all the equipment needed to turn the Aliga and Avet slopes into reference World Cup facilities in Europe. One of the ambitious projects that can guarantee this is the skiable platform of Soldeu, a facility that has allowed to extend the reach of the Avet slope, increase the space for the stands, the teams, and the sponsors, and improve the logistics of television broadcasting.
During the presentation held last Friday, the General Director of the Organizing Committee, Conrad Blanch, outlined that the resort “is ready to offer the world its best side”. Now that the new platform is finished, technicians have focused during the last weeks on fine-tuning the two slopes where the different competitions will be held. Blanch explained that the layout of the Avet slope is now ready, while the Aliga slope is still missing the upper part and will be in mint condition for the historic event.
The two slopes will have to fulfill the so-called snow control on 28 February. Besides this procedure, the FIS—after having validated the facilities last October—has not made further statements, fully entrusting the team organizing the Finals. In the days leading up to the event, these two competition venues will require a safety net spanning 18,195 metres in total.
The presentation was also attended by the President of the Government of Andorra, Antoni Martí, as Honorary President of the Organizing Committee. Martí stressed that an event of this kind grants "the Andorra brand to be associated with the world's sporting elite". The mayor of Canillo, José Mandicó, delivered some emotional words to all those visionaries who believed in the project and encouraged all Andorrans to attend the finals since this is a unique act which is not to be missed. For his part, Xavier Cornelia, Chief Executive Officer of Credit Andorra, the main sponsor, recalled that "we have been supporting skiing for more than half a century. Our commitment to these Finals is part of a conviction that goes way back and time has proven that this commitment was the right choice".
Aside from the competitive aspect, the organizers of the World Cup Finals have made an effort to involve the Andorran population in the event, flaunting the slogan “We’ll all be champions this winter”. It is thus expected that this major event will have an unprecedented impact in Andorra: the goal is to reach 25,000 attendants during the five days of competition, approximately half in Soldeu and the other half in El Tarter.
In terms of broadcasting figures, 60 television channels with broadcasting rights will be present. 35 of these will broadcast the live competitions and 700 million potential viewers are expected to follow the competition.
Andorra Televisió holds broadcasting rights and will transmit a live broadcast of the competitions. In addition, a giant screen will be set up in the city center of Andorra la Vella so that the entire population can follow the competition.
Another indicator of media presence at the event are the 350 journalists that the organizers plan to host during the competition. More than 200 journalists have already received accreditation.
On top of the sports competitions, a programme of parallel events has been developed so that the audience can enjoy themselves together with their idols. The planned activities include a large parade of the teams on 9 March and an opening ceremony on the Avet slope on 12 March, among others. There will also be a public lottery of the bib numbers on 16 March together with an apres-ski entertainment programme at L'Abarset during the entire week, as well as an exhibition space for the presentation of materials and innovations delivered by the largest ski brands.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ski Men. Winning Run Craig Murray. Freeride World Tour 2019. Kicking Horse Golden

Young Kiwi sensation, Craig Murray (NZL) had something big in mind when he started firing the crowd up before dropping over the cornice, and he did not disappoint stringing together a 360, a backflip and committed big bottom air to take the win.

Snowboard Men. Winning Run Victor De Le Rue. Freeride World Tour 2019. Kicking Horse Golden

Season wildcard, Victor De Le Rue (FRA-1st Place) earned his first career FWT victory with a beautiful line, which included a smooth, floaty backside 360 and big mountain creativity that he’s well known for.

Snowboard Women. Winning Run Marion Haerty. Freeride World Tour 2019. Kicking Horse Golden

Former world champion, Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) made her podium intentions clear with fast, fluid riding, which also landed her at the top of the overall rankings.

Ski Women. Winning Run Jacqueline Pollard. Freeride World Tour 2019. Kicking Horse Golden

Jacqueline Pollard (USA) earned her first career FWT win and podium thanks to her smooth style and solid fall line, big mountain skiing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Freeride World Tour 2019 Second Event Took Place Today In Kicking Horse Golden

Still buzzing from an epic competition in Japan, the world’s premier line-up of freeriders arrived in Golden B.C. just in time for more fresh snow and chilly temperatures, which set-up today’s top shelf contest full of huge performances at the second stop of FWT19. Famous for its powder and steep big mountain terrain, Kicking Horse’s “Ozone” freeride venue provided the perfect theater for the 2019 world title race to complete its second chapter.

Ski Men

Young Kiwi sensation, Craig Murray (NZL-1st Place) had something big in mind when he started firing the crowd up before dropping over the cornice, and he did not disappoint stringing together a 360, a backflip and committed big bottom air to take the win. Rankings leader, Markus Eder (ITA-2nd Place) kept his world title campaign going strong with a textbook combination of freestyle and big mountain charging. Local hero, Logan Pehota (CAN-Place) put together a top-shelf line, sticking back to back 360s and a huge must stomp bottom air.

Ski Women

Jacqueline Pollard (USA-1st Place) earned her first career FWT win and podium thanks to her smooth style and solid fall line, big mountain skiing. Defending world champion, Arianna Tricomi (ITA-2nd Place) straight-lined into a huge air through one of the steepest and most technical parts of the venue, while Hazel Josie Birnbaum (USA-3rd Place) had a smooth run from top to bottom including a cleanly landed double.

Snowboard Men

Season wildcard, Victor De Le Rue (FRA-1st Place) earned his first career FWT victory with a beautiful line, which included a smooth, floaty backside 360 and big mountain creativity that he’s well known for. 3x world champion, Sammy Luebke (USA-2nd Place) made jaws drop, putting a dreamy slash into an exposed spine followed by a huge, perfectly executed double. He was joined on the podium by Blake Hamm (USA-3rd Place) who opened up a new line and smoothly landed a double and bottom air.

Snowboard Women

Former world champion, Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) made her podium intentions clear with fast, fluid riding, which also landed her at the top of the overall rankings. Wakana Hama (JPN-2nd Place) and Manuela Mandl (AUT-3rd Place) both showed strong commitment and confidence with big airs earning solid podium results.

Dominik Paris Wins Super-G Gold in Åre 2019

Men kicked off their World Championships Åre 2019 with today’s super-g. And the gold medal went to Italy’s Dominik Paris, who finished ahead of Johan Clarey and Vincent Kriechmayr, both tied in second place.
As on the previous day with the ladies, the men’s Super-G was a very tight race. South Tyrolean Dominik Paris didn’t have much information on the course when he came down with bib number 3, and wasn’t really satisfied with his race when he crossed the finish line. But as the other racers came down, he realized that the course was very demanding and that it was very difficult to lay down a clear run. In the end, the 4-times Kitzbuehel winner, who already claimed not less than six podium spots on the World Cup Tour this season, could celebrate his first World Champion title.
Vincent Kriechmayr won both speed races on the very same hill in Are at the World Cup Finals last season. So he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders, especially from him as he really wanted to be able to show his best skiing. Today’s run was pretty close. Despite a mistake in the Kanonröret, the Upper Austrian skied a clean and strong run and finished only +0.09 off the winning pace from Dominik Paris. The current leader of the World Cup standings in this discipline was collecting 4th places in the last races and is very relieved to have made the step on the podium today.
Super-G has a new top athlete. After years on the World Cup Tour focusing on the downhill, Johan Clarey made a huge step in super-g this season, claiming his first podium in this discipline two weeks ago in Kitzbuehel. The French skier is very relaxed and takes every day as a new chance, without putting pressure on his shoulders. And this attitude allowed him to become the oldest World Championship medalist in the history today, by claiming silver together with Vincent Kriechmayr. It’s the first medal at a big event for Johan Clarey.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Mikaela Shiffrin Victory in Super-G to kick off Åre 2019

American Mikaela Shiffrin opened the 2019 Åre FIS Alpine World Ski Championships by claiming the fourth World Championship title of her career but her first in super-G on Tuesday in a nailbiter race where gold was decided by only 0.02 seconds. Sofia Goggia of Italy, who only just returned to the competition circuit after sustaining an ankle fracture in the autumn, produced a miraculous run to finish as runner-up. And in the first top-level podium appearance of her career, Corinne Suter of Switzerland showed her recent top-six results on the World Cup tour were a stepping stone to the bronze medal.
Strong winds at the top of the mountain forced officials to lower the start position, and this contributed to very tight times in the race. The podium was separated by only 0.05 seconds, and Viktoria Rebensburg in fourth place was just 0.02 seconds away from a medal.
Mikaela Shiffrin stated that she was surprised to see the green light in the finish area during the super-G and her reaction indicated that she didn’t expect to top the leaderboard in the very first event.
"Even though I made a small mistake towards the end of the course, I felt how well the skis were going and I thought that I still had a chance to finish very fast. Whatever my serviceman put on these skis today, I’ll tell him to do more of that for the next races", Shiffrin told the media.
The 2017 super-G World Champion Nicole Schmidhofer was Austria's top athlete but she had to settle for 11th position. But she will be a serious threat in the downhill scheduled for Sunday, 10 February.
Lindsay Vonn, who announced that the speed races in Åre would be the last of her career, crashed hard in the super-G but was able to ski to the finish area to the cheers of the crowd. She spoke to the media after the winners’ press conference and gave an emotional and very personal account of the past, present, and future of her exceptional career. Asked what she would miss most after her retirement, Lindsay remarked, "I’ll miss that wonderful sensation of speed that you can get only by racing down a hill on a pair of skis. I don’t know yet how I will compensate for that because I won’t be able to do it skiing privately without my ski pass being taken away from me".

Soldeu El Tarter 2019. The Soldeu Platform Project

Last November the Soldeu platform project reached its deadlines and the skiable roof is now operational for the arrival of skiers coming to Grandvalira. Thus, this major technical milestone to connect the Avet slope in the Soldeu sector with the village has become a reality after 16 intensive and complicated months of work. The next phase planned is to connect the top of the 450-space underground car park with the path that connects to the village. Once this engineering works section has been completed, the platform will have a skiable surface area of 14,000 m2.
The works were initiated in August of 2017 and required three phases of highly complex technical and logistical work: the excavation, shoring and foundations; the skiable connection structure; and completion of the works for the World Cup Finals. In total, it required 70,000 m3 of earth to be moved, which was reused in the project, and the installation of 16 beams (the largest spans 90 meters). Meanwhile, the underground car park, which is under construction, will have 22,000 m2 of space on three levels. As scheduled, the car park is set to be completed after the competition.
The architect coordinating the construction management of the project, Lluís Viu, has stated that "the project has followed sustainable waste management in accordance with the Environmental Department of the Andorra Government, taking special care with landscape integration and protecting the Valira de Orient River", among others.
On November, Executive Director of the Soldeu project, Conrad Branch, thanked the companies that have taken part in this construction process for their hard work. "Our goal has been reached and the infrastructure will allow conditioning for the arrival stage for the runners and more space for the stands and media at the foot of the track", he stressed.
Grandvalira confronts the Finals with a vision for it to be a window into a world that goes well beyond sport. The Organizing Committee has focused on preparing for this event, which will also be presented as a social event with different programmes, shows, and activities alongside the races. From the opening ceremony to the distribution of race bib numbers and the après-ski musical events at L’Abarset, the organization has a dynamic schedule aimed at promoting the World Cup Finals.
After the Olympic Games and the World Championships, the Finals are the most important competition on the pro ski tour. For Andorra, it will be the most prestigious winter sport event that has ever been held in the country and will be a turning point in the country’s trajectory as a sports destination.


Monday, February 4, 2019

Are 2019 Set to ‘Inspire the World to Ski’

The 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre (SWE) got underway today, with FIS President Gian Franco Kasper officially declaring the event open this evening during the Opening Ceremony.
It is the third time that the Swedish village, located in northern Sweden, has welcomed the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The previous editions were in 1954 and 2007. The 12 years between hosting World Championships is the quickest turnaround time since Innsbruck (AUT) also hosted the World Championships 12 years apart in 1964 and 1976 as part of the Olympic Winter Games.
"We are thrilled to bring the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships back to Are for the third time", said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. "The Organisers have worked tirelessly to ensure that the athletes will have ideal conditions to show world-class performances in their quest for gold. The snow conditions are ideal and all of the aspects surrounding the World Championships indicate that Are will indeed inspire not just the athletes at the start, but indeed the entire world to ski".
"We have said since the day we were awarded these World Championships that our goal is to inspire the world to ski. That begins first and foremost with our community and leaving it a solid legacy from hosting the World Championships. There is not a doubt in my mind that we have all the pieces in place to give the world an unforgettable experience during the next two weeks", said Niklas Carlsson CEO of the Local Organising Committee.

From the 5th to the 17th of February 2019, the entire ski world will be looking to Åre (Sweden). For the third time, Åre will host the 45th FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, the world's second largest winter sports event after the Olympics.
The best athletes (around 600) of 70 nations will compete for medals and the title of World Champion in the six disciplines Downhill, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Slalom, Alpine Combined (Downhill + Slalom) and in the Team Event. The Award Ceremonies will take place at the Medals Plaza.
Åre 2019 is estimating 120,000 visitors during the Alpine World Ski Championships.

Race Program:

Tuesday, February 5th 12:30 pm Super G / Ladies
Wednesday, February 6th 12:30 pm Super G / Men
Friday, February 8th Alpine Combined (11:00 am Downhill - 16:15 pm Slalom) / Ladies
Saturday, February 9th 12:30 pm Downhill / Men
Sunday, February 10th 12:30 pm Downhill / Ladies
Monday, February 11th Alpine Combined (11:00 am Downhill - 14:30 pm Slalom) / Men
Tuesday, February 12th 16:00 pm Team Event / Mixed
Thursday, February 14th Giant Slalom (14:15 First Run - 17:45 Second Run) / Ladies
Friday, February 15th Giant Slalom (14:15 First Run - 17:45 Second Run) / Men
Saturday, February 16th Slalom (11:00 First Run - 14:30 Second Run) / Ladies
Sunday, February 17th Slalom (11:00 First Run - 14:30 Second Run) / Men
Sunday, February 17th Closing Ceremony

Åre first hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1954. It was the 13th championships ever and world champions in Downhill, Giant Slalom, Slalom, and Alpine Combined were crowned between 1 and 7 March.
In 2007, once again, Åre hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships. The 2007 Championships made a permanent impression on Åre’s ski system and the village, as a new Ladies’ Downhill was built, commercial space doubled and a 130-meter-long tunnel replaced the bridge that once led the world championship slopes across the E14. The 39th Alpine World Ski Championships was a success for both the host and the Swedish team.
Åre also has great experience of organizing Alpine World Cup races. Åre Slalomklubb and Världscupbolaget have organized more than 100 World Cup races over the years, with great success. Thanks to the now legendary Åre son Bibbo Nordenskiöld’s initiative, an Alpine World Cup was first held in Åre in 1969.
The third World Cup was held in Åre on 21 March 1977. It was showtime for Sweden and Ingemar Stenmark; 29,000 people visited Åre to watch him win.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Maribor slalom

Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden rebounded from disappointment in Flachau to claim the second podium of her career and her first since 2014 in the Maribor (SLO) slalom of the Golden Fox Trophy race to the cheers of her fellow competitors and fans. She finished as runner-up behind Mikaela Shiffrin who secured a personal record 13th World Cup win of the season heading into the Åre 2019 FIS World Ski Championships.
Wendy Holdener of Switzerland attacked the second run to move up from the sixth position onto the podium for her fifth third-place finish of the season. Petra Vlhova, who was in second place after the first run, struggled in challenging soft conditions and ultimately finished in fifth place.