Friday, January 31, 2020

Freeride World Tour 2020. Second Stop: Kicking Horse Golden BC

Only one week to the second stop of the FWT20 in Kicking Horse Golden BC
Date: February 6-12, 2020; Location: Kicking Horse, Golden, British Columbia, Canada

The Ski Racing Podcast By Ed Drake. S2. E13. Wengen, Bankso, Kitzbühel and Schladming Review

Saalbach Replaces the Canceled World Cup Races in Yanqing, China

Last Wednesday, due to the outbreak and continuing spread of the Novel Coronavirus, FIS, the Chinese Ski Association and its Yanqing Local Organising Committee, have jointly decided to cancel the upcoming men’s Audi FIS World Cup races scheduled for 15th-16th February 2020.

It’s been discussed on media for a couple of days already, where the canceled World Cup races from China should go down. The ÖSV and the FIS made their decision on Thursday evening and Saalbach with its racing experience is once again stepping in as a substitute for a FIS race. December 2018 was the last time they provided a replacement-location for the canceled races from Val d’ Isere and Sölden. They made the seemingly impossible possible and set up two races in only 6 weeks. On this occasion the time frame is even smaller – two weeks is all the organization team got to set up the two World Cup races.
"In 2018 we made it in six weeks, just two weeks of preparation time is an even more special challenge. We, however, know that we can make this World Cup Races happen in the best way possible. The machinery behind this major event is already in full swing. Our teams in the tourism board, the lift company, the municipality, and the ski club know exactly what to do and perform a logistical masterpiece here", said Alois Hasenauer, Mayor, and President of the organizing committee.

The Men’s Downhill Race will take place on February 13th, and the Men’s Super-G on February 14th, 2020.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Garmisch-Partenkirchen Preview

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the former twin cities "under the Zugspitze", is one of the most famous ski resorts of the whole alpine region. The Bavarian town hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1936, the Arlberg Kandahar races since 1954, FIS Ski World Cups since 1970, the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1978 and 2011 and the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in 2009. For that reason, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is been considered the cradle of ski racing in Germany.


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Rosa Khutor Preview

In Sochi 2014, the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort was the venue for all the Alpine Skiing disciplines: Downhill, Combined (downhill and slalom), Giant Slalom and the Super Giant Slalom.
All slopes were developed by Bernard Russi, a world-renowned ski architect from the International Ski Federation (FIS).
"Rosa Khutor" is a unique alpine resort located at the Aibga Ridge in the Krasnaya Polyana district approximately 40km from Sochi. The name originates from the geographical name "Rosa Khutor", covering approximately 1,820 ha of Aibga Ridge slopes rising above the Mzymta River. The alpine resort is already a major alpine skiing center in the Northern Caucasus region and has played host to several major international competitions.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Henrik Kristoffersen Wins Night Slalom in Schladming

As usual, on the Tuesday after Kitzbuehel, Schladming stages his traditional Night Slalom. More than 50’000 people were present to cheer for the skiers that kicked off the start gate today and pushing them down the steep Planai course.
This year, without Marcel Hirscher, was again the time for Henrik Kristoffersen who earned his fourth World Cup win in Schladming, over his contenders Alexis Pinturault (second +0.34) and Daniel Yule (third +0.83).
Henrik Kristoffersen claimed his 21st World Cup Victory and the 3rd of the season.
In the second run, Kristoffersen made a big mistake after 3 gates and it looked like his race was compromised. The Norwegian talent, however, pulled himself together and performed a terrific second part of the second run to keep the lead.
"This is my home. I lived for six months in Ramsau, 10 minutes from here. I live in Salzburg, and I’ve lived in Austria for four years now. It’s where I won my first World Cup race, so this is really like my home race", said Kristoffersen. "I am sorry for Marco. I would like to have a fight all the way to the finish".
Reflecting on his near-crash and how he could recover to win, he added, "I don’t know. I honestly thought I was out there. And I think if you look at the video, it’s not that much to do before it’s out. You just have to keep on fighting. That’s how it is. That’s how Marcel [Hirscher] always did it, and that’s how we have to do it".
Alexis Pinturault skied two impressive runs and brought home a positive result after two DNFs in the last two slalom races. It's the second slalom podium for Pinturault, after his victory in Val d'Isere back in December. 
Daniel Yule confirms his great moment and achieves another podium, the fourth in the last five races. For the Swiss slalom ace, it's the third consecutive year that he finishes in the third position in the Austrian night slalom.  
Clement Noel, 30 after the first run, was able to climb up to a final 4th place thanks to an impressive best second run.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Schladming Preview

The World Cup returns tomorrow Tuesday 28th with the Night Slalom in Schladming (AUT).
The Night Race in Schladming is a unique experience. Over 45’000 fans are cheering for the best slalom athletes in the World and pushing them down the steep Planai course.
The winner of the last two Slaloms in Schladming (also won here in 2012), Marcel Hirscher, will be missing.
Henrik Kristoffersen won the night slalom on three occasions (2014, 2016 and 2017).

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Daniel Yule Wins Kitzbühel Slalom

Daniel Yule wins today a thrilling race in Kitzbühel, claiming his fourth Slalom World Cup win, the third one this season after his victories in Adelboden and Madonna.
The second place goes to Marco Schwarz (AUT), showing today again that he is 100% fit again to compete with the best ones. The Austrian went very close to claiming his first Slalom World Cup victory finishing 0.12s from Yule.
Third place goes to last season winner Clement Noel. He finished +0.37 seconds behind the swiss skier. Despite a major mistake in the second run, Noel was able to achieve the podium, coming back from the 9th position scored in run 1.
Young Norwegian talent Lucas Braathen was the surprise of the day. When Yule thought he had scored the fastest time in run 1, there comes Braathen with bib 34 and takes the lead +0.33 seconds ahead of the Swiss. During the second run, the Norwegian born in 2000, was not able to keep the lead but closed in 4th position tied with Henrik Kristoffersen +0.49 seconds behind Yule, a career-best result for him.

Another Victory for Mikaela Shiffrin at Bansko

Mikaela Shiffrin earned today her 66th World Cup win. The American ski star raced in Bansko for the first time and collected three podiums with two victories (Downhill and Super-G).
It was Shiffrin's first win in the discipline since clinching the super-G world title in February in Are, and she went top of the season standings. Now she sits just one victory behind now-retired Austrian Marcel Hirscher's 67 World Cup wins, bettered only by Vonn and Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark (86).
Mikaela Shiffrin beat Marta Bassino of Italy by 0.29 seconds, with Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland 0.70 seconds back in third.
"I felt really good on my skis. I felt like I could do what I wanted to do. But I had to be really aggressive. It wasn’t always perfectly clean, but I think it was the fastest way that I could ski this hill and this course. So I’m super excited, and I think the whole team is very excited about the whole weekend but especially today", remarked Shiffrin. "These kind of races over this weekend, it’s really challenging – they are very difficult – and I think that makes the victories or these good races so much sweeter".Marta Bassino finished her fantastic weekend with two second places and a top 5 that permitted her to sit in fourth overall.
For Gut, it was her first podium after the third place in the Super-G celebrated in Garmisch-Partenkirchen the same day last year.
"I have been a long time away from the podium. It’s been a year, and it’s not always so easy. You just try to be confident and ski and work every day to go back where you want to be", said Gut-Behrami. "I just hope that I can take the feeling I had today and the last races just to put the pieces together because I’m still struggling a little bit for the balance to find the confidence on the skis. I ski a few turns really fast, and then I just make mistakes. But it’s the way I have to go through".

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Matthias Mayer Is the New King of Kitzbühel

Matthias Mayer claimed victory today in the Hahnenkamm Downhill. He finishes ahead of Beat Feuz and Vincent Kriechmayr who were both 0.22 seconds back. It is the eighth victory in the World Cup for Mayer and the second one in Kitzbühel after his victory in the 2017 Super-G. With his victory today, he scored the "double". Mayer joins Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) and Dominik Paris (ITA) among the only three active skiers to have won both speed disciplines in Kitzbühel.
Emotions seemed to never end today on the Streif. When Beat Feuz and Vincent Kriechmayr looked like they were sitting comfortably in the leader corner and ready to take their first victory in Kitzbühel, there comes Matthias Mayer and ruins their party. The Austrian skied outstandingly from top to bottom and his fast final section enabled him to take a clear lead.
"I have no words for it", Mayer said exasperated. "I train so hard for this and it’s just amazing when I crossed the finish line to a green light again, number one, with all the people cheering here in Austria. It’s really something. It’s gonna be a good party".
For Beat Feuz it's the fourth second place in the Kitzbühel Downhill. The Swiss went really close to the win today but still has to achieve his first victory in Kitzbühel.
Vincent Kriechmayr improves his best result on the Streif (4th in 2018) and celebrates the first podium of his career in Kitzbühel.

Elena Curtoni Leads the Italian Hat Trick

The Italian team dominates the Downhill today in Bansko and for the fourth time in the 53-year-history of the World Cup they took the top three spots in a women's race.
Today has been Elena Curtoni's day which made maiden World Cup victory. She started with bib 28, and she mastered the Downhill course with a smooth and at the same time aggressive skiing that permitted to beat her Marta Bassino by 0.10 seconds.
Curtoni had been on a World Cup podium three times before, but not since coming runner-up in a super-G in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, in February 2017.
Marta Bassino with bib 4 waited for her teammates and the favorites throughout the race, and slowly she started realizing that she would get her first career's Downhill podium.
Federica Brignone made two mistakes that made her lose the chance to win her first career's downhill race by 0.14 seconds.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Kjetil Jansrud Claims Another Victory in Kitzbühel

Kjetil Jansrud (NOR). The Norwegian claims the opening Super-G in Kitzbühel, thanks to an aggressive run and tops the podium for the first time since November 2018. It's the 13th World Cup Super-G victory for Jansrud, as he continues to be the most successful active skier in this discipline.
Jansrud claimed the second place in the last Super-G in Val Gardena, but this victory has a different taste and could turn around the season of the 34-year-old Norwegian. Jansrud also becomes the eight-man ever to claim a double in Kitzbühel (winning both the Downhill and Super- G) after his former victory in Downhill in 2015.
"Alpine skiing is a sport where it’s about the hundredths, and there are so many parameters within which you can win or lose", said Jansrud. "It’s a small little mistake in the gate and then you’re out. In some ways, you can lose confidence when you’re not performing the way you want over a certain period of time but you also know that this is a sport where you can slowly fight for the hundredths. For me, it’s trying to fight back to the harmony in my skiing. There’s been a little bit of struggle, but it’s never about the results, I’ll never be in the finish and be disappointed or angry that I’m not getting the victories that I am training for".Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) finishes in second place, 0.16 seconds behind his teammate. He is not alone on the second step of the podium, he shares it with local hero Matthias Mayer (AUT) who clocks exactly the same time and scores his fifth podium in Kitzbühel. The Austrian had already won the Super-G on the Streif back in 2017.
Kilde confirms his outstanding consistency, having scored top 8 results in each of the last ten Super G races. The Norwegian has been skiing fast also in Giant Slalom this season and sits in second place in the overall standings, 20 points behind Henrik Kristoffersen.

Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Downhill in Bansko

Mikaela Shiffrin earned today her 65th World Cup win. The American ski star raced in Bansko for the first time and mastered Bansko’s Downhill with reliable skiing claiming her second Downhill victory after Lake Louise’s in 2017.
Shiffrin beat Federica Brignone of Italy by 0.18 seconds, with Joana Haehlen of Switzerland 0.23 seconds back in third.
"I felt so much more confident with my skiing today. After the training yesterday, that was my first run on my downhill skis since Lake Louise, so I was really just trying to ski down the hill and just be clean if I could. Today, I felt better with my line, better with my attitude on my skis, and also better with my technique. So all of those things ended up piecing the track together really well. For sure it’s a technical track. It’s really challenging, and I wasn’t sure – like confident – I was maybe a little bit scared even", Shiffrin admitted. "So it was pretty exciting to come to the finish and see that it was fast".Federica Brignone got to the podium for the sixth time this season, while Joana Haehlen earned the first top-three result of her career. The Swiss skier had no previous top-15 result this season but posted the fastest time in the only training run.
The 32-gate Downhill on the Marc Girardelli slope in Bansko, Bulgaria is one of the most technical downhill slopes till now, and it plays into the most technical skiers.

Dramatic Falls: When Tragedy Hit Hahnenkamm's Races

The International Hahnenkamm Race is one of the highlights of the ski racing season and this winter this legendary race will be celebrating its 80th anniversary.
The race is held on the Hahnenkamm mountain (the name translates to "Rooster’s Comb"), one of the mountains surrounding the ski resort town of Kitzbühel (Tirol, Austria).
Kitzbühel will host three events of the Men's Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup: a Super-G, the famous Downhill on the Streif and a Slalom.
The climax of the Hahnenkamm races weekend is what is considered to be the world’s most challenging downhill ski race: the Streif. Over the past nearly 80 years, this course has been putting skiers to the ultimate test and pushing them to their limits.
"I would like to congratulate everybody who’s made it down this run. I think we’re all mad!", were the words of the five-time champion Didier Cuche from Switzerland, and perfectly sum up the feeling of conquering the Streif.

Bringing skiers to the limit sometimes translates into dramatic consequences. Over the years, the Streif has witnessed numerous striking falls and also destroyed some careers.

In 1987 Canadian skier Todd Brooker was racing down Hahnenkamm Mountain, in Kitzbuhel, Austria, in 1987 when he lost a ski and crashed. It was scary to watch then and still scary today.
The 1983 Kitzbühel winner suffered a concussion, a broken nose, facial injuries, and a knee injury. He ended his career at the end of the season.

In 1989 another Canadian, Brian Stemmle, crashed into the net at the  Steilhang-Ausfahrt part and was then in mortal danger. With a smashed pelvis, he was in Innsbruck for days in the intensive care unit. Years later he returned to the Streif, but had to end his career after another Kitz fall in 1999.

In 1991 American Bill Hudson crashed in the Mausefalle. He suffered a broken shoulder blade, a fracture of the fourth thoracic vertebrae, a broken spoke, and lung injuries.

In 1995 the Italian Pietro Vitalini could no longer stay on skis in the Traverse. He was thrown over the safety net and plunged down the slope, overturning several times. Not least because of the thick snow cover, he miraculously remained unharmed and finished fifth on the second Downhill.

In 1996 several runners like Andreas Schifferer, Josef "Pepi" Strobl or Lasse Kjus fell heavily during training. Schifferer suffered a traumatic brain injury when falling on the target jump and was in a coma for three days.

In 1999 Patrick Ortlieb suffered a fracture in his right thigh when he fell on the Hausbergkante. He also injured his hip and knee. The Olympic champion's career ended prematurely.

In 2008 during a training session on the Streif, Andreas Buder suffered a fracture of the right tibia head and had to pause for six months. The Austrian never fully recovered from this and ended his career in January 2011.

Also in 2008, on his 30th birthday,  American Scott Macartney had a difficult jump and suffered a traumatic brain injury. After being put into an artificial coma, however, he recovered quickly and was able to leave the hospital after three days. In November 2008 he made his comeback in Lake Louise.

In 2009 during the last training, Swiss Daniel Albrecht fell dramatically in the last jump before the finish line and remained unconscious. The Swiss suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and crushed lungs. After more than three and a half weeks, he woke up from the coma on February 12th. 22 months later, he returned to the World Cup in December 2010. Albrecht retired from the World Cup in October 2013.

In 2011 Austrian Hans Grugger lost control during the training run in the mousetrap, hit his head when landing and remained motionless. The Salzburg man suffered serious head and chest injuries. He was immediately flown to the university clinic in Innsbruck, where he was put into an artificial coma after an emergency operation. There was an acute danger to life. Afterward, it was no longer enough for ski racing and on April 24, 2012, Grugger announced his retirement.

In 2016 the falls of Aksel Lund Svindal, Hannes Reichelt and Georg Streitberger overshadowed the race. The season was over for the Norwegian Svindal and Streitberger, both of whom suffered a tear in the ACL and the meniscus in the right knee. Reichelt got off relatively lightly with a bruised bone. The descent was canceled after the 30th runner due to the deteriorating ground visibility.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

80th International Hahnenkamm Race

The International Hahnenkamm Race is one of the highlights of the ski racing season and this winter this legendary race will be celebrating its 80th anniversary.
The race is held on the Hahnenkamm mountain (the name translates to "Rooster’s Comb"), one of the mountains surrounding the ski resort town of Kitzbühel (Tirol, Austria). From Friday 24th until Sunday 26th, January 2020 Kitzbühel will host three events of the Men's Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup: a Super-G, the famous Downhill on the Streif and a Slalom.

The climax of the Hahnenkamm races weekend is what is considered to be the world’s most challenging downhill ski race: the Streif. Over the past nearly 80 years, this course has been putting skiers to the ultimate test and pushing them to their limits, with only the best in the world able to succeed and claim victory.

Hot on the heels of the Lauberhorn Races in Wengen, Switzerland – another of the great alpine ski classics and the oldest one-, the race first took place on today’s Streif course since 1937. Austrian, Thaddäus Schwabl, won the inaugural event in a time of 3:53.1 minutes. The reigning course record was set in 1997 by Fritz Strobl, who crossed the finishing line in an impressive 1:51.58 minutes 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 meters above sea level, racers plunge down the slope’s vertical drop of 860 m at speeds up to 140 km/h, covering the 3312 meters 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.

Last season the winner was Dominik Paris. The South Tyrolean managed to claim a third win in the Hahnenkamm downhill. He finishes ahead of Beat Feuz and Otmar Striedinger. Only six men have managed to win the Streif three times or more, and among them since today: Dominik Paris. With only 29 years, he could potentially join Franz Klammer (4 wins) or even Didier Cuche (5 wins) for the record. Sadly Paris suffered an ACL injury this morning while training in Super-G and has to prematurely end his season.
It’s also the third time for Beat Feuz. The third time in second place on the Kitzbuehel downhill podium.

Monday, January 20, 2020

2020 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in Saas Fee, Switzerland

The Ice-Climbing Event will take place again next Friday and Saturday, 25-26 January 2020, Saas-Fee will once again play host to the Ice Climbing World Cup. This year the famous week-long ice climbing 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. The Ice Climbing World Cup is an excellent opportunity to see national and international athletes in a unique place. The competitions will take place in the 10-storey car park in Saas-Fee, where the competitions can take place regardless of the weather.

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 meters 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-meter 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.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Clement Noel Wins Wengen Slalom

Clement Noel wins an amazing slalom race in Wengen, the place where he achieved his first World Cup victory last season. Henrik Kristoffersen was second (+ 0.40) and Alexander Khoroshilov third (+ 0.83).
Clement Noel won the race in the first run, where he clocked the fastest time, 0.67s faster than anyone else. During the second run, he fought off the attack of Henrik Kristoffersen, who finished once again second (third time in a row in slalom).
"It’s the kind of slope that’s really technical. You have to be really technical and really strong. There are some flat parts and some steep parts and some movement on the slope. It’s a difficult slope and I like it", he laughed. "It’s never easy, I just try to push out and do my best, and on some slopes and in some conditions I can be the fastest man".
Clement Noel made his debut in the World Cup in Levi in 2016. One month later he finished in the Top 20 in Val d'Isere and complete his way up to the Top 10 in Kitzbühel. Finally, in 2019 at the age of 21, he won the first World Cup Race in Wengen.
This season is Noel is in the running for the slalom crystal globe.
"Slalom is really different because it’s really fast and you have no room for error because you can DNF really fast. So you have to be really focused, like a robot. Left, right, left, right, left, right", explained Noel. "It’s uh…not like dancing but it’s a feeling, a vibe, and I really enjoy it. If I love skiing, and if I’m a good skier, I have to continue in this way. I’ve continued until now, and that’s it".
Alexander Khoroshilov (RUS) positively impressed the Swiss crowd and crossed the line in third place thanks to an outstanding final section of his second run. The Russian skier returns to the podium almost three years after his 3rd place in Schladming in 2017.

Clara Direz Wins Sestriere Parallel GS

Clara Direz won her first World Cup victory in the debut of this discipline.
Clara Direz (FRA), who had only one previous top-10 finish in the 40 last World Cup races, beat newcomer Elisa Moerzinger (AUT) in the big final.
"No one was expecting something from this because it was the first one. But yeah, we trained a lot and I was pretty fast between the other girls. So I was like, ok, I can do something. I will try my best, and we’ll see what’s coming", Direz said of her unexpected victory. "I don’t know if it’s really fair or not. I was lucky today because I was always on the blue course for the last runs, so I was a little bit lucky. I won’t complain about that. I’m pretty happy about my first World Cup win today, so I won’t say anything bad about it".The Austrian talent was competing in only her fifth World Cup race, and she failed to qualify for the second run in four Giant Slaloms she took part.
Marta Bassino (ITA) beat teammate Federica Brignone (ITA in the small final for third place, and Sofia Goggia (ITA) finished fifth to complete the Italian trio in the top 5.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Federica Brignone and Petra Vlhova Tie in Sestriere GS

Federica Brignone would claim her second GS victory of the season in a dead heat with World Champion Petra Vlhova who grabbed her first win of the winter in the discipline. Chasing ever so closely behind was Overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin, who charged hard in the second run to move onto the podium by the narrowest possible margin – just 0.01 seconds from the win.
"I just saw that I was the same time as Petra and we were one-hundredth before Mikaela, so that was a close one and a tight one", an exuberant Brignone said following the win. "It’s amazing – the crowd – can you listen and can you see? Today is crazy. I’m just so happy, I’m exploded. I can’t say what I feel right now".
Federica Brignone is the only one to have won two races this season even though today's competition had to share it with Petra who for the first time this year gains 100 points in the discipline.
Federica Brignone follows her mother, former Italian skier Maria Rosa Quario, who won the slalom in the Italian Alpine resort back in 1983. She had posted the fasted time in the first run, but despite the fifth-fastest time in the second held on to match 24-year-old slalom specialist Vlhova.
Petra Vlhova earned her third victory this month after those two slalom races. Brignone leads the GS season standings by 61 points over Shiffrin, seeking to become the sixth different woman to win that discipline title in the last six years. There are four more GS races left this season.
Mikaela Shiffrin came .01 shy of making it a three-way tie for a World Cup giant slalom win on Saturday, confirming GS has been the most up-for-grabs discipline for either gender in recent years.

Beat Feuz Wins the ‪Lauberhorn‬ ‪Downhill‬ in Wengen

Taking the win in front of your home crowd, on a legendary track, on a beautiful sunny day, is pretty much as good as it gets. Beat Feuz had the honor today in Wengen as he won the legendary Lauberhorn downhill ahead of Dominik Paris y Thomas Dressen.
Beat Feuz (SUI) claims Wengen’s Downhill for the third time. The Swiss speed skier masters the shortened Lauberhorn Downhill once again and grabs his 10th World Cup victory in this discipline. His third win in Wengen follows his previous victories in 2012 and 2018.
The local hero skied to the limit without committing any mistakes and was rewarded with the lead position in front of Dominik Paris (ITA). The Italian, after winning the last two Downhills (both in Bormio), proved once more his world-class skills and his top shape, finishing +0.29s behind the Swiss.
Thomas Dressen (GER) narrowly missed second place by 0.02 s and celebrates his third podium of the season, the second one in Downhill, and the first top 3 finish of his career in Wengen.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Matthias Mayer Wins Alpine Combined in Wengen

Wengen’s 90th anniversary of the Lauberhorn races kicked off today with the Alpine Combined Event.Matthias Mayer (AUT) skis two perfect runs today in Wengen and claims his first Alpine Combined victory at the Lauberhorn. The Austrian speed skier dominates the downhill, closing 0.53s ahead of everyone else. Starting first in the slalom, Mayer does not just try to defend himself from the technical skiers but attacks the slope and scores the fourth-fastest time in the second run.
"It was really thrilling for me, especially when I saw Alexis Pinturault have a really good run", exclaimed Mayer. "He was getting closer and closer at the intermediate and it was close at the end, but I’m happy. I know I had a good run in the slalom but I didn’t know I could ski as fast as today. It is a little surprising for me, but great".This enables him to finish just ahead of runner up Alexis Pinturault (FRA), who narrowly misses his 10th Alpine Combined Victory by 0.07s. The French athlete is almost one second faster than all his competitors in the slalom, but it’s still not enough to jump into the first position, after closing the downhill in 19th place.
Third place goes to Victor Muffat-Jeandet (FRA), who skis fast in both disciplines and scores his fourth podium in Wengen’s Alpine Combined.
Alexis Pinturault (FRA) continues to lead the Alpine Combined ranking and thanks to his second-place knock Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) off the top of the Overall standings, with 2 points advantage.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Petra Vlhova Wins Night Slalom in Flachau

Petra Vlhova built a lead of six-tenths of a second over Mikaela Shiffrin in the opening run, and after charging the second part of the race, she posted a combined time of one minute and 53.65 seconds to edge out Sweden's Anna Swenn-Larsson by only 0.10 sec.
The Slovakian fans went crazy as soon as Petra crossed the finish line and has been crowned Snow Space Princess for the second in a row with her 12th World Cup victory.
"I knew after the first run that Mike Day (Shiffrin’s coach) will set a second course that I don’t like because I don’t like this kind of course that have a lot of turning", Vlhova said after the race. "And they know that I find it more difficult. But I tried to fight with this course anyway, and I did it. So it was a really tough day for me. The first run I did very well, and second run was difficult because I did lot of mistakes and at the end, I won".

Anna Swenn-Larsson would have been dreaming of becoming the first woman other than Vlhova and Shiffrin to win a slalom in 25 races after seeing the latter fail to beat her time even clocking the fastest time of the second run.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who was second after the opening run, came 0.43 behind in third and she is still leading Vlhova in the overall World Cup standings by 273 points and the slalom standings by 80 points.

The floodlit race in Austria with 14,800 spectators had the highest prize fund on the women's World Cup this season, with Vlhova receiving 70,000 euros for the win.

The Ski Racing Podcast By Ed Drake. S2. E12. Altenmarkt and Adelboden Review

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Daniel Yule Wins Adelboden Slalom

Daniel wins today a thrilling race in Adelboden, claiming his third Slalom World Cup win, the second in a row after last Wednesday’s success in Madonna. Yule makes the crowd go wild as he becomes the first Swiss skier ever to claim three Slalom World Cup races.
Like in Madonna di Campiglio (ITA), the Swiss athlete was leading already after the first run with a 0.25 s advantage on Clement Noel and pushed even harder in the second run. Despite a big mistake before the last steep section, Yule pushed through the final gates and clocked the fastest time of the day.
Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) achieves the second podium of the weekend in Adelboden, finishing second (+0.23s) after another comeback in the second run. The Norwegian was only eighth after the first run but was one of the few who did not commit any big mistakes in the second run.
Third place goes to Marco Schwarz (AUT), who can celebrate again after nearly one year from his last podium. The Austrian athlete suffered from a bad knee injury in Bansko last season and showed today that he is 100% fit again to compete with the best ones, finishing 0.05s from the second place.

Federica Brignone Wins Altenmarkt-Zauchensee Alpine Combined

The Alpine Combined Event started with a very demanding Super-G run: "turny" course set and bumpy snow conditions challenged the majority of the most awaited athletes like Petra Vlhova and Mikaela Shiffrin.
With those Super-G conditions, the tech-skiers came out to lead the first run of the day with Federica Brignone in first followed by her teammate Marta Bassino, chased by Wendy Holdener in third by 0.50 seconds.
"For sure it was tough. You had to inspect really well and know where you are always and predict and watch the others",” Brignone said of the Super-G course. "But we are on the World Cup and we have to ski good if it’s tough, if it’s easy, if it’s icy, if it’s soft. You need to be prepared and ready for everything. There are some conditions where you are the best and somewhere you are not. But you just have to fight always".
Federica Brignone skied a solid slalom run, and she claimed her fourth Alpine Combined win on the World Cup circuit, and it firms up a good run of form that has lifted her to second in the overall World Cup standings behind Shiffrin.
Swiss double combined world champion Wendy Holdener almost did enough to catch the Italian reducing her half-second deficit from the first run to 0.15sec on the second, and she climbed up one position overtaking Marta Bassino.
"For starters, Wendy is a great slalom skier. And today it was the kind of slalom that if you don’t really go fast, you can take a lot and you can lose a lot. It was for slalom skiers because it was tight … and not steep, not icy, so it was an easy one. Normally, I’m not that good at those slaloms", Brignone confessed. "In the flat, I was losing a little bit the rhythm and I said, ‘This is never going to be enough".

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Zan Kranjec Wins World Cup GS in Adelboden

Under perfect conditions, Saturday, Slovenia’s Zan Kranjec topped a tight field in the men’s Giant Slalom World Cup in Adelboden. Kranjec captured the top spot on the podium ahead of Croatia’s Filip Zubcic, second, who finished 0.29 seconds back, while the third-place position was split between France’s Victor Muffat-Jeandet and Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, who were both 0.64 seconds back.
The Slovenian, who had always finished top 4 in Giant Slalom this season, claims in Adelboden (SUI) his second World Cup victory. Kranjec skied a terrific second run, always pushing to the limit and climbed up five positions from the first run.
"To win Adelboden giant slalom means even more because it’s one of the most prestigious races of the season for GS", said Kranjec. "It’s hard to tell what is different from last year or seasons before. I’ve skied good the past two years, but now I can put out my best skiing every race. I hope I can stay the leader for the rest of the season.".
The Croatian talent Filip Zubcic started today's race with bib 20 and thanks to two solid runs, achieved his first World Cup podium finishing second, 0.29s behind the Slovenian.

Corinne Suter Wins Downhill in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee

Corinne Suter built steadily on her breakout season last winter to claim her career-first World Cup win in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, clocking a time of 1:18.79 on the shortened Downhill track (Cloud cover and thick fog forced race organizers and FIS officials to lower the start to the Hot Air Jump). 
The 25-year-old skier was second and fifth in the two previous downhills this season, both held at Lake Louise, Canada.
Attacking on an overcast day, Suter mastered the Altenmarkt course despite clocking only the seventh-best speed of 125 kph (78 mph) at the fastest check.
"After the World Championships, it took a lot of pressure off of me. Since then, I can ski again with a lot of fun and I think this is the reason why I am so fast at the moment", Suter noted following the win. "It’s a special feeling also to wear the red bib. It’s always a dream to win the big globe. But I’ll take it step by step and now race by race, so we will see what happens at the end".
Nicol Delago, of Italy, finished the day in second place. with an impressive run from bib 17 following a series of delays due to weather conditions. Finishing just 0.29 seconds off the winning pace, Delago secured the third World Cup podium of her career and second this season.
Suter’s Swiss teammate Michelle Gisin was third, 0.98 back, two weeks after also placing third in a World Cup slalom, showing once again her great shape in all the disciplines she is competing on.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Daniel Yule Second Victory in Madonna di Campiglio

Madonna di Campiglio is the oldest Italian World Cup venue, as they hold a Slalom in 1966/67, the year of the foundation of the World Cup. More than 50 years later, the event is still running and attracting thousands of fans for the traditional night race.
Today the night Slalom in Madonna di Campiglio delivered the same winner than last season, with Daniel Yule claiming his second victory in the World Cup with Henrik Kristoffersen and Clement Noel rounding out the podium.
"Zagreb was a really tough slalom for me, but to turn it around this way is simply amazing. Now I am really looking forward to the rest of January!", said the Swiss slalom skier.

Daniel Yule was leading already after run 1 and had to defend himself from the attacks the current best two slalom skiers on the tour, Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) and Clement Noel (FRA).
Kristoffersen, second after the first run, skied an impressive second run but due to a small mistake in the top section, he was not able to take his third victory in Campiglio. Kristoffersen finished second (+0.15s) and is now leading the Slalom standings. 

Clement Noel, eight after the first run, scored the best time in the second run and climbed up 5 positions to take the third step of the podium (+0.25 s). It's the third podium for the young talent out of four slalom races this season.

The Ski Racing Podcast By Ed Drake. S2. E11. Zagreb Review

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Clement Noel Wins Zagreb Slalom

Clement Noel (FRA) shows the crowd in Zagreb what he is capable of winning the Snow King slalom in Zagreb for the first time in his career. The 22-year-old Frenchman is the first man of his nation to win in Zagreb since 2009.
The French skier, 4th after the first run, connects perfect turns in the second run and climbs up three positions to claim his 4th World Cup victory ahead of Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI).
"It’s always a long one but its really cool because if you’re in shape at the beginning of January, you can surf from that and be consistent but it’s not so easy", said Noel. "In Zagreb, Marchel Hirscrher used to win this race every year and now he’s not here, so we can try to win. I’m really happy and proud of my win today".
The Swiss skier, first after the first run, does not manage to keep the lead in the second run, finishing only 0.07s behind Noel.
The big news of the day, however, is the first World Cup podium of Alex Vinatzer (ITA), who takes the third spot on the podium (+0.29). His best result before this evening was the 12th place achieved in Levi in November 2019.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

First Snow Crown for Petra Vlhova in Zagreb

Petra Vlhova starts the new year in the best way possible, taking her first slalom win in Zagreb, thanks to two perfect runs. Vlhova was leading already after the first run - 1.16 seconds ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) - and pushed even more in the second run, finishing 1.31 seconds in front of the American superstar.
"I did my best, and today was my day so I am so so happy", said Vlhova. "This morning I felt so good and so strong. It’s always good to be on the top of the podium and to beat Miki because she is always strong and she skis perfectly. Today I won by more than one second ahead of Miki so what more could I want (This means that) I can beat her, and that I have it [in me] to ski faster than Miki. Today it was like this, tomorrow or in Flachau, it can be different".
It's the 24th slalom race in a row that is won by either Shiffrin or Vlhova, showing that these two incredible athletes keep being one step ahead of the competition.

Katharina Liensberger (AUT) took her third World Cup podium - the second in slalom - finishing third (+3.49s) proving once again her top shape this season.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Freeride World Tour. 15 Days To Go

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.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Freeride World Tour 2020. First Stop: Hakuba, Japan

In a few days The Freeride World Tour is back for another action-packed season! 5 stops across 3 continents, all culminating in the legendary face of the Bec des Rosses for the 25th anniversary of the Verbier Xtreme.

Date: January 18-25, 2020; Location: Hakuba, Japan