Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Matthias Mayer Conquers The Stelvio

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


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


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


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Michelle Gisin Takes First World Cup Win in Semmering Slalom

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

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

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

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


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


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Henrik Kristoffersen Shines in Madonna di Campiglio

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


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


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

Monday, December 21, 2020

Ramon Zenhaeusern Wins First Slalom of the Season in Alta Badia


The second race in la Gran Risa in Alta Badia met the expections and delivered a great show full of surprises and emotion. Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI) takes the victory after an incredible second run. The Swiss skier was 8th after run 1, but climb up his way to the first spot on the podium with a strong second run. Zenhaeusern celebrates today his 4th podium and second Slalom World Cup victory in his very first race of the season. 
"It was so tight after the first run so I had to push all on. I gave everything and it worked", said Zenhaeusern. 
"I was a bit nervous the days before because I hadn’t raced since nearly 11 months. It's great to see that all the work I did pays off and I am looking forward to racing again tomorrow in Campiglio despite I never did a good result there!" he said.


Behind Zenhaeusern, there was an incredible battle between top skiers, with two Austrians managing to join the swiss giant on the podium. Manuel Feller (AUT), who started with bib 26, finished the first run in 13th place and completed his comeback in the second run to close in second place, 0.08s behind the winner. It's the first podium since Grandvalira in March 2019 for an emotional Manuel Feller. 
"It's the most emotional moment of my career. I had a very hard season last year and it feels so amazing to see again the green light after crossing the finish line", he said.


Marco Schwarz (AUT) joined his teammate on the podium in third position, only 0.04s behind Feller. Schwarz climbed back from 10th position in run 2 and celebrates his 6th Slalom World Cup, his first one after his ACL injury during the Super-G of the Alpine Combined event at Bansko back in February. "It was a tight race (...) To be on the podium again and with Manuel is amazing", said Schwarz. 

First-run leader Alex Vinatzer dropped to 4th after the second run. Slowed by tough snow conditions on the Gran Risa course, Daniel Yule and Michael Matt, who were second and third after the opening run, dropped to 7th and 15th, respectively.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Alexis Pinturault Takes Victory in Alta Badia Giant Slalom


It was a fascinating race today in a physically demanding Gran Risa Giant Slalom course. And Alexis Pinturault has shown all his ski toolset to win in Alta Badia. 
"It was really close. It was a huge fight, (...) The light was slowly going down because it started to be a little bit late. It made such a difference in the pitch. But I tried my best and pushed really hard and it paid off", Pinturault said. 
It's the first victory for Pinturault on this slope, the 15th overall in Giant Slalom, with the French skier joining Alberto Tomba in fifth place all-time among Men standings in the discipline. 
"It's something really special, this slope is definitely a big classic and I am happy to finally have won here for the first time!", said Pinturault. “I am very satisfied that I can have 15 wins in Giant Slalom. This discipline is the most important for me”, Pinturault added. 
Alexis Pinturault had finished in the top five in each of the three World Cup Giant Slalom events this season but he been unable until today to get on the podium.
Pinturault is the fourth man to win a World Cup Giant Slalom event in at least eight different countries, after Ingemar Stenmark (14), Marcel Hirscher (9), and Michael von Grünigen (9).
Before today's Pinturault victory two Frenchmen have won the Alta Badia Giant Slalom in the World Cup: Joël Chenal on 19 December 1999 and Frederic Covili on 16 December 2001.
With his 31st World Cup Win, Alexis Pinturault takes over the lead in the Overall World Cup standings with 376 points.


In the second place, Norwegian Atle Lie McGrath, who finished second after an outstanding race started with bib 29. The winner of the 2019-2020 Overall Europa Cup, born in 2000 just a couple of days after his teammate Braathen, conquers his first podium, and top ten, closing only 0.07 seconds behind Pinturault. The 20-year-old skier surprised by posting the fourth-fastest time in the first run, and he managed to improve on that by taking the lead in the second. 
"This was really unbelievable, (...) My goal today was to have fun. My first time skiing the Gran Risa from the top, such a nice day, the slope was beautiful. I told myself to enjoy the moment and ski as well as I can. It is so fun when you do your best and you really succeed”, McGrath said.


It's a special day also for Justin Murisier. The Swiss man showed incredible skiing, especially in the second run, climbing up eight positions to finish third 0.24 seconds behind. Murisier celebrates his first career podium, proving his feeling with the Gran Risa after he had finished fourth on the same slope in 2017.

Ester Ledecka Wins First Super-G in Val d'Isère


Ester Ledecka beats Corinne Suter to take her first win in a women’s World Cup Super-G race in the World Cup. Her first victory in alpine skiing was during the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang when she stunned the world by winning the gold medal in the Super-G discipline.
Ledecka is no longer a surprise in alpine skiing, and year after year she is one of the favorites in the speed disciplines.
"I was having a bad day from the start of the day. I didn’t get a good warmup and I didn’t feel that the run was good. I felt that I had many mistakes (...) Anyway, it is a great result. In the end, the run wasn’t as bad as I felt it was", Ledecka said.
After celebrating her biggest successes in snowboarding, now is competing on both World Cup circuits, and landed her first snowboard win of the season a week ago at a parallel giant slalom in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.


Corinne Suter (SUI) raced to three podiums in three days with a Downhill win on Friday as she continued to demonstrate her consistency in the speed events. 
Suter finished in the top-six in each of the six World Cup super-G events last season. Her only (career) super-G win came in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on February 9th, 2020.


Defending Overall Champion Federica Brignone (ITA) came 0.35 behind in third, a day after sitting out the downhill following her crash in Friday’s race. Brignone (15) is still one shy of equalling the record for most World Cup race wins by an Italian woman, held by Deborah Compagnoni (16). Brignone now shares second place with Isolde Kostner.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Sofia Goggia Takes Victory in Val d'Isère's Downhill


The challenge has officially begun and with only two downhill races behind us, we already have two-speed Queens who have scored the same World Cup points in two days, 180 each and they are wearing the same red bib.
The second downhill race in Val D'Isere was won by Olympic champion Sofia Goggia (ITA), who performed a precise, correct race without any sensational risks, but it was absolutely sufficient to take her to victory. Goggia returns to the top step of the podium after Crans Montana Super-G in 2019. A few weeks later, she had to end her season short after fracturing her left arm in a crash.


Corinne Suter (SUI) had to settle for second place this time, 0,24 behind the Italian champion. Both racers skied well without making any mistakes on a slope that was less risky than yesterday's as the part of the slope that created problems for the athletes was fixed.


American Breezy Johnson is absolutely on fire. Despite a small mistake in the final part that made her lose precious speed to win the race, the two podiums of these two days show how the American is in fantastic shape and can become a threat to Sofia Goggia and Corinne Suter.

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Wins the Saslong Downhill in Val Gardena


After yesterday's victory in the Super-G, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) wins also the Downhill in Val Gardena. The Norwegian skied again very aggressively and managed to be the fastest man on the course. Kilde had already won the Val Gardena Downhill in 2018 and now becomes the second man after Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) to win both the Super-G and the Downhill in the same year in the Italian venue.
"It's amazing to score a double here in Val Gardena as Aksel did. He was always an idol for me and it's great to join him with this special achievement (...) My skiing is even better this season. The speed is there. And I have more experience now. It’s just cool”, said Kilde.
After today's victory, Kilde leads the Overall World Cup ranking.


The second spot on the podium went to Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who finished only 0.22s behind the Norwegian. It's the very first World Cup podium for the Amerian allrounder, who got to share it with two real speed aces.


Beat Feuz (SUI) finished third, 0.54s behind the Norwegian, and is back on the podium after a sixth place in the last Downhill in Val d'Isère (FRA). With this strong performance, Feuz celebrates the 36th Downhill podium of his career, the 19th in the last 24 Downhill races.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Wins Super-G in Val Gardena/Gröden


Defending overall champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won today’s World Cup Super-G achieving his first podium result of the season. Once again the Norwegians confirm their tradition in Val Gardena placing two athletes on the podium of Friday's Super-G. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) was the fastest on the course set by the Austrian coach, claiming his fifth World Cup victory, the second in Val Gardena. Kilde attacked as usual throughout the whole course and thanks to a flawless run, he was able to finish 0.12s ahead of Swiss Mauro Caviezel. Kilde could therefore celebrate his third Victory in Super-G, the second one in 2020. 
"We know this course well. It’s technically demanding and we are all-round skiers, so this suits us (...) The speed is there so if it all fits, you win the race”, said Kilde.
"It’s nice to get my first win so soon this time. We can work a bit more relaxed now and hopefully some more wins will follow", Kilde added.


Mauro Caviezel (SUI) sneaked in between the two Norwegians and proved once again his incredible shape with this second place. Caviezel has finished in the top 5 in each of the last nine Super-G races and holds on tight to the red bib.


Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), who was very fast in the first two sections of the race, joined the Norwegian party, finishing third (+0.21s) and claiming a record seventh podium in the Italian venue. The Norwegian ace finished on the podium six times in the last seven races held on the legendary Saslong.


Corinne Suter Wins First World Cup Downhill in Val d'Isère


The speed season has officially begun today in Val D’Isere with a perfect day, compact snow, and a challenging slope, much faster than the training days.
World Cup Downhill champion Corinne Suter (SUI) won the season-opening race today in Val d'Isère. Suter fought this challenge with an incredible performance, taking big risks but finishing 0.11 ahead of Sofia Goggia (ITA) who at the same time had taken countless risks to try to beat her. The Swiss got the better of the competition and returned to the top step that she only conquered once in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee last season, but proved that the downhill globe delivered home is proof of her continued growth and dominance. 
"It was a difficult race. The top and middle parts were good, on the bottom I made some mistakes. After the finish I thought it wouldn’t be enough for the win", said Suter.


 In second place was Sofia Goggia (ITA) who finally returned to the podium after Crans Montana 2019, but what mattered most was the skiing she showed, more confident and above all faster on the skis.


Training runs have seen Breezy Johnson (USA) perform impressively. The American skier recorded the second-fastest time in the first training run, before recording the quickest effort of the day in her second.
Today's race proved Breezy's consistency as she took her first career podium.
"I don’t think anything has sunk in yet, so I think I’m probably just going to keep it that way and just keep working towards tomorrow, (...) The snow in most places was actually a lot better, it was just a little bumpier in some spots, and a lot faster with the race wax and everybody going for it. It was a good race", Johnson said.

Good and bad points mark Val d’Isere’s first downhill race with important returns to the top 10 as Ilka Sthuec fourth and Ragnhild Mowinckel ninth, returning from injury. Unfortunately, the dark side of today was the numerous falls on the Beltrametti crossbar starting with Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT), Federica Brigone (ITA), Joana Haehlen (SUI), Alice Mckennis Duran (USA), and Laura Gauche (FRA).


Monday, December 14, 2020

Mikaela Shiffrin Returns To The Top of The Podium in Courchevel

Mikaela Shiffrin returned to the top step of the podium after 323 days. Bluebird skies, a compact and icy surface, and a difficult course were the ingredients of the second Courchevel Giant Slalom where Mikaela finished the first run in the lead with the Italian duo Bassino-Brignone just 14 hundredths of a second behind. With today's victory, Mikaela Shiffrin is tied with 67 victories with Marcel Hirscher for third place among all-time best skiers and now trails only Lindsey Vonn with 82 and Ingemar Stenmark with 86. An emotional Mikaela Shiffrin initially was unable to compose her words during the TV interview.
"It’s pretty hard to explain. Ninety-five percent of me felt that I couldn’t do it and then just a small bit of me at the right time and I was..., (...) It’s crazy to be back here", Shiffrin said.


Federica Brignone made a huge mistake and almost fell, but with the determination that distinguished her, she added an extra gear and crossed the finish line 0.82s behind Shiffrin. Now Brignone took the lead in the discipline standings with 205 points 5 more than Bassino.


Tessa Worley skied an excellent second run and she recovered two positions to her first podium after Soelden 2019. She was 1.09s behind the American. Marta Bassino wasn't able to strike a third straight Giant Slalom victory this season and she skied out in the second run. World Cup leader Petra Vlhova went out in the first run in a tricky section four gates from the finish.

The World Cup for the Ladies continues in the French Alps with a speed weekend in Val D'Isere.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Martin Cater Wins First Downhill of the Season in Val d'Isère

While yesterday's Super-G went under heavy snow and low visibility, today the sun came out and the conditions were perfect. It was a real day for the underdog in the French Alps with three unexpected racers finishing on the podium. Martin Cater earned his first World Cup podium and victory today in Val d'Isère. Under bluebird skies, wearing start bib number 41, the Slovenian had an incredibly smooth run and managed to ski fast in every section, surprising everyone, including himself, at the finish line (the 27-year-old Slovenian’s career-best result was eighth in his 38 previous World Cup downhills). "For me, it was a really good run but I didn’t believe it", said Cater. "I knew it was a good run but I didn't believe it was that good. I was hoping for top 10, top 15, just hoping not 36th or 37th or 50th because it's difficult sometimes. You think you're fast but you're not". Cater’s previous best World Cup results were two sixth places, including in the Alpine combined event last January at Wengen, Switzerland.


Otmar Striedinger (AUT) was second on his fourth World Cup podium. He finished 0.22s behind the Slovenian. The Austrian speed skier was starting to get a taste of his first World Cup victory when Cater rushed through the finish line to take the lead. Striedinger was anyway satisfied with his result, as he managed to return to the podium after almost 20 months. His previous best was second place in the Beaver Creek Super-G back in 2013. "It's a strange situation, I was annoyed about the 2nd place for a short time. When the first victory is within reach and then a Slovenian snatches the victory away from you. But I can't get angry, a second-place is also good. I'm very happy about my performance, it's a nice day for me. Even if it's not my first victory. But I'll keep fighting so that it will come at some point", said Striedinger.


Third place went to Urs Kryenbuehl (SUI), who was not able to match his best career result achieved in Bormio last year. The Swiss man finished third, 0.27s behind Cater. It's the second World Cup podium for Kryenbuehl. "I have not speculated on the win. The race is not over until all the racers finished. It would certainly have been nice to win. But I am satisfied. I'm surprised because I wasn't that fast in training. I attacked, it was a good race", said Kryenbuehl.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Marta Bassino Wins World Cup GS in Courchevel

Marta Bassino won the second Giant Slalom of the season with a back to back victory, demonstrating she is the most consistent racer in the discipline at this moment. The event took place under heavy snowfall in both runs and despite the poor visibility, the race went well with a solid surface. Marta Bassino (ITA), second at the end of the first run, managed to ski as if the snow and fog did not exist, with the lightness that characterizes her skiing and has set the fastest second-run time. The Italian racer finished 0.46 ahead of hard-charging Sara Hector, and 0.59 clear of Petra Vlhova.

Behind Bassino today was an incredible Sara Hector (SWE) who climbed 2 positions to reach her third podium in her career after 6 years of absence from the top steps of the ranking.


After setting the best time in the first run, Petra Vlhova (SVK) finished in third place. In 5 races the Slovakian skier scored 5 times with 3 victories and 2 podiums, including today's one. The Slovakian skier is in incredible physical shape, solid in all the tech disciplines and course sets. Vlhova(SVK) now leads the overall ranking with 420 points, 162 points ahead of Marta Bassino (ITA) and 213 ahead of Michelle Gisin (SUI).

Mauro Caviezel Wins First Speed Race of the Season in Val d'Isère

Mauro Caviezel (SUI) reminded everyone once again why he has won last year's Super-G Globe and took his first World Cup victory of the season today in Val d'Isère. He had finished in the top five in each of the last seven Super-G races and today he did even better scoring the fastest time with a clean run. Caviezel was not the only one to celebrate a 'first-time' success.
Adrian Smiseth Sejersted (NOR) and Christian Walder (AUT), who started shortly after the Swiss speed ace, finished respectively in second and third place, achieving the first World Cup podium of their career. 
Caviezel himself was unable to assess the success immediately after the race: "I don't quite understand it yet. That it worked now is incredible after my injury story".


Adrian Smiseth Sejersted, who was only 0.10s slower than Caviezel, was the fastest of the Attacking Vikings. His best result until today was a fourth place in Kvitfjell's Super-G back in 2018.


Christian Walder picked it up where he left off and built on his positive moment after the fourth place scored in Saalbach-Hinterglemm last season! He finished third, 0.54s behind the leader, just ahead of Travis Ganong (USA) and teammate Vincent Kriechmayr.


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Ladies' World Cup Races in Courchevel Preview

After the cancelation of the races in St. Moritz, the Ladies return to competition this weekend in Courchevel (France) with two Giant Slalom Races on 12th - 13th December 2020. For the 9th time, a race will be host in the Émile-Allais Stadium, located in Courchevel 1850 on the Loze sector.

The program in Courchevel will be the following:

Giant Slalom, Saturday, December 12th. 1st run 9:30; 2nd run 12:30 (CET)
Giant Slalom, Sunday, December 13th. 1st run 9:30; 2nd run 12:30 (CET)

Built from scratch in 1946, Courchevel is a French Alps ski resort with four different areas: Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz), Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 (Moriond), and Courchevel 1850. The Courchevel valley also includes the town of La Tania, built as competitors accommodation for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.
Courchevel is part of the Les 3 Vallées, the world’s largest ski area with 7 interconnected resorts (Courchevel, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle) and 600 kilometers of ski runs.
The area originally consisted of three valleys: Saint-Bon, Allues, and Belleville in the Tarentaise, Savoie. The skiing area has since been extended into a 'fourth' valley, the Maurienne valley.
Within the Tarentaise Valley, you find the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. The most well-known of them are the Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne) and the Espace Killy (Val d'Isère and Tignes).
Courchevel and the Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes have a long tradition of competitive skiing and hosting major international events. It is from this region that 70% of the athletes who are members of the French Alpine Skiing Team and the main competition clubs or champions trainers come from.
In January 1979, Courchevel hosted for the first time an event of the World Cup, a Giant Slalom won by Ingemar Stenmark.
In May 2018, following a vote at the 51st FIS Congress in Costa Navarino, the 2023 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships were awarded to Courchevel-Méribel. For the occasion a new, very technical, and challenging Downhill course, L'Éclipse was designed by Bruno Tuaire, director of Courchevel Sports Club, and Hannes Trinkl (FIS).

Last season in Courchevel Federica Brignone gave it all out in the second run to finally secure her first World Cup victory of the season. She finished in a combined time of 2:12.59 to beat Mina Fuerst Holtmann by 0.04 seconds. Wendy Holdener was third (+0.44) with Petra Vlhova and Viktoria Rebensburg tied in fourth by +0.48.
Mina Fuerst Holtmann (NOR) stepped on a World Cup podium for the first time, in her third year on the circuit. It's not a special day just for the Norwegian skier but also for Wendy Holdener (SUI) who trailed Brignone by 0.44 in third for her first career podium in the discipline.
Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) failed to match the pace of the leading racers in both runs and finished 1.65 behind in 17th.

In 2018, Mikaela Shiffrin battled through a raging snowstorm on the second run and overcame a 0.08-second deficit to win in Courchevel (FRA). It was also her third consecutive victory at the French resort (one day after she also won the slalom race in Courchevel).
Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany led after the first run and gave Shiffrin tight competition, finishing in second place just 0.14 seconds back for her second podium finish of the season.
Tessa Worley, meanwhile, delighted the French fans simply by starting in the race after suffering a meniscus tear in her knee during a crash in the Lake Louise Super-G. After being cleared by her doctor to return to skiing this week, she made the decision to start her home race and was rewarded with third place for her impressive efforts.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Ski Racing Podcast By Ed Drake. S3. E 9. Santa Caterina Review. Val d'Isere and Courchevel Preview

The Men's Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Moves to France for the Weekend

Due to lack of snow and unusually warm temperatures, the Men's Audi FIS Ski World Cup Giant Slalom events scheduled in Val d'Isère (France) were canceled and rescheduled in Santa Caterina (ITA) last weekend. But following the snow control carried out on Tuesday, December 1st, the French resort of Val d’Isère has been confirmed to host the first speed races of the season, a Downhill, and a Super-G, this weekend. As scheduled, the races will take place on 12th - 13th December 2020.
Val d'Isère is a high altitude village located in the Savoie, recognizable by its charming Chalet architecture. In 1936, the Rogoney, the resort's first drag lift at the bottom of Solaise came into operation.

Val d'Isere offers skiers one of the most incredible Ski Paradises in the Alps: the Espace Killy, the Val d'Isere and Tignes combined skiing area, named in honor of Jean-Claude Killy, all-time French best skier who won 3 gold medals in the 1968 Olympic games. A playground for every skier that stretches from 1550 to 3450m, with 300km of prepared pistes and two glaciers (Pissaillas Glacier in Val d'Isere and the Grande Motte in Tignes) as well as some magnificent and easily accessible off-piste opportunities.

The resort hosts every year Men's and Women's races of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. The men's Downhill, Super-G, and Giant Slalom of the 1992 Albertville Olympic Winter Games were held on the Face de Bellevarde. The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2009 were also held in Val d'Isère.
This winter "The Critérium de la Première Neige à Val d'Isère" celebrates its 65th anniversary. The first edition of the event took place in 1955. The Criterium was formally adopted by the FIS in December 1968, and since then the event is a key stop on the Alpine Skiing World Cup calendar.


For the second time since 2007, Men will race WC speed events on the Oreiller-Killy course (also called the O.-K. slope). The piste was created in 1966, above the hamlet of La Daille. It bears the name of two Olympic champions, Henri Oreiller and Jean-Claude Killy. 
The last time the speed events were held in the French resort was 2016. Then, on a track “O-K” remarkably fast and under a generous sun, Kjetil Jansrud claimed the top step on the podium two times in a row. On December 2, Jansrud won the Super-G race held on the "O-K" course with a winning time of 1:21.66 seconds. Following Jansrud in second place was his countrymen, Aksel Lund Svindal (+ 0.17). Italy's Dominik Paris completed the podium, 0.41 seconds off. The next day, in the first Downhill of the season, he crossed the finish line 0.26 seconds ahead of Peter Fill and 0.33 ahead of Aksel Lund Svindal.

Racecourse facts:
  • Start Elevation: 2680m (Downhill) 2408m (Super-G)
  • Finish Elevation: 1,810 m 
  • Vertical Drop: 870m (Downhill) 598m (Super-G)
  • Distance: 3037m (Downhill) 2142m (Super-G)
  • Average slope: 32 % 
  • Max. slope: 52 % 
  • Min. slope: 12 %
The program in Val d'Isere will be the following:

Downhill, Saturday, December 12th. 10.30 (CET)
Super-G, Sunday, December 13th. 10:30 (CET)

Monday, December 7, 2020

Marco Odermatt Claims Second World Cup Victory in Santa Caterina

Marco Odermatt (SUI) proved once again he is in great shape and did two solid runs to claim the second Giant Slalom in the "Deborah Compagnoni" slope in Santa Caterina Valfurva becoming the first Swiss skier in nearly 10 years to win a race in the discipline since Carlo Janka won in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, in March 2011.
"We stayed cool, went step-by-step, and kept working hard. We didn’t turn everything upside-down", Odermatt said about the rebuilding of the Swiss GS team in recent years.
The Swiss youngster scored his third consecutive podium in Giant Slalom after second place in the opening race in Sölden and third place on Saturday's race.
It's his seventh podium and second victory in the World Cup after winning the Super-G in Beaver Creek in December 2019.
"It’s really emotional for me today. I never had this before (...) It was big pressure today: First time red bib, first time leading after the first run. Now I am really proud", said Odermatt.
With today's victory, the two-time junior world champion in Giant Slalom leads the discipline standings with 240 points and joined Alexis Pinturault on top of the overall ranking.

After scoring the fourth-best time in the opening run, Tommy Ford finished in second place (+0.73). It's the third podium in the World Cup for the skier from Oregon (USA).

Filip Zubic third +0.75 climbs up 18 positions (21st in the first run +1.25) and set the best time in the 2nd run. It's his fifth GS podium in 2020.

The Men's tour now will head to Val d'Isère (FRA) where the first two speed races of the season are set to take place on the weekend.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Filip Zubcic Wins Giant Slalom in Santa Caterina

Filip Zubcic claimed the second Giant Slalom of the season. Under a relentless snowfall and flat light, the Croatian athlete won his second World Cup race thanks to a sensational second run. Zubcic was able to climb back from the sixth place secured in the first run and scored his fourth GS podium in 2020.
Filip Zubcic was almost seven-tenths off the lead after the opening run but posted the second-fastest time in the second run and beat Kranjec by 0.12 seconds.
"The slope was really difficult", Zubcic said. "(It’s) snowing, but I skied really good. I had a lot of training in conditions like these so for me it was quite normal. I am a really strong skier, I have the power and that’s why when the conditions are tough, I can ski really fast".
Zubcic failed to land a podium result in the World Cup until he was second in the classic Giant Slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland, in January 2020.
In February he earned his first victory in Naeba, Japan, before ending the season with another second place in Hinterstoder, Austria, in March.
"Last season was the best season I ever had, so I was hoping that I will stay in the same direction", said Zubcic.
"Naeba was also tough. It was completely different, as it was much warmer and it was like spring snow (...) but today was real winter, I mean, the weather was beautiful", he said.

After scoring the fastest time in the first run by nearly half a second, Zan Kranjec (SLO) fought his way through the second run and did not manage to keep the lead. It's the seventh podium for the Slovenian skier, all of them in Giant Slalom.

Marco Odermatt (SUI) proved once again his incredible shape finishing third (+ 0.30s). The Swiss youngster scored his second consecutive podium after second place in the opening race in Sölden.
With this third place, Odermatt now leads the Giant Slalom standings in front of Filip Zubcic.

Swiss teammate Loic Meillard finished fourth.
Overall World Cup leader Alexis Pinturault finished eight-tenths off the lead in fifth.