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In our first episode we’ll discover all about the X GAMES, professional Snowboarder Sebastian Springeth (Click here for the full video interview) and we’ll take it to the streets, learning about people’s first experience riding the snow.
It’s gonna be a high altitude, high octane and a hell of a ride.
Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr triumphed on home soil, earning his first win of the season.
By Daphne Seberich
The tables have turned for Vincent Kriechmayr. Sunday’s bad luck, as a gate fell right on the binding of his skis as he was riding the snow downhill at 130 km/h, was soon forgotten. The Austrian raced to his first Super G FIS Alpine Ski World Cup win of the 2020/2021 season on Monday with a blistering run in Kitzbühel.
The Åre Ski World Championships Super G bronze medalist clocked a time of 1:12.58 on home snow, which was also enough to move him on top of the discipline’s standings after a second place in Bormio back in December.
“Today I had a really good race. I’m really proud of my skiing.” 29-year-old Kriechmayr told FIS. “Last year I missed the Crystal Globe by three points, now I just want to ski my way.”
Kriechmayr beat Swiss Marco Odermatt into second place on the Austrian slope. The 23-year-old Swiss skier, a relative newcomer to the speed discipline, finished 0.12 seconds behind the winner, earning his fourth podium of the season.
Another Austrian and double Olympic gold medalist Matthias Mayer, bagged his third podium of the Kitzbühel race weekend, completing the podium to go with second and third-place finishes in Friday and Sunday’s downhills. The Super G specialist equals legend Aksel Lund Svindal for podium finishes on the Hahnenkamm.
The icy Kitzbühel Super G took place on the Streif-Alm. Every year the best skiers on earth compete to win the coveted chamois trophy, the symbol of Kitzbühel. The layout of this Super G was very direct and straight. Mistakes were not allowed.
The first athlete to start was Austrian Christian Walder. 1:13.28 was the time to beat. Christof Innerhofer attempted to challenge the benchmark. He had an impressive result at the Sunday Downhill race placing fourth. The South Tyrolean took many risks, which resulted in red intermediates. He fought and had his comeback to cross the finish line with 11 hundredths of a second ahead of the Austrian.
Marco Odermatt’s strong performance on Sunday gave him more confidence approaching the Streif-Alm. He did not disappoint and seemed to feel comfortable on the Austrian slope. Odermatt earned the provisional lead with 0.47 seconds of advantage towards Innerhofer.
Photo credits: laRegione & Le Matin
Sunday’s runner-up Johan Clarey fought for a back-to-back podium result, but a massive delay of 1.58 seconds from the lead placed him last. Bib number 5 athlete Vincent Kriechmayr, who was misfortunate in the second Hahnenkamm-race, blew everyone out of the water and served 12 hundredths to provisional leader Odermatt.
Kjetil Jansrud, the winner of the 2020 Kitzbühel Super G, has had a disappointing World Cup weekend. His run ended prematurely, having missed a gate. An 18th and 26th place at the Streif competitions and the latest DNF, made him lose out on crucial points for the standings.
Second and third-place Hahnenkamm-race winner Matthias Mayer set the bar high when it came to expectations. In 2017 he conquered the Streif-Alm, but this race was not on his usual level. Taking risks on the icy slope was necessary, but making mistakes was not accepted. He only managed to secure a spot on the lowest step of the podium after nine racers.
Loïc Meillard came racing at the Kitzbühel slope without any training and practice runs and it showed. His time was abysmally apart from the top. 1.41 seconds of delay placed him provisionally in sixth place.
Overall standings leader and technical disciplines specialist Alexis Pinturault had to cope with the same conditions as Meillard. He attempted to race at the Kitzbühel slope without any training and practice runs as well. For the Frenchman, competing in the Super G is necessary to earn points to secure his lead in the rankings. Pinturault just finished behind the Swiss in seventh position.
Austrian naturalized German skier Romed Baumann has had an incredible weekend on the Streif so far but made too many mistakes during the Monday Super G, only managing to squeeze between Meillard and Pinturault in seventh.
Dominik Paris, the reigning Super G World Champion and winner on the Streif-Alm in 2015 has not had the best start to his run. 84 hundredths of a second delay after the first intermediate ruined his chances of winning. What a disappointment for the South Tyrolean, who had his first seasonal podium on Friday in the first Downhill event.
The only remaining athlete who could have potentially challenged Vincent Kriechmayr for the lead was back-to-back Streif winner Beat Feuz. The Blitzkönig chose risky lines in the first part of the track. His delay subsequently increased intermediate by intermediate. A mistake in the final section of the slope ended in a zero-points result for Feuz.
French skier Nils Allegre was part of the most shocking crash of the day. With incredible speed coming into the first jump, Allegre lost control of his body at the landing, crashing into both protective barriers of the track. Fortunately, the airbag system the athletes have prevented the Frenchman to suffer from a serious injury.
The surprises of the day were James Crawford and Stefan Babinsky. With bib number 28 and 32 they managed to place better than Super G specialists Walder and Sanders respectively in sixth and seventh place.
The results of the day give Alexis Pinturault a 200-points lead ahead of second-placed Marco Odermatt in the Overall standings. With now injured Aleksander Aamodt Kilde out of the picture, the battle to the top seems already to be a sealed deal. Can Odermatt bounce back and conquer the Big Crystal Globe?
Lara Gut-Behrami was just too good compared to the other competitors in the Crans Montana Super G event. She is now the second woman to win World Cup Super G races in three different Swiss venues (St.Moritz, Lenzerheide, Crans Montana).
By Daphne Seberich
Lara Gut-Behrami is back to her winning ways after an astonishing performance in Sunday’s Audi FIS World Cup race. The third Super G event of the 2020/2021 season took place in Switzerland on the Crans Montana slope.
There was no way the other athletes could compete with the Swiss’s speed and racing line. After all, Lara is one of the most successful female skier still active in the Super G discipline. This event secured a new record under her belt. Gut-Behrami is the second woman to win World Cup Super G races in three different Swiss venues (St.Moritz, Lenzerheide, Crans Montana).
For the Swiss speed specialist, it was a mixed bag weekend on home soil. She finished a disappointing 16th place in the first Downhill, only to have her comeback in Saturday’s second event to claim second place. Crans Montana is a venue that suits Gut-Behrami as Sunday’s race was her third victory and fourth podium in the last two seasons at the home nation’s resort.
Gut-Behrami raced a flawless line on the bottom half of the course to earn the victory by nearly one second. Austrian Tamara Tippler continued to impress, earning her second runner-up finish 0.96 seconds behind. Italian Federica Brignone rounded out the podium, raking in her second Super-G Top-three finish of the season.
Bib number one racer and current Overall standings leader Petra Vlhova didn’t have the best start to her run. Shortly after the first intermediate, Vlhova missed a gate after a jump and got disqualified from the race.
Michelle Gisin, the second contender for the Big Crystal Globe, was the first athlete to set the benchmark with a time of 1:18.30. Austrian skier Stephanie Venier challenged the Swiss for the lead but lost control of her body after a jump, crashing into the barriers. Fortunately, no major physical injuries were reported from the Austrian ski team.
Gisin’s teammate Wendy Holdener, who placed 3rd in the Crans Montana Super G in 2018, missed a gate and ended her run prematurely.
Right from the get-go, Federica Brignone showed to have great speed and always sealed green intermediates during her run. A 1.65-second lead ahead of Gisin boosted her into provisional first place.
Crans Montana 2017 Super G winner Ilka Stuhec didn’t have what it takes to challenge the leader Federica Brignone but still managed to finish on the podium in third place with a 2.14-second delay.
The first challenger for first place was Swiss skier Corinne Suter. Even though he took many risks and set green intermediates throughout her run, she crossed the finish line with 50 hundredths of a second delay. The time still allowed her to secure the second spot on the podium.
Lara Gut-Behrami, Crans Montana 2020 Super G winner, who is suffering from a back injury, seemed to have an incredible physical shape. A 1.02-second advantage against Brignone granted her the lead of the competition. She was undoubtedly the favorite to win the race.
Third in the Overall standings, Marta Bassino challenged her teammate Brignone for a podium position but missed out on it only by 28 hundredths against Priska Nufer.
Teammate Francesca Marsaglia dethroned the Swiss and secured the third step of the podium. The Italian ski team is the strongest of all of this season, with three athletes placing in the Top-8.
Photo credits: La Stampa, Instagram & El Mundo Deportivo
Crans Montana Downhill back-to-back winner Sofia Goggia took many risks that seemed to pay off until the last jump did her dirty. Losing control over her body made Goggia miss the second-to-last gate of the slope. Her time would have secured her the second place position, but she was disqualified. Elena Curtoni’s fate aligned with Goggia’s, ending her run in the same way as her teammate: With a DNF.
The win also moved Gut-Behrami ahead of teammate Corinne Suter in the Super-G season standings, although there is still much racing left in the year.
Before the World Championships in Cortina kick-off at the start of February, the Women’s World Cup tour still has two stops. First up, a giant slalom at the Kronplatz, followed by a speed weekend in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Beat Feuz wins the second Downhill event on the Streif in Kitzbühel and earns the red bib for the next race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. He’s the seventh skier to win the Hahnenkamm event twice in the same year. The last one was Luc Alphand 26 years ago.
By Daphne Seberich
It’s all or nothing for Beat Feuz. The Swiss Downhill specialist gets crowned for the second time in a row the Hahnenkamm race king. He now will wear the red bib during the last speed event before the Cortina D’Ampezzo World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Triumphing on the most dangerous and nerve-wracking race of the season once wasn’t enough for Feuz. He had to score record-breaking results. He’s the seventh skier to win the Hahnenkamm Downhill race twice in the same year. The last one was French ski legend Luc Alphand 26 years ago.
Johan Clarey and Matthias Mayer completed the podium of the second Kitzbühel speed event respectively 17 and 38 hundredths of a second behind leader Feuz.
The Hahnenkamm-race is the most dangerous and exhausting Downhill race of the whole FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. Every year the best skiers on earth compete to win the coveted chamois trophy, the symbol of Kitzbühel. You need to have a strong gut to try to ski down the Austrian slope. The start of the race alone, the Mäusefalle, has an 85% steepness. Most competitors fly several meters in the air before reaching the end of that section. Athletes cross the finish line with an average speed of 145 km/h. Only the best can conquer and win Kitzbühel.
The weather conditions that caused the first Streif event to be broken-off and the second race to be postponed to Sunday were present at this competition as well. Visibility was worse than on Friday. The slope was icier too, but the money prize was more substantial. The winner of the Streif earned 90.000 Swiss Franks.
Bib-number-one-holder Maxence Muzaton set the bar for the next competitors to reach with a 1:57.23. Travis Ganong was the first to challenge the French. Intermediate by intermediate, the American increased his advantage to Muzaton and crossed the finish line 56 hundredths of a second ahead.
Romed Baumann, who had a season’s best result placing 8th on Friday, beat Ganong to the fastest time. The Austrian competing for Team Germany is a contender for a World Championship medal in Cortina.
Johan Clarey, who had a terrible crash during the first training session, seemed to have learned his lesson. His advantage to Baumann at the finish line were a whopping 80 hundredths of a second. An incredible run by Clarey, who turned out to be the oldest skier on a podium at 40 years of age.
Photo credits: Alpine Start Gate & SportNews.bz
Christof Innerhofer, the Italian Downhill skier, struggled in the first Hahnenkamm-race. This time, the South Tyrolean impressed with his aggressiveness on the skis and managed to squeeze in between Clarey and Baumann. Innerhofer is back and here to stay. He and Paris are the top contenders for Italy to score a medal in the World Championships on home soil.
Kjetil Jansrud, who only finished 18th on Friday, seemed not to be in his best shape, crossing the finish line with a 2.29-second delay and placing provisionally in sixth place. He then ended in 26th place in the final standings.
Right before Beat Feuz, the winner of the first Streif event, began his run, the weather conditions worsened. The race was momentarily interrupted. As the event resumed, the bib number 9 athlete started with a bang. Setting green intermediates right from the get-go was a good indicator for what was to come, but he then lost momentum in the middle part of the slope. After that, Feuz started his comeback to end the run with a 17 hundredths advantage ahead of Clarey.
Dominik Paris, the beloved South Tyrolean ski star, scored his first seasonal podium in the first Kitzbühel race. He was hungry for more and wanted a back-to-back Top-3 result. 1.18 seconds separated Paris and the provisional leader at the finish line, ranking in seventh place. It was still a good Downhill result for Dominik, who has a shot at winning in Kitzbühel at the Super G race on Monday.
Matthias Mayer, the runner-up of Friday’s Streif, gave Feuz a tough time with minimal margins of difference between the two. He ended scoring only third place.
The Austrian speed team seemed to be on fire, with Max Franz challenging his teammate Mayer for a podium position. Vincent Kriechmayr took a colossal risk, which unfortunately didn’t pay off. He was very unlucky. A gate loosened as he was riding the snow downhill at 130 km/h. It fell right on the binding of his skis. If it had gone underneath, he could’ve had the same end to his run as Ryan Cochran-Siegle. The American crashed on Friday into the barriers. After a physical assessment at the local hospital, the doctors discovered a mini-fracture in his cervical spine.
A surprisingly good performance was done by Marco Odermatt in Kitzbühel, who could not start his run on Friday due to the weather condition. The only remaining challenger for the Overall Crystal Globe was striving for a points finish and got something even better: a Top-10 result.
The speed athletes will prepare themselves for another daunting race on the Streif. Monday’s Super G will be a playing factor for the athletes’ convocation to the Cortina D’Ampezzo World Championships. Who will succeed?
It feels like a full-circle moment for Dominik Paris, who returns on a Downhill race’s podium 366 days after the knee injury he suffered from in Kitzbühel. The South Tyrolean has a second chance for an even better result in the Sunday event on the Streif.
By Daphne Seberich
Beat Feuz is the new Hahnenkamm-race winner of the 20/21 season. But he’s not who has impressed everyone the most during the race. Dominik Paris did.
Stepping on the podium in third place 366 days after the fatal moment for Dominik’s 19/20 season feels like a full-circle moment. At that point in time, Paris was leading the Overall, Downhill and Super G standings; his best season to date. The Streif, although, has no mercy for anyone. The South Tyrolean, who has won three times in Kitzbühel, returned at the Streif seemingly to have what it takes to challenge for a podium.
The Hahnenkamm race is the most dangerous and exhausting Downhill race of the whole FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. Every year the best skiers on earth compete to win the coveted chamois trophy, the symbol of Kitzbühel. You need to have a strong gut to try to ski down the Austrian slope. The start of the race alone, the Mäusefalle, has an 85% steepness. Most competitors fly several meters in the air before reaching the end of that section. Athletes cross the finish line with an average speed of 145 km/h. Only the best can conquer and win Kitzbühel.
A big absentee is reigning Overall champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who got injured in a fall during the Super G training in Hinterreit, Austria. Kilde was taken to a hospital in Innsbruck where it was later confirmed that he tore the ACL of his right knee, bringing his season to an end.
“It is as I feared, but as I did not hope,” Kilde told Norwegian media immediately after the diagnosis. “I am in very good hands and have people with a lot of experience around me, so everything should go well. It’s especially annoying because I’m in the shape of my life, but I will come back strong.
Kilde’s teammate Kjetil Jansrud, who started the race with bib number 1, set the benchmark for Romed Baumann with a time of 1:56.28. The Austrian, now racing for Team Germany, earned a one-second advantage over the Norwegian and beat his past teammate and favorite-to-take-the-win Vincent Kriechmayr as well. Kriechmayr set the fastest time in the second training session.
Beat Feuz blew everyone out of the water with the fastest time of 1:53.77. A blistering run by the Swiss 2018, 2019 and 2020 Downhill champion, who has never won on the Streif.
Andreas Sander’s 95 hundredths of a second delay squeezed him between Feuz and Baumann in second place after six athletes. Soon after, Matthias Mayer took over Sander’s place, closing the gap to the provisional leader to only 16 hundredths.
With bib number 9, Dominik Paris started very strong. He proved to not be afraid of the Streif. With only 56 hundredths of a second of delay against Feuz, the South Tyrolean star secured a spot on the lowest step of the podium. A remarkable finish for Paris. His season’s best result was a fourth-place at one of his favorite Downhill races, Bormio.
Christof Innerhofer is still suffering from the Covid-19 after-effects. His performance on the Streif was not at his usual level, being 3.04 seconds behind leader Feuz, placing provisionally in last place.
American Ryan Cochran-Siegle topped the first training session and showed great speed in the first half of the race. A little mistake turned out to be devastating for Cochran-Siegle. After the last small jump of the slope, the American crashed into the barriers, broke through them and ended outside of the track. The rescue helicopter immediately flew him to the nearest hospital for a physical assessment.
Urs Kryenbühl suffered from a horrific crash at 146 km/h on the last jump towards the finish line. While he was in the air, his weight transferred to the front of his skis, putting him out of balance. Falling face-first onto the snow, Kryenbühl hit the icy slope with his head and continued to roll towards the end zone with his broken skis flying everywhere. He too was immediately flown to the nearest hospital to assess his physical condition.
After the two delays, the weather started to turn for the worse with a southerly wind creating dangerous conditions and creating further setbacks. In the end, once the Top-30 racers were down the hill, everyone was breathing a sigh of relief as the Streif flexed its mighty muscles today.
Friday’s race was a replacement for the canceled Downhill, which should have taken place last weekend in Wengen. The athletes will get a second chance on Sunday to take on the Streif. On Monday, the speed disciplines weekend in Kitzbühel will end with a Super-G race.
Alexis Pinturault’s chances of winning a long-awaited first Overall title for a Frenchman since Luc Alphand in 1997 have increased significantly, thanks to the Norwegian’s abrupt end to his season. The 29-year-old is currently 218 points ahead of Kilde and 277 points ahead of Swiss Marco Odermatt.
Will Paris blow everyone out of the water and win the second race of the Hahnenkamm?
Marta Bassino’s dominance in the Giant Slalom discipline of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup continues by winning back-to-back races in Kranjska Gora. Besides being the undisputed leader of the standings and the red bib wearer, the Longines Rising Ski star also reached a new record by triumphing four out of five times in the technical specialty this season.
By Daphne Seberich
Marta Bassino did it again. Winning the opening race in Sölden and subsequently the next three out of four events wasn’t enough: She was hungry for more. Kranjska Gora was her stage to shine, her back-to-back wins demonstrate the phenomenal physical shape she’s in.
The Italian upcoming ski star never held back when it came to racing in Giant Slalom. Her superiority and demolishing dominance in the discipline resembles the Marcel Hirscher decade in the Men’s World Cup. She’s been wearing the red bib since the season-opening race in Austria and has only missed out on points in Courchevel. The prospects are rosy for Marta Bassino. Raising the Crystal Globe for the first time in her career is not a far-fetched idea. Can the 24-year old from Borgo San Dalmazzo attempt dethroning the current Overall standings leader Petra Vlhova with her 623 points as well?
The Swiss Michelle Gisin and Slovenian Meta Hrovat completed the podium of the second Kranjska Gora Giant Slalom with respectively 66 and 73 hundredths of a second of delay behind Bassino.
The Swiss bounced into second place of the Overall standings, just 60 points off the top spot defended by Vlhova. The Czech barely missed out on the big Crystal Globe trophy last season against Italian Federica Brignone. This year’s task seems not to be any easier. With both Gisin and Bassino as competitors, the Slalom specialist and last year’s discipline’s winner has to deliver and maximize points to secure the highly contended top spot of the standings.
Meta Hrovat earned third place on home soil for the second season in a row. Last year’s race in Kranjska Gora was the Slovenian’s first career podium in a tie with Wendy Holdener. This year, she didn’t need to share the trophy with anyone, her blistering time of 2:18.79 spoke for itself. The 22-year-old seems to have found the special something the other athletes are missing to reach the podium at the Slovenian event.
Photo credits: AP News & Siol.net
Kranjska Gora was a big disappointment for Mikaela Shiffrin, who posted the fastest time in the first run but didn’t manage to capitalize on her advantage, only finishing in sixth place. The American superstar is still recovering from the tragic loss of her father, of which she suffered from almost a year ago. Only having won two times this season is unusual for Shiffrin. We hope to see her at the top again soon.
There are only three Giant Slalom races to go, the next one being held at the Kronplatz in South Tyrol on the 26th of January. Can Bassino win her third race in a row on home soil?
Manuel Feller on Saturday and Sebastian Foss-Solevaag on Sunday managed to fulfill their childhood dreams by winning their first FIS Alpine Ski World Cup races held in the unconventional town of Flachau.
By Daphne Seberich
A first for Flachau and a first for Feller and Foss-Solevaag: two different first-time race winners and the first Men’s races taken place in the Salzburg area. After the announcement of the cancelation of the Wengen competitions, FIS first decided to organize the postponed events on the Streif before settling for the slope that just had held the Women’s Slalom contest.
The last-minute Slalom events held in the Austrian town, a destination well known for its Women’s World Cup Slalom race, showcased the diversity and competitiveness of this year’s Crystal Globe contenders. Since the before-Hirscher-era, there hadn’t been such an undecided race to the title.
After Marco Schwarz’s win in Adelboden, Manuel Feller was deprived of the red bib after only one race, having straddled one of the gates in the first run. Only one point separated the two Austrians, the favorites to clinch the Slalom title.
He then bounced back in Flachau’s first race, earning the victory and regaining the scarlet bib he deserved. Clément Noël and Marco Schwarz completed the podium, respectively being 43 and 70 hundredths of a second behind the leader.
Feller ranked third after the first run, only being 0.25 seconds off the pace as, for the third time this season, Clément Noël was the top racer qualifying for the Top-30. Laying down the fastest time in the second run, Feller jumped into first place and held onto victory.
Today’s second-place finish was the first podium for the Frenchman this season. It was still a frustrating result, as he continued to deliver the best performance in the first run but loses out on a better ranking after his second run.
Adelboden-winner Marco Schwarz held onto the podium position, only missing out on a trophy at Madonna di Campiglio’s night race this season. It was the 12th career podium for the Austrian.
Feller was always close to the victory this season, earning two second-place finishes in Alta Badia and Zagreb. In total, it was the sixth career Slalom podium for the 28-year-old.
Sunday’s race was a good pick-me-up for the Norwegian ski team. Lucas Braathen and Atle Lie McGrath’s injuries handicapped the Scandinavians substantially for the Nations Cup race against Austria and Switzerland. Their star skier and last year’s Overall standings winner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde announced his retirement from this year’s title contention as well, suffering a knee injury during a training session for next week’s race in Kitzbühel.
It took 86 World Cup starts, but in the end, he finally got his maiden victory. Norwegian Sebastian Foss-Solevaag dominated the slope in Sunday’s Slalom in Flachau to claim his first career win.
Foss-Solevaag debuted in Levi’s 2012 World Cup event and had four podiums under his belt before his life-changing placement in Austria. The 29-year-old always fell short of victory, but the second Slalom race in Flachau was a clear statement, earning a crushing 0.76 triumph over Austrian Marco Schwarz. Sebastian Foss-Solevaag is finally a race winner.
Schwarz is on a roll of his own, having earned a podium in each of the last three races, including his recent second-place finish on home soil. He is now leading the Slalom standings by 65 points ahead of Feller.
Alexis Pinturault brought home his first top-three finish in a Slalom this season, being 0.95 off the winning pace.
Sebastian Foss-Solevaag skied nearly flawlessly in both runs, setting the fastest time at both attempts down the hill. After the first run, he sat at the top of the standings with Austrian trio Fabio Gstrein, Manuel Feller and Marco Schwarz right on his heels. Only Schwarz managed to capitalize on his strong first run position. Manuel Feller and Fabio Gstrein had no chance to make it into the top ten in the second run.
Photo credits: Tiroler Tageszeitung, Neveitalia & Rai Sport
Austria’s loss was Switzerland’s gain as Loïc Meillard and Luca Aerni respectively finished fourth and sixth. Although the season is only half over, the two countries find themselves already going head-to-head for the Nations Cup, with the Swiss currently holding a 604-point lead.
Leading a ranking is Alexis Pinturault, who, after his back-to-back Giant Slalom wins in Adelboden, clinched the top spot of the Overall standings, with a 218-point lead over injured Kilde. The odds for the big Crystal Globe victory are in his favor.
After an extremely busy two weeks, the Slalom racers can now catch their breath until their next event on January 26th in Schladming. Until then, the speed teams will steal the spotlight in Kitzbühel where the famous Streif races are held next weekend.
Johannes Thingnes Boe conquers the élite Oberhof Sprint competition, putting his 51st victory in the books. A big disappointment for Lukas Hofer, which lost out on a potential win opportunity for Italy.
By Daphne Seberich
After last week’s events held in the German Black Forest area, Biathlon races are back in Oberhof. Kicking off the Biathlon-packed weekend was the Men’s 10km Sprint race, which was won by Norwegian favorite and provisional Overall standings leader Johannes Thingnes Boe. He reached the 50th victory mark last week in Oberhof.
Even though Italian Lukas Hofer was ahead of Boe ahead of the standing shooting leg, two mistakes cost him the win, falling all the way back to sixth place.
Completing the podium were compatriot Sturla Holm Laegreid and German Arnd Peiffer. Erik Lesser, an Oberhof resident, barely missed out by 2.7 seconds on a Top-3 result on home soil.
The athletes had the added difficulty of complicated wind conditions. Shooting a 10-for-10 at the rifle range was a tricky but essential task. Whoever shot the fastest and most precise had the upper hand to clinch victory. No one had the luxury to concede any mistakes and penalty laps to their opponents.
After the start of the first group, German Arnd Peiffer seemed to be a favorite for the podium, although the big Biathlon names still having to start their run. The athlete competing on home soil set some spectacular times, forcing opponents to zero mistakes shooting legs to earn victory in the 10km Sprint at Oberhof.
Sturla Holm Laegreid deserved to wear the blue bib for this race, being the best performing athlete Under-25 so far of the season. His 94 percent success rate at the shooting range makes him one of the most arduous and consistent athletes to beat.
Laegreid’s first shooting session was closed with a zero-mistakes score. 16.9 seconds of time advantage towards the provisional second French athlete AntoninGuigonnat secured the Norwegian the lead of the competition.
In the second shooting leg, the standing and most demanding one, Laegreid didn’t disappoint and set the 2nd zero at the rifle range, completing his run with a 10-for-10. His precision and speed impressed and put pressure on competitors Johannes Thingnes Boe, Johannes Dale and Arnd Peiffer to perform. All of them had the podium in sight.
At the 9km intermediate, Laegreid demonstrated to be incredibly fast on the skis as well, being 1:32 minutes ahead of the provisional leader. He then ended his run in first place with a time of 24:56.00.
There were high expectations for Emilien Jacquelin, the winner of last week’s Single Mixed Relay. Already being three seconds behind the lead of the standings and, under a high amount of pressure, he was forced not to make mistakes. Unfortunately, his nerves weren’t of steel and he missed one target in the prone shooting set.
Lukas Hofer set the fastest time arriving at the first shooting leg and didn’t disappoint at the rifle range. The impressive shooting time of 30 seconds blasted the South Tyrolean into second place in the standings behind Johannes T. Boe. Italy’s victory dreams were alive.
The battle between Lukas Hofer and Johannes T. Boe continued at the 5.6km intermediate, where Boe did set the fastest time but lost some ground to his Italian competitor.
Hofer entered the second shooting leg with a three-second advantage but missed two targets in the standing heat. He then was forced to do two penalty loop tours. The mistake cost him significantly, falling down the rankings from provisional second to eleventh.
Johannes T. Boe didn’t disappoint and found a 10-for-10 record, deserving the race win with a 24:43.6 final time. Sturla Holm Laegreid held onto second place with a 12.4 seconds delay against his teammate. Arnd Peiffer kept a strong pace throughout his run and deserved the last spot on the podium on home soil with only a 27.9 seconds setback against Boe.
The winner admitted that his clean shooting today was maybe his best day on the range this season. “It was such a great race today, even harder than the last sprint. From the start, I felt I had to work really hard on the track. I had a good focus on the shooting range, Maybe my best performance on the shooting range this season. I am really happy with my race. I needed 10-fo-10 to beat Sturla and be the winner. I did what I had to do and am really satisfied with that.”
Lukas Hofer missed out on a potential win, but he didn’t give up. The 9km intermediate time posted by the Italian displayed a 12 second recovery towards the fastest time set by Boe, ending his run with a 40 second delay in sixth place, despite having done two penalty loop tours.
The Sprint race win consolidates Boe into the lead of the Overall standings (582 points), with Laegerid following in second place (535 points) and Johannes Dale in third (474 points). An All-Norwegian Top-3 Men’s ranking list after six events confirms Norway’s competitiveness and domination in the highest level of Biathlon.
The next event held in Oberhof for the men is the 4×7.5km Relay competition. The Norwegians seem to have the upper hand. Who will succeed?
The 17-year-old Junior World Champion Sofia Nadryshina wins back-to-back races after her first career win in Scuol. Russia ends on a bittersweet note the Austrian competition thanks to World Champion Loginov’s disqualification in the Men’s Big Final. Aaron March back on top after 11 years.
By Daphne Seberich
The FIS Snowboard World Championship continued after the events held at Carezza and Scuol in Bad Gastein. For the 21st straight season, the individual Parallel Slalom competition in Austria went down in style, with the world’s best athletes pushing it to the limit all day long, especially during the finals under the lights. Numerous tight heats went down on the night, while ideal weather and course conditions allowed the riders on hand to deliver an exciting showcase of top snowboard racing.
The Women’s event was dominated by Russian 17-year-old rookie Sofia Nadryshina, setting the fastest time in the qualifying rounds. She annihilated tough competitors like Melanie Hochreiter, Ladinia Jenny and Selina Jörg on her way to the Big Final in highly contended match-up heats.
Cheyenne Loch from the German Snowboard Team was the last obstacle Nadryshina had to overcome. Like a rocket, the Russian took off at the start of the Big Final, accumulating a substantial advantage right from the get-go. Although Loch pushed herself to the limits to catch up the rookie, the German came wide just ahead of the finish line on the second-to-last gate, which led to her ending in a DNF.
“This is such a great experience for me”, said Nadyrshina, “Last season I finished twice in second place and now I managed to get back-to-back victories. It feels amazing. There are just so many emotions I can’t even describe them. Thanks to all my coaches and all the support I get from my team.”
Completing the podium is the German duo Loch-Jörg. The last one out of the two edged out the Swiss 2020 Parallel Slalom World Champion Julie Zogg in the Small Final.
As the competition in Bad Gastein was the first stop of the Parallel Snowboard Slalom tour in 2020/21, the Austrian events’ final standings determine the discipline’s ranking. However, the Parallel Overall standings have changed. The victory on Austrian territory grants Nadyrshina the standings leadership with 274 points after four competitions. Ramona Theresia Hofmeister dropped to second with 264 points, while Jörg is following behind in third place with 240 points.
Photo credits: Fis Snowboard, Augsburger Allgemeine & OA Sport
Over at the Men’s event, Russia seemed to have the upper hand in the qualifying session. Andrey Sobolev led his teammates Dmitriy Karlagachev, Dmitry Sarsembaev and Igor Sluev to take respectively first, second, third and fourth place in the qualification round. A key absentee was South Tyrolean star and veteran Roland Fischnaller, who didn’t qualify for the round-of-16 for the second event in a row.
The Russian that came out on top after highly contended heats against exceptionally demanding opponents, such as Stefan Baumeister, Andrey Sobolev and Igor Sluev, was Dmitry Loginov. The current Parallel Snowboard World Champion made it to the Big Final, where he then had against the South Tyrolean athlete Aaron March.
The battle to the top seemed to be a closed case, as Loginov beat the Italian with a 24 hundredths of a second advantage to the finish line. Video control, although, deemed the Russian guilty of initiating a jump turn in the middle of his run, swinging the tail of his board out over the stubby before it had fully gone around the gate. Not completing the turn, his run was deemed a DNF. Loginov ended being demoted to second place, handing over the win to March, who had only won one previous time in his career 11 years ago.
“It’s a little bit surprising to win today,” explained March after the awards ceremony, “Obviously after crossing the finish line I thought I’m in second place, but nevertheless I was riding well. I had a good feeling especially in the last ten gates or so and this is where I was winning my heats today. I wasn’t very happy with my result in the qualifications so I really wanted to show in the finals that I can be fast, and yeah I did my best and of course, victory feels great now.”
Third place went to Austrian Andreas Prommegger, who won the head-to-head battle against Scuol’s winner Igor Sluev.
Two DNFs. What handed over the win to Russia in the Women’s competition ended having to resign victory over Italy. A bittersweet conclusion to the night event.
Andreas Prommegger took over the lead of the Parallel Overall ranking with 221 points, only one ahead of teammate Benjamin Karl. Aaron March’s win grants him third place in the standings, having already been in the Top-3 this season.
Photo credits: Eurosport Italy, Edubilla & MN2S
The next event will be the first team competition occurring in Bad Gastein on the 13th of January. Russia, Austria and Italy are the top teams in the Men’s challenge, Germany, Switzerland and Russia in the Women’s. Who will come out on top?
Marco Schwarz finally ends the negative streak after Marcel Hirscher’s retirement for Austria, winning the Slalom race held in Adelboden and earning the red bib from teammate Manuel Feller.
By Daphne Seberich
Austria’s back. After almost two years, an Austrian skier stands on the highest step of the podium of a technical ski discipline. The last win dates back to the 29th of January when a skier named Marcel Hirscher triumphed in Schladming on home soil. Marco Schwarz finally ended the “Wunderteam’s” curse, a drought that lasted too long for a country whose national sport is Alpine Skiing. The famous Adelboden cow’s bell trophy awarded to Schwarz boosted him in the Slalom standings, where he now is leading.
For only 14 hundredths of a second, Linus Straßer missed out on a back-to-back win after earning his first Slalom trophy in Zagreb. The German is in his best shape and stepping into Felix Neureuther’s steps.
The 2nd runner-up spot went to a brave Dave Ryding, who is still looking to bring the first-ever FIS Alpine Ski World Cup win to England. The veteran stepped on the podium for the second time in his career after earning his last Top-three result four years ago. Only one-hundredth of a second separated Straßer and Ryding.
After a below-par performance by Zenhäusern in Zagreb, the Swiss was expecting more from himself at his home race. The Alta Badia race winner was the first to set a time on the slope, starting with bib number 1, which usually is an advantage in Adelboden.
His time held onto the top spot of the standings, until Sebastian Foss-Solevaag, Marco Schwarz and subsequently, Clément Noël clinched provisional first place in the first run.
Much was expected by Daniel Yule, who won the Slalom held in Adelboden last season. The Swiss accumulated a high delay and only placed 15th after the first run.
Many were surprised by different athlete’s performances, in good and bad ways. Dave Ryding, the British veteran set the best run of his season, only being off 76 hundredths of a second from the top and securing 8th place in the first run.
Victor Muffat-Jeandet and Alexander Khoroshilov stunned everyone with their results. The Frenchman proved to interpret the “Zielhang” very well, only being 41 hundredths off the fastest time. The Russian, like Ryding, displayed his best performance of this season so far. He ranked 7th in the first run.
Italy’s victory hopes relied on Alex Vinatzer, which unfortunately scored zero points for the second time in a row. He straddled one of the gates but finished his run and was disqualified after the judges reviewed the footage.
Despite excellent conditions and perfect weather, many of the Top-30 struggled in the second run, with nearly a third of the field making major mistakes or failing to finish all together. The famed “Zielhang” in Adelboden, the steep last pitch of the course, was what ultimately made the difference for those sitting in the Top-10, with many making costly mistakes. The course set by Swede Ola Masdal brought more difficulties than the athletes thought.
Only Yule, Matt, Meillard, Straßer, Ryding and Schwarz managed to put together a competitive run, closely battling it out to earn one of the coveted Adelboden cowbells.
Marco Schwarz came out on top and won the first Slalom of his career, despite being on the podium in a Slalom race seven times. He now leads the standings by 16 points ahead of Straßer and has deserved to wear the red bib.
The anonymous race by Pinturault still secured him a 129-points lead in the Overall standings ahead of Kilde.
After hosting three races, the Adelboden weekend is in the books. The Audi FIS World Cup tour will continue in Kitzbühel at the “Streif”, the most coveted Downhill race of the season. The Wengen events were canceled due to an increased number of Covid-19 cases. The Slalom and Downhill that were planned to take place on the Lauberhorn will take place in Kitzbühel. Hopefully, we will be able to see some action in the characteristic Swiss town next year, where some of the most exciting and suspenseful events have been held.