An excerpt ofthe full interview held with Denise Karbon for Ready Set Sport
Denise Karbon, an Italian skiing legend, has spoken with Daphne Seberich for Ready Set Sport about her career, her most memorable success and her passion about skiing. The excerpt of the interview was featured on Episode 4 of the Fresh Air Podcast on February 25th, 2021.
The two-times Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne brought the first win of the season home at a highly-contended Rome E-Prix.
By Daphne Seberich
JEV is back! The two-times French Formula E champion with DS-Techeetah was back on the podium after two sub-par races held in Diryah in February.
The third round of the 2021 ABB FIA Formula E championship, held in Rome, Italy, was the first race after a six-week break from the sport. A new layout of the EUR-Circuit was the scenery of the European event.
Jaguar drivers Sam Bird and Mitch Evans drove brilliantly in the second half of the race, finishing off the podium positions of the first Rome E-Prix of the weekend.
After the qualifying session, Stoffel Vandoorne secured the Superpole position and the three extra points awarded towards the drivers’ championship standings.
Due to the less-than-ideal weather conditions, the race direction decided to kick off the race behind the safety car. As soon as the green flag was waved, which signaled the beginning of the competition, the battle for the leadership of the race began in a fiery way.
André Lotterer followed the superpolesitter Vandoorne closely. As soon as he saw an opportunity against the Silver Arrows driver, he dived into the apex, pushing the Belgian off-track. That caused a detrimental turn of events for the two top drivers, causing a collision and following an investigation of the race direction. German driver Lotterer was awarded a five-second penalty and a two-point deduction from his super license after the deliberation of the FIA.
Another driver who had to face the decisions of the FIA was Oliver Rowland. He was investigated for using more than the allowed 200kwh of power during the first minutes of the race. The FIA awarded a drive-through penalty to the British Nissan driver. Audi-Schäffler driver Lucas Di Grassi was served on a silver plate the lead of the race.
Jean-Eric Vergne, who was debuting the new DS-Techeetah powertrain, seemed to have incredible pace behind the Brazilian leader of the race. The battle to the top got fiery at every turn and straight between the two.
After his collision with Lotterer, Vandoorne had to completely start his race from zero. Although he lost many positions, the Belgian kept his head down and raced to the max. He managed to recover to the ninth position at the half-race mark. He was also awarded the Fanboost, which he then could deploy in strategic moments of the race.
The leader of the driver’s standing Nyck De Vries had the potential to make it to the podium position yet again, following the three top drivers closely from behind in fourth.
The real elephant in the room, although, was the obligation of use of the Attack Mode. The drivers can deploy this mode only by driving on a dedicated part of the track, which is not on the ideal racing line. Leader Di Grassi followed the smart strategy of keeping all the pack closely together so that his competitors following behind would lose as many positions as possible when deciding to use the Attack Mode.
Jean-Eric Vergne was the one who has suffered the most from this strategy, losing out on multiple positions from his original second. He then managed to recover all the way to the top, but Di Grassi and his brilliant strategy allowed him to dictate the course of the race.
The battle to the top was all between the DS-Techeetah driver Vergne and Audi-Schäffler racer Di Grassi. Back-to-back attack modes were deployed to combat fiercely with Nick De Vries in the mix. Meanwhile, Silver Arrow challenger Stoffel Vandoorne made it all the way to fifth place to reiterate a brilliant comeback performance from the disastrous way his race started.
With eight minutes left on the clock and one extra lap remaining, Jaguar racer Bird managed to overtake and dethrone the championship standings leader De Vries. Both drivers of the British team seemed to be driving at a different pace from the race leaders. Evans doubled down on the Dutchman bringing him all the way back down to fifth.
The battle between Di Grassi and Vergne was still highly the center point of the race. The Brazilian managed to recover the lead of the race after his second Attack Mode, but suddenly his challenger incurred a loss of power. Stoffel Vandoorne tried to avoid the slowing-down car but carambulared on the barriers, ending his winning chances and race prematurely.
Other Mercedes driver De Vries was involved in the incredibly dangerous crash as well and was forced to retire his car. Under Toto Wolff’s eyes, who came to watch the race as team owner, the Silver Arrows collected zero points towards the championships.
The thrilling race until that point had to, unfortunately, end under a regime of safety car, pronouncing Jean-Eric Vergne the winner of the first Rome E-Prix ahead of the two Jaguar drivers Sam Bird and Mitch Evans in second and third place.
One more race will take place in the Italian capital on Sunday. Who will come out on top?
Sebastian Foss-Solevaag went from maiden victory in Flachau to World Champion all in one month. The Norwegian’s chose the right moment to shine at Cortina’s Druscié slope.
By Daphne Seberich
All good things eventually come to an end. The Men’s Slalom event was the grand finale of theCortina D’Ampezzo 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The Italian scenery that hosted the biannual FIS Alpine World Ski Championships has been framed by unparalleled beauty and colored in by some of the most spectacular performances seen in ages, from both the favorites and the underdogs. But it will also be remembered for the two weeks in which the rule book was poured over and read by more people than in the history of the sport.
Knowing that the snow on the course was at its limit, FIS already announced the night before the race that instead of the Top-30 starting in reverse order for the second run, it would be limited to the Top-15. The move set up a dramatic first run as the racers aimed to be in the all-important and exclusive Top-15. It also set up a dramatic second run, with everyone within one second of each other in the fight for the gold medal.
Sebastian Foss-Solevaag caught the right opportunity to be in peak performance. The Norwegian scored his second-ever career win in Cortina, after his maiden win in Flachau one month ago.
“It’s a dream, two golds in Cortina. That’s incredible,” Foss-Solevaag said, “We had too many crashes, too many injuries,”. “With a small team, we have two gold medals, that’s very good.”
“It’s amazing to finish off like this,” Foss-Solevaag said, “I knew the two guys in front could also put it together, but I fought from the start to the bottom and I did it.”
Completing the podium was the surprise leader of the first run, Austrian Adrian Pertl in second place. Norwegian teammate Henrik Kristoffersen ended his leg in third. Austria had won five of the six slalom medals at the last two WSC’s, both times with retired standout Marcel Hirscher taking the gold. Pertl came close to continuing the streak.
Photo credits: DiscoveryAlps & Freenewstoday
With bib number one, Alexis Pinturault set the bar for the other competitors with a time of 52.65. Sebastian Foss-Solevaag, the second one to descend the Cortina slope, beat the Frenchman’s fastest time by 2 tenths of a second. The winner of the first Slalom of the season in Alta Badia, Ramon Zenhäusern, crossed the finish line with a 1.49 disadvantage over the provisional leader.
The winner of the latest slalom race in Chamonix, Henrik Kristoffersen, started well with a green intermediate in the first part of the track. Unfortunately, he couldn’t capitalize on the advantage he built and finished his run in second place. Chamonix race winner Clément Noël came close to dethroning Foss-Solevaag, but it wasn’t quite enough for the leadership of the race. He closed in second place.
On-off red bib wearer Manuel Feller had a disappointing performance. 1.62 seconds separated the Austrian and the provisional leader. Marco Schwarz, the favorite to take the gold medal in the race, set two green intermediates but crossed the finish line with 51 hundredths of a second delay. The biggest surprise was Adrian Pertl, who continuously increased his advantage over Foss-Solevaag. Incredulous, he managed to dethrone the leader of the race.
Youngster Loïc Meillard had high hopes for earning a medal but his run was cut short by missing a gate in the second half of the track. Victor Muffat-Jeandet straddled one of the gates, terminating all hopes for a positive result. Brit Dave Ryding was the third athlete in a row to end his attempt prematurely.
Zagreb Slalom winner Linus Straßer never attempted to tackle Pertl in first place. Crossing the line 1.71 seconds behind the leader still granted him the tenth position. Croatian ski star Filip Zubcic, who won a silver medal in the Parallel discipline in Cortina, crossed the finish line two seconds behind the leader.
The biggest surprise of the first run was Alex Vinatzer. After not scoring any points for five races in a row, the South Tyrolean blew it out of the park performing when it mattered. Throughout his run he managed to stay close to Pertl’s time, ending in second place.
Kristoffer Jakobsen’s run seemed to not be enough for a top position, building up his delay throughout his performance. Incredibly, he caught up his gap and crossed 18 hundredths of a second behind Pertl in fourth.
Stefano Gross was having the best run of his season, setting green intermediates section by section. Unfortunately, his outstanding performance didn’t convert into a good placement, as he straddled one of the gates. Maybe he could’ve taken over the leadership if he finalized his run.
Due to concerns regarding the high temperatures in Cortina, FIS decided to invert only the Top-15 instead of the regular 30. To start the second leg was Luke Winters, who unfortunately straddled a gate and DNF’d. The first to complete his run was Istok Rodes from Croatia, setting the bar for the other competitors. Mario Matt seemed to have a good rhythm for the course set by his trainer Marco Pfeiffer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to earn the provisional leadership.
Slovenian Stefan Hadalin set fastest the fastest time intermediate by intermediate but only crossed the finish line in second place. Daniel Yule did what he had to do and secured the provisional lead 14 hundredths of a second ahead of Rodes.
Shockingly, the favorite to take the win Marco Schwarz straddled a gate and ended his run in a DNF. His performance until that point was impressive, increasing his advantage over Yule intermediate by intermediate. Unfortunately, he couldn’t capitalize and earn a medal.
Alexis Pinturault seemed not to have what it takes to overcome the provisional leader, setting his time 28 hundredths behind Yule in third place. However, who managed to dethrone the provisional leader was Henrik Kristoffersen crossing the finish line 76 hundredths ahead of the Swiss.
Kristoffer Jakobsen, who was looking for the first career podium in Slalom, straddled a gate, cutting his run short. An unfortunate mishap. Sebastian Foss-Solevaag kept his 22 hundredths of a second advantage over Kristoffersen and even increased it in the second half of the track, crossing the finish line 46 hundredths of a second ahead of teammate Kristoffersen.
Italy held their breath for the time Alex Vinatzer skied. At every intermediate he had more insecurities, making little mistakes over and over. His times became red and worsened until he crossed the finish line 1.2 seconds behind Foss-Solevaag in third place.
The leader of the first leg Adrian Pertl was happy to score a silver medal, consolidating the podium with Foss-Solevaag winning gold and Kristoffersen bronze.
With the final Slalom race, the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships came to an end. Thanks to Pertl’s victory today, Austria came away as the most successful nation in the medal table with five gold medals, one silver and two bronze. The Swiss finished second in the medal hunt with three golds, one silver and five bronze medals. Now the World Cup returns to center stage with the next stop in Bansko (Bulgaria) this upcoming weekend.
The 23-year old Austrian dominated the race, serving over one second of advantage to second-placed Vlhova and two seconds to the favorite to take the title Shiffrin. An impressive accomplishment, considering that the Italian slope was very tricky to interpret and difficult from a technical standpoint.
Liensberger’s gold medal brought one of the most impressive medal streaks in World Championship history to an end. Mikaela Shiffrin was looking for a five-peat after winning the last four World Championship Slalom titles but had to be happy with bronze.
Nevertheless, Shiffrin was still the most successful woman at Cortina, winning four medals (one gold, one silver and two bronze). The American managed to be on the podium at every competition she competed in.
To kick it off, the Cortina Parallel gold medalist Katharina Liensberger set the fastest time of 48.48. With 30 hundredths of a second delay, Petra Vlhova secured second place, even after Canadian Laurence Saint-Germain crossed the finish line.
The favorite to win the race, Mikaela Shiffrin, had a troublesome first run, finishing 1.3 seconds behind Liensberger. The American superstar won every World Championships Slalom title since 2013, four titles in a row.
Second-ranked in the Overall standings of the FIS World Cup Michelle Gisin ended her run prematurely by straddling one of the gates. Swiss teammate Wendy Holdener dethroned Shiffrin from third-place by being 1.24 seconds off the fastest time.
Photo credits: Nevasport.com, Getty Images, The Guardian, World 24 News & Tio.ch
German Lena Dürr with bib number 10 managed to squeeze between Shiffrin in fourth and Mair in sixth to secure fifth place 1.96 seconds behind the provisional leader. Irene Curtoni, Elena Curtoni’s sister, struggled the whole way down the slope and crossed the finish line in 9th. After 15 racers, the tenth-placed athlete had over 2.48 seconds of delay. The impossible task for the second run was catching-up Wendy Holdener in third place to have a chance at a medal. Vlhova and Liensberger were just on another planet, having over 96 and 1.24 hundredths of advantage over the Swiss.
Italian Federica Brignone, unfortunately, didn’t perform well on home soil. She straddled a gate and ended her dream of winning in Cortina prematurely.
The surprises of the first run were Ana Bucik, placing fifth with bib number 20, and Asa Ando from Japan in eighth place, 1.97 seconds away from the fastest time. Camille Rast, who had her best career result in Flachau finishing in sixth place, impressed as well with bib 25. The Swiss youngster managed to squeeze between Buick and Dürr in sixth, 1.67 seconds behind Liensberger.
Photo credits: NewsBeezer, Kyodo News & World 24 News
The class 98’ athlete Elsa Fermbäck blew it out of the park with his run, taking over the leadership of the race. The best Italian athlete after the first run, Irene Curtoni, only managed to dethrone her teammate Peterlini from second place.
Slovenian Andreja Slokar, who qualified for the second run in 17th position, crossed the finish line with a 1.25-second advantage, taking over the lead of the race. Her impressive performance aided her to recover over twelve positions, beating athletes like Chiara Mair, Lena Dürr and Kristin Lysdahl. Even the surprise of the first run, Ana Bucik, was beaten by her teammate.
We expected Mikaela Shiffrin to go all-in, but she progressively lost her advantage over Slokar. She still managed to become the provisional leader with 69 hundredths of a second advantage over the Slovenian rookie. The American’s performance was enough to secure her a medal. Wendy Holdener, who placed third in the first run, lost all of her advantage, crossing the finish line in second place.
Slovakian superstar Petra Vlhova had a solid run, taking over the leadership with 98 hundredths of a second advantage over Shiffrin.
Katharina Liensberger proved that her performance in her first attempt wasn’t a fluke. Throughout her run, she continued to increase her lead over Vlhova. Crossing the line with a second of advantage, Liensberger earned Austria the first gold medal in the Women’s Slalom discipline since Marlies Schild (now Raich) in 2011. After over ten years of drought for the “Wunderteam”, Liensberger deservingly broke the taboo.
As the World Championships came to an end for the women, all eyes turn back to hunt for the World Cup overall title, which will resume a speed weekend in Val di Fassa.
Several questions surround the last part of the season. Can Lara Gut-Behrami maintain her momentum and go for the overall title? Will Vlhova find her second wind? How will Liensberger react to her new-found success? And what tricks does Shiffrin still have up her sleeve? These and many more questions will be answered in the last month of the season. Hold on for a wild ride.
Juventus annihilates the Blaugrana to earn the top spot of the Champions League Group G ranking, beating them 0:3 thanks to two penalty kicks scored by the one and only CR7. Never had an Italian team scored as many goals against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
By Daphne Seberich
What a stellar night it was for Juventus. The decisive Matchday 6 game was the last opportunity for the Bianconeri to secure the top spot of the Champions League Group G, allowing them to play in the round-of-16 with the 2nd best team ranked in the other groups. Juventus had a colossal task to be able to beat Lionel Messi and his team to 1st place. They needed to score at least three goals and have a two-goal difference to pass the group stage as leaders.
Barcelona was unbeaten in 38 UEFA Champions League home matches, a run that started in September 2013. On the 8th of December 2020, over seven years later, the winning streak came to an end, thanks to a historical team effort of the Italian club.
It was the night of the exes. Miralem Pjanić, who played four years for the Old Lady and was considered as one of the pillars of the team, was part of an exchange deal undergone by Barça and Juve last summer. The 30-year old Bosnian player got transferred to the Catalan team. Arthur, the young Brazilian prodigy, arrived in Turin to play for Juve.
That did not help the Spaniards to keep a united front against the Bianconeri. The Blaugrana struggled the whole match. Keeping up with the high pace of the game was not an easy task for the strained team. Their current performance in La Liga is not helping the morale of the team either.
Right from the get-go, the Old Lady set the pace, dominating the field. The Catalans were like puppets in the hands of the Juventini puppeteers.
Shivers came down the back for the Barça supporters in the 12th minute of the match.
CR7 was fowled in Barça’s penalty area, letting Tobias Stieler award a penalty to the Bianconeri. Cristiano Ronaldo’s talent and knowledge from the penalty mark allowed him to score what would be the first of three goals of the match.
Soon after, a perfect pass from Cuadrado turned into an assist for McKennie, who blasted the ball mid-air into the goal defended by German Ter Stegen. Juventus scored two goals in the first twenty minutes of the match, something that no one could have seen coming.
A first-half-last-minute scare was McKennie knocking down Messi in the Bianconeri’s penalty area, but the VAR demonstrated that the foul was an accident and not intentional. No penalty was awarded.
The second half of the match saw Barça fight back, but the Italians were just on another planet. McKennie, who in my opinion was the man-of-the-match, kicked a challenging ball towards Ter Stegen’s goal, which the German, by a miracle, managed to punch off the pitch. The VAR showed Lenglet touching the ball with his hand far off the sides of his body inside of his penalty area. Tobias Stieler decided to concede the second penalty of the match to the Juventini.
CR7 did not disappoint and scored the second penalty and final goal of the game. Juventus had earned the needed advantage to secure first place in the group ranking.
The legendary Italian goalkeeper Buffon, who replaced Szczęsny for this match, saved the Juventini from a potential goal at the 65th minute of the game, proving that he still is one of the greatest, even at age 42.
Bonucci managed to score a fourth goal for Juve, which unfortunately did not get validated due to Ronaldo’s offside. He had served the Italian defender the ball.
Juventus was playing their best football of this season. The team looked united, supporting each other and fighting for every ball, no matter which position the players were supposed to be playing. Even CR7 gave it a go sweeping the ball off Messi in his penalty area during the second half of the match.
FC Barcelona is in big trouble. Potentially, they could draw a top-ranked team that could cut their Champions League path short, letting them miss out on a substantial amount of money, of which they are in desperate need.
Now, we can only wait until the 14th of December to find out against which team Juve will play in the round-of-16. Fact is, they will have an easier task than the Spanish rivals to make it to the quarterfinal stage of the 2020/2021 Champions League.