APA. One has just released her 31st World Cup slalom celebrated, the other ran as a third party for the first time in her career on the podium. Closely monitored by Mikaela Shiffrin Marlies Schild in the slalom World Cup hurries from victory to victory. For the 16-year-old U.S. citizen, the third place in Lienz is hard to believe, as well as to have received congratulations from her idol.
"It's a dream come true to stand on the podium with Marlies. She congratulated me. I could not believe it," said the young athlete from Vail. Shiffrin has been made as a Stay at Aspen's attention. The management of the former racer Kilian Albrecht oversaw U.S. slalom champion is a mega talent that is of course the competition has not escaped. "I got home from Aspen viewed the video. She drives very good skier, very centered, a bit of what I see of me, of my technique," said Shield. And Shiffrin said it raised: "Yes, that's true I have studied many times, I try to imitate that, it's a great compliment that they say will drive the perfect..."
Shield sees great potential in Shiffrin. "Playing it safe, they must be careful in the coming years. It has for ages been the strength that you need to do a good technique. She makes a very strong impression. It's good." Says the lady, with her glossy services gives up the competition puzzles. Shield for the first time now has won four races in a row. "Steff has said that with this curse, it is now well past time. Normally I am always located at the fourth race on the nose," said Schild, who trains for many years with Stefan Buergler.
Sign in Lienz has resorted to a new ski. But not because of those who has worn to the victories in Aspen, Courchevel and Flachau, would be broken. "I want him only preserve it a bit," said Schild, who begrudge even after a day of practice on Friday in Lienz just a day off before it goes into the preparation of Zagreb. My only wish for the new year is health for themselves and the people around them. And it mentioned that they part with now 33 World Cup victories, only two of the 35 of her partner Benjamin Raich, she said: "I hope he is in the new year have a few wins, so it is harder for me to beat him . "
Spell broken with a double victory: Défago 26 years after Zurbriggen
Si. How to Speed-opener at Lake Louise (Ka), as Didier Cuche won before Beat Feuz, the Swiss managed well in the downhill in Bormio (ITA) a double victory. And: The spell is broken - it is the first Swiss victory since the world championship gold of Pirmin Zurbriggen in 1985 at all on this track and the first Swiss victory in the World Cup downhill on the Pista Stelvio!
Défago Olympic downhill gold medalist who is in his 15 months in training suffered cruciate ligament tear in his comeback season, dissociated with a fantastic ride his teammates Glarus Küng by 0.29 seconds. For the 30-year-old Welsh wars of his "double whammy" in January 2009 in the classics in Wengen and Kitzbuehel downhill, the third victory in the World Cup. Overall, it's for Défago, whose Palmarès presents extremely high-caliber, the fourth triumph at the highest level.
"I am very, very happy with my performance. The journey has fit very well," said the winner after the race. Défago, through its coup and that the Swiss in Bormio in the 21 Start could finally celebrate their first victory in the World Cup. Only at the world championships in 1985, when Pirmin Zurbriggen won downhill gold, had been on the Stelvio piste can enforce a Swiss.
As Défago - in December 2009 in Bormio ever finished second (behind the Slovenian Andrej Jerman) - with the number 11 came to the finish, lit up the scoreboard, the "1". The 34-year-old Welsh had started before the time of his driver like a second and more undercut. "With every race, it went better this winter. I hope it stays that way. I thank all who have supported me in my comeback," Défago thought the success not only for themselves, for it is already clear that for the rest of the season everything becomes a "bonus" is.
Was the Olympic downhill gold medalist at the next Patrick Kung, who succeeded his best career result. "I could not act on what I had planned. I would have liked to win. But this second place on this difficult road, I am happy," said the 27-year-old Glarus. Kung confirmed its training services from the previous days, as he was always been the best Swiss. His first single podium finish in March 2010 he had won in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (3rd place). Before Christmas in Val Gardena Kung was at the time of the (controversial) termination due to the weather also was third. Besides Défago completed and Kung (0.42 seconds back) of the Austrian Klaus Kroell in Bormio the podium.
Third best year for Swiss Didier Cuche was. The 37-year-old Neuchâtel, 2006 in Bormio, who had missed the win by only one hundredth, was at 1.16 seconds behind eighth. Next comes not up to speed and Silvan Zurbriggen (15). The distance from Bormio last year lost nearly two seconds on his colleagues Défago Valais canton. Zurbriggen could have never been better this season than in the 14 Classify rank. It was World Cup points in Bormio also for Marc Gisin (19), Ambrosi Hoffmann (24) and Vitus Lüönd (25).
Must check off as quickly as possible, however Beat Feuz his debut on the Stelvio piste, which is among the toughest in the World Cup. The 24-year-old Swiss cheese, the second after the Locations in Lake Louise and Beaver Creek as a leader of the downhill World Cup in Italy had traveled canted, after a few seconds after driving a jump and fell. Luckily remained unhurt Feuz.
Bormio (ITA). World Cup downhill (as after 40 riders): 1 Didier Defago (SUI) 2:01,81. Second Patrick Kung (Swi) 0.29 back. Third Klaus Kroell (Aut) 0.42. 4th Erik Guay (Ka) 0.64. 5th Bode Miller (USA) 0.78. 6th Aksel Lund Svindal (No) 0.93. 7th Johan Clarey (Fri) 1.04. 8th Didier Cuche (Swi) 1.16. 9th Hannes Reichelt (Aut), Dominik Paris (It) 1.23. Also: 15 Silvan Zurbriggen (Swi) 1.81. 19th Marc Gisin (Swi) 2.22. 24th Ambrosi Hoffmann (SUI) 2.55. 25th Vitus Lüönd (Swi) 2.56. - Eliminated: including Beat Feuz (Swi), Christof Innerhofer (ITA), Robbie Dixon (Ka).
Posted: Dec 29, 2011 - 11:06 PM GMT
Edited: Dec 29, 2011 - 11:32 PM GMT
The following letter has been sent to FIS officials and others suggesting that the scientific logic behind the changing of ski
regulations for safety reasons is flawed. It was sent by David Dodge and contains considerable research. Ski Racing urges all concerned to read it.
FIS President – Gian Franco Kasper
SRS President – Michael Schineis
FIS Alpine Executive Board - Bernhard Russi(SUI), Janez Flere(FIS), Niklas Carlsson(SWE), Herwig Demschar(USA), Reno Fleiss(CRO), Janka Gantnerova(SVK), Janne Leskinnen(FIN), Svein Mundal(NOR), Hans Pum(AUT), Ken Read(CAN), Fabien Saguez(FRA), Reinhard Schmalzl(ITA), Walter Vogel(GER), Toni Vogrinec(SLO)
FIS Legal and Safety Committee - Jose Luis Marco (ARG), Christopher Moore(CAN), Tsvetan Atanasov(BUL), Frits Avis(NED), Sortiris Babatzimopoulos(GRE), Marco Cozzi(ITA), Marco De Robles(SPA), Dean Gosper(AUS), David Howden(NZL), Klara Kaszo(HUN), Jerker Lofgren(SWE), Fransois-Kavier Manteaus(FRA), N.N(ISR), Alex Natt(USA), Naralia Ovchinnikova(RUS), Corinne Schmidhauser(SUI), Franz Steinle(GER), Robert Wallner(AUT), Sean Wilken(GBR), Katarina Zajc (SLO)
CC: Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center - Tone Bere, Tonje Wale Florenes, Trone Krosshaug, Lars Nordsletten, Roald Bahr; University of Salzburg - Erich Muller
The intention of this letter is to bring to the attention of the FIS that a large body of scientific evidence is at odds with the conclusions underlying the 2012-13 equipment regulations and that the studies used to develop the new 2012-13 equipment regulations do not constitute scientific proof.
The new skis were “scientifically proven to enhance athlete safety and reduce risk of injury,” F.I.S. said in a statement. “The meeting participants jointly agreed that the goal of the entire equipment review process is to only implement new rules that are scientifically proven to enhance athlete safety and reduce risk of injury” says an August 24th 2011 FIS press release. The studies referenced as “proof” were well conducted, the conclusions are disputable but not unreasonable and they are an important addition to the scientific body of evidence. However, the science as it exists now is not settled and the studies the FIS used to draw their conclusions certainly do not amount to proof.
I feel it is very probable that the unintended consequences of the FIS decisions will cause more injuries than will be prevented. I feel the FIS should reconsider their actions and take a slower more careful approach to equipment change that does not unnecessarily put at risk the health and safety of thousands of athletes.
The new skis might be safer, but I believe it much more likely they will be more dangerous. It can not be proven one way or the other, but the FIS decision forces thousands of athletes to accept this unknown risk to their health and safety in order to participate in their beloved sport. The ski industry will spend ten’s of millions of dollars developing and producing the new skis. If the FIS’s bet that the skis will be safer is wrong the liability is huge. Can the FIS survive if the new equipment decisions turn out to be wrong? The FIS can not say they were not warned.
I believe that increasing the length and increasing the sidecut radius for competition GS skis from the current 185cm minimum length and 27m minimum sidecut radius to 195cm minimum length and 35m minimum sidecut radius will have the following effects:
Non-linear control response – unstable leg geometry.
Higher probability of Phantom Foot ACL injury.
Non-linear control response
The Salzburg study shows that loads on the skier are reduced on longer, larger sidecut skis compared to the current 185cm, 27m sidecut skis. Their tests assume the load reduction is due to the ski differences but I believe it is more likely due to the fact that the comparison was made between a ski that was very familiar to the testers and several that were unfamiliar. I argue that the testers would have generated lower loads on any ski they were not familiar with and the ski design differences did not play a significant roll in reducing the measured loads. Athletes will find ways to use 100% of their strength no matter the equipment. This is what athletes do.
The geometric relationship between sidecut radius, edge angle and turning radius is well known to all ski designers. The theory shows that a 35m ski will have the same turning radius as a 27m ski if the ski is tipped on edge approximately 7 degrees more in a typical WC GS turn. The edge angle must be increased relative to the skiers COM (center of mass). In other words to ski the same line at the same speed the skier‘s COM must be in the same place, but the ski must be edged 7 degrees more. Thus more knee angulation. Athletes will discover that more knee angulation will allow them to ski the same line at the same speed as they are accustomed to skiing on their 27m sidecut skis vs. 35m sidecut skis. More knee angulation will cause an unstable leg geometry leading to uncontrollable, non-linear, generation of loads.
A typical WC GS skier on current skis will angulate in such a way that a line from the inside edge of their outside ski through the center of their knee will fall slightly outside their COM. This leg geometry is stable as a sudden increase in load will cause the edge angle to be reduced and the load to be reduced during the abrupt transition giving the athlete time to react appropriately.
The line from the ski edge through the knee of a skier using 7 degrees more knee angulation will fall well inside of the COM. This leg geometry is unstable as a sudden increase in load will cause an increase in the edge angle as the knee collapses inward leading to additional loading, leading to additional knee angulation, more loading, and so on until the skier can react. By the time the skier reacts this load generation can cause serious injury and/or loss of control. This is a non-linear reaction to natural control input and is to be avoided at all costs. Aggravating this problem is the likelihood that more knee angulation will make it more difficult for the inside ski to track parallel with the outside ski since adding more knee angulation on the inside leg is very difficult. This may encourage the skier to transfer weight from the inside ski to outside ski thus increasing the load on the now more vulnerable outside knee.
A supporting fact is that many of the best WC skiers choose skis with larger sidecut radii than the allowed minimum 27m and 23m for men and women respectively. For example Ted Ligety and Lindsey Vonn use 29m and 27m sidecut radii, respectively. It is reasonable to assume that Ted and Lindsey prefer these skis because they encourage postures that are stable, strong and safe. A less accomplished or weaker skier would need more sidecut to achieve the same postures. Too much sidecut for the skier’s ability and strength causes the line of force to fall too far outside the COM. Too little sidecut for the skier’s ability and strength cause the line of force to fall too far inside the COM. Both are undesirable, especially the latter.
The well known geometric relationship between sidecut radius, edge angle and turning radius shows that a 35m ski will fit the FIS description of a ski that is “too aggressive”. Of course it would take some training time on these 35m skis for the athletes to learn that they can ski faster using more knee angulation so it is unlikely to show up in short term tests.
Skiers should be allowed and encouraged to choose skis with sidecut radii that promote the most stable, strongest and safest postures. Coaching guides should be developed to help athletes achieve better postures through a better understanding of the relationship between ski design variables and skier postures.
The geometric relationships described above are well known and understood. The implications can not be responsibly dismissed or ignored.
Higher probability of Phantom Foot ACL injury
The Slip-Catch injury mechanism is identified in the Oslo3 study as the predominant cause of knee injuries on World Cup athletes. It is in my opinion a combination of the well known Phantom Foot and BIAD mechanisms. A review of the video and pictures included with the Oslo studies show a loss of edge grip on the downhill (outside) ski followed by a transfer of weight to the inside (uphill) ski. Prior to the loss of grip the skier’s center of mass (COM) was balanced between the skier’s feet. The sudden loss of grip on the outside ski caused an out-of-balance situation with the center of pressure suddenly moving uphill and forward causing the skier to start falling downhill and backwards. This backward rotation combined with the downhill rotation produces a precessional rotation on the third vertical axis that rotates the skiers mass away from the hill. Of course all these rotations are undesirable and the skier responds by retracting his uphill ski to reduce the forces throwing him out of balance. This allows the downhill ski to reengage. In order to arrest the unwanted rotations the skier naturally pressures the tail of the ski to correct the backwards and downhill rotation, but this creates an uphill rotation acting against the precessional downhill rotation of the skier’s COM (Center of Mass) causing the skier’s upper body to twist downhill, producing an internal-valgus rotation of the knee joint.
The skier is now in a position universally recognized as the final stage before a Phantom Foot ACL rupture except that his leg is relatively straight. Please note the ski sidecut had nothing to do with this scenario. All that is needed is a specific set of out of balance rotations and a lever extending backwards from the foot.
If the ski has less grip in the tail the skier will continue to fall backwards; the ski will skid and continue to rotate uphill due to the slope of the snow surface relative to the skier’s COM. If the skier fights these rotations with sufficient vigor he will most probably rupture the ACL on the downhill knee in a classic Phantom Foot posture. If he gives up the recovery attempt, pulls his body into a safer posture and lets the fall progress naturally he will almost certainly avoid an ACL injury. No WC racer is likely to do this without extensive training on how to avoid the Phantom Foot trap. Ettlinger et al5 have shown that such training can dramatically reduce the likelihood of Phantom Foot ACL injuries.
If the ski has aggressive grip in the tail the skier may be able to reverse the backward and downhill fall, re-center his for-aft balance, quickly enough that he is able to reengage the uphill ski in a way that arrests the downhill rotation without resorting to twisting his upper body in a way that applies the injury producing valgus-internal rotation of the downhill knee.
Supporting the above analysis is a large (34 year, 6,780,940 skier day) epidemiological injury study by Ettlinger et al4 showing that the knee injury rate has increased steadily from 1972 until approximately 1992-1993 unabated by all the equipment developments during that time period. Since 1992-1993 the trend has reversed. Shorter, shaped skis became popular in the 1992 -1993 time frame. Superior edge grip at the tail, stronger self steering effect and the shorter length are the differentiating features of these skis compared to the older skis they replaced. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that one or more of these features lead to the reduced knee injury rate.
It is clear that a less aggressive ski will reduce the forces that appear to contribute directly to the injury in the Slip-Catch scenario. However a less aggressive ski limits the skier’s ability to arrest the rotations that lead to Phantom Foot type injuries.
Equipment related solutions to the above scenarios are not very well understood, but my opinion that a longer ski with less sidecut will increase Phantom Foot injuries is reasonable. The implications can not be responsibly dismissed or ignored without further investigations.
I believe the FIS is recklessly endangering thousands of athletes participating in their sanctioned events by irresponsibly ignoring or dismissing large bodies of scientific evidence, the opinions of many experts and the gut instincts of the vast majority of coaches and athletes. I believe that the FIS is forcing the industry to spend ten’s of millions of dollars to develop and manufacture skis that may turn out to be too dangerous to use.
There are legal and moral consequences to the new equipment rules. The rushed imposition of the new rules should be carefully reconsidered.
David J. Dodge, BSME
1. Bere, Mechanism of ACL Injury in Skiers: Letter to the Editor, The American Journal of Sports Medicine
2. FIS ISS 2006-2011 SAFETY IN ALPINE SKI RACING
3. Bere, Mechanisms of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury in World Cup Alpine Skiing, The American Journal of Sports Medicine
4. Ettlinger CF, Johnson RJ, Shealy JE, The Prevention of Knee and Lower Leg Injuries Among Elite Alpine Skiers and Competitors.
5. Ettlinger CF, Johnson RJ, Shealy JE. A method to help reduce the risk of serious knee sprains incurred in alpine skiing. Am J Sports Med.
A discussion of biased assumptions.The quotes below represent some of the assumptions that are the foundation on which FIS built its “proof” that the new equipment rules will reduce injuries.
“In this out-of-balance position, it is reasonable to believe that carving skis may catch the edge more easily than older skis”.1
“Problems with current equipment in terms of safety according to expert opinions:
Equipment is too aggressive
Equipment is too direct in force transmission
Equipment has too strong self steering behavior
Equipment is difficult to control
Equipment is difficult to get from the edge
Equipment allows too high edge angles”.2
“This loading pattern is related to the carving ski’s self-steering effect”.3
“With aggressively carving skis and aggressive snow conditions, large forces are generated when the inside edge catches the snow surface”. 3
A set of less biased assumptions could be:
Without edge grip control is impossible – more control is good.
Without a self-steering effect control is impossible – more control is better.
Athletes will use the tail of the ski whether the ski has a large radius or a short radius - without a tail balance is impossible.
The athlete will find ways to use 100% of their strength to prevent a fall – this is what athletes do.
A predictable ski is a safe ski – the skier has control of all forces.
A more reasonable set of conclusions might be:
Safer skis should discourage skiers from taking body positions known to lead to injury.
Safer skis should have linear responses to control inputs
Aggressive skis = Skis that are too sensitive and/or have non-linear responses to control inputs.
Ivica Kostelic home favorite in the slalom in Zagreb
APA. Zagreb is traditionally the beginning of a close succession of World Cup slaloms, wait there in January to the Alpine ski men still Adelboden, Wengen, Kitzbuhel and Schladming. The mere thought of it does get the adrenaline with Marcel Hirsch and his colleagues. On his home mountain is on Thursday (14.30) Beaver Creek and Flachau winner Ivica Kostelic of overwhelming favorites.
With the exception of Benjamin Raich, who coached in Jerzens and Reiteralm had ÖSV slalom coach Michael Pircher all his stake in Gaal artists gathered at Knittelfeld. The decision to hold a workout for the first time in the small ski area, he has not looked back. "For training, it is huge. Here we have his peace and we all freedoms. It is a great snow ski as a foundation. Because it has rained in the night on Monday a lot, we have purely with salt. So we had similar conditions as in Zagreb will be, "Pircher said in an interview with the APA.
Not only for Zagreb, but for the whole of January, the expectations are in red, white and red, of course, high camp. With third place in Beaver Creek and the victory in Alta Badia is currently Marcel Hirscher the top runners, he retired in Flachau.
Manfred Pranger with two ninth and a fifth place is currently number two on the team. The material change has brought about positive things. "I am convinced he will prepare us sooner or later joy," said Pircher. Just as Mario Matt, who came to the ranks 9 and 18. "He has the training services offered brutally strong, confident as he goes." Problem child Reinfried Herbst (11, 25) got his shoe problem only partially under control. But now you've told Pircher, found something suitable, which functioned in certain circumstances and certain temperatures. "There has to fit together but everything to all land to the front."
rain, snow, rain - and now comes the storm. But Adelboden-race director Hans piers stand like a rock in the surf uncomfortable.
"We have enough snow on the giant slalom Saturday for a good weather," reports the piers from Adelboden. And that's it for now even with the good news. The less good: The track is soft because of the constant plus degrees, not to be compared with the earlier ice rinks at Chuenisbärgli. On 30 December has given the track 40 centimeters of fresh snow. On New Year's Eve, it had everything weggeregnet again. And on Tuesday evening it was warm at 22 degrees on the clock, six mountain. And again came the rain. And is now also announced on Thursday storm. "It all comes to us not," official reports double piers, not only is the race director, but also the race director. "But," he pushes it away, "as fast as we give up here, does not, on Saturday there will be a race." When, on Wednesday the rain to snow went, came armed forces and civil defense are used to this about ten inches again to move from the slopes. But if there is a return to the more Chlapf with 40 centimeters, the problem is perfect. Because that's too much to admit to manhood can, but the slope is too soft to plants with the machine. "That would do damage," the experienced white piers.
The athletes will arrive on Friday, from home or from Zagreb. The so-called slope down will not do it either way (why there is this at all yet).
Bad Kleinkirchheim (AUT) Discipline Downhill
Date 05.01.2012 Category Training
Race codex 5124 Gender L
Valid for FIS Points NO TD Name Berthod Martin (SUI)
Download PDF Files
OFFICIAL RESULTS - FIRST TRAINING
Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time
1 13 55947 FENNINGER Anna 1989 AUT 1:51.27
2 48 495318 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina 1981 SPA 1:51.36
3 2 425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth 1991 NOR 1:51.46
4 19 565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO 1:51.60
5 27 55766 MADER Regina 1985 AUT 1:52.12
6 28 195983 ROLLAND Marion 1982 FRA 1:52.25
6 17 515747 GISIN Dominique 1985 SUI 1:52.25
8 4 515573 AUFDENBLATTEN Fraenzi 1981 SUI 1:52.31
9 7 55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea 1985 AUT 1:52.38
10 6 296472 FANCHINI Elena 1985 ITA 1:52.48
11 15 537544 VONN Lindsey 1984 USA 1:52.60
12 21 205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria 1989 GER 1:52.65
13 3 296427 SCHNARF Johanna 1984 ITA 1:52.70
14 12 537582 COOK Stacey 1984 USA 1:52.78
15 18 55576 GOERGL Elisabeth 1981 AUT 1:52.92
16 20 515766 SUTER Fabienne 1985 SUI 1:53.16
17 31 55838 ZETTEL Kathrin 1986 AUT 1:53.20
18 22 516138 GUT Lara 1991 SUI 1:53.22
19 1 295533 RECCHIA Lucia 1980 ITA 1:53.32
20 8 196460 MARCHAND-ARVIER Marie 1985 FRA 1:53.34
21 66 55818 KOEHLE Stefanie 1986 AUT 1:53.39
22 9 296008 MERIGHETTI Daniela 1981 ITA 1:53.60
23 43 297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca 1990 ITA 1:54.05
24 61 55690 HOSP Nicole 1983 AUT 1:54.24
25 16 505483 PAERSON Anja 1981 SWE 1:54.44
26 29 538685 MCKENNIS Alice 1989 USA 1:54.51
26 5 355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE 1:54.51
28 49 297910 CURTONI Elena 1991 ITA 1:54.53
29 25 538305 SMITH Leanne 1987 USA 1:54.69
30 57 206367 HRONEK Veronique 1991 GER 1:54.90
31 26 196573 REVILLET Aurelie 1986 FRA 1:55.01
32 37 297134 BORSOTTI Camilla 1988 ITA 1:55.04
33 50 298084 AGERER Lisa Magdalena 1991 ITA 1:55.25
34 39 515560 SCHILD Martina 1981 SUI 1:55.49
35 64 297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA 1:55.53
36 34 565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO 1:55.63
37 40 538038 MARSHALL Chelsea 1986 USA 1:56.00
38 11 296431 STUFFER Verena 1984 ITA 1:56.16
39 55 535585 STAPLES Kiley 1989 USA 1:56.22
40 44 516145 KUENG Mirena 1988 SUI 1:56.25
41 10 537545 MANCUSO Julia 1984 USA 1:56.28
42 35 55970 SCHMIDHOFER Nicole 1989 AUT 1:56.31
43 53 375018 COLETTI Alexandra 1983 MON 1:56.33
44 59 197006 GAUTHIER Marine 1990 FRA 1:56.41
45 24 565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO 1:56.42
46 38 55806 ALTACHER Margret 1986 AUT 1:56.51
47 36 196968 BAILET Margot 1990 FRA 1:56.72
48 32 55913 MOSER Stefanie 1988 AUT 1:56.92
49 54 197295 PIOT Jennifer 1992 FRA 1:57.04
50 62 298323 GOGGIA Sofia 1992 ITA 1:57.05
51 30 55978 VOGLREITER Mariella 1989 AUT 1:57.08
52 41 55882 STAUDINGER Christina 1987 AUT 1:57.24
53 33 56059 DEPAULI Jessica 1991 AUT 1:57.26
54 51 297153 CIPRIANI Enrica 1988 ITA 1:57.66
55 42 55922 TIPOTSCH Nina 1988 AUT 1:57.67
56 63 538975 WALES Brooke 1990 USA 1:57.68
57 65 425929 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild 1992 NOR 1:58.21
58 45 538855 FORD Julia 1990 USA 1:58.90
59 52 155563 KRIZOVA Klara 1989 CZE 1:59.00
60 71 565333 BRODNIK Vanja 1989 SLO 2:01.14
61 69 35079 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen 1982 ARG 2:01.46
62 68 35089 SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena 1984 ARG 2:01.57
63 60 196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA 2:01.75
64 67 245066 MIKLOS Edit 1988 HUN 2:01.78
65 58 565369 KOBAL Ana 1991 SLO 2:02.05
66 70 565400 HORVAT Katja 1993 SLO 2:03.30
67 23 538573 ROSS Laurenne 1988 USA 2:06.94
68 56 197329 MARCHAND Aurelie 1992 FRA 2:19.25
69 47 196812 PELLISSIER Marion 1988 FRA 9:32.69
Did not finish 1st run
46 56128 HUETTER Cornelia 1992 AUT
14 206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria 1984 GER
Fenninger fastest in first DH training in Bad Kleinkirchheim
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Thursday 5 January 2012
photo by SF
BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM, Austria – It’s been five years since the women’s World Cup tour last stopped in Bad Kleinkirchheim in the Carinthian region of Austria, and not many of the athletes competing in the downhill and super G this weekend were racing then. So for most of the field, Thursday’s first downhill training run was the first sample of the slope and the consensus among them is that the course has everything – besides jumps – to keep them on their toes.
Austria’s Anna Fenninger, who wrapped up 2011 with her first World Cup victory in the Lienz giant slalom last week, posted the fastest time in Thursday’s training, 1 minute, 51.27 seconds.
“It’s a big challenge,” said Fenninger, adding that unlike a large handful of the 71 starters in Thursday’s training, she made all of the gates. “The first section is really turny – it’s hard to turn the skis – people had problems with the second gate. Maybe it’s too turny. The light was also not good today, but we have our training run so now we can race.”
Indeed, the training run, moved to 10:30 in the morning because of snow forecasted for later in the day, took place in flat light and a considerable amount of wind at the top of the course.
Wearing bib No. 48, Spain’s Carolina Ruiz Castillo finished just 0.09 seconds behind Fenninger and young Norwegian Lotte Smiseth Sejersted, the second racer down the course, was the third fastest, 0.19 seconds behind the lead time, but exclaimed upon entering the finish area that she missed the second gate.
Reigning downhill and super G World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn, who has won all four speed events so far this season (two downhill races and one super G in Lake Louise and the super G in Beaver Creek, which was the most recent but still an entire month ago), was 11th in training, 1.33 seconds off the pace.
“I was a little conservative, taking a little bit of wider line than I should have to get back in the feeling of downhill. I haven’t skied downhill since Lake Louise, so it’s been a while,” said Vonn, who came to Bad Kleinkirchheim immediately after her ninth-place slalom finish in Zagreb but isn’t feeling at her optimum due to a stomach virus. “All in all, it was a good run.”
Vonn is one of the few racing this weekend who competed here in 2006, when her best result was a ninth place in the downhill won by Anja Paerson.
Paerson, who is only competing in speed events this season save a handful of giant slalom events, has not raced since last month in Beaver Creek. She was 25th in training on Thursday.
“It was a bit smoother last time we were here, it might have been a little slower, too, but I don’t remember that much,” Paerson said. “Aside from that, it’s difficult in the bottom as always. The first and second gates are impossible at the top. You have to have a really good physical form at the bottom. It’s pretty tough on the legs here.”
Another training run is scheduled for Friday and racing kicks off Saturday with downhill at 11:45 local time and the super G is scheduled for Sunday at the same time. The downhill course at Bad Kleinkirchheim starts at an elevation (at a point called “Klammerstich” after local hero Franz Klammer) of 1840 meters and finishes at 1062 with a vertical drop of 778 meters while the super G begins at 1519 with a 457-meter drop.
Go here for full results of Thursday’s training run.
Go here for a video of Fenninger and Vonn describing the Bad Kleinkirchheim course.
By Shauna Farnellemail@example.com
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Commentaire par Voice of Reason
Jeudi 5 janvier 2012 18:07
I noticed that they are not running the full DH course which is 3,150 meters and instead are running 2,850 and when they last raced this course in 2006 there were 34 gates in the course compared to 43 now. . . don't know, seems like they're putting a lot more gates now in the DH courses, I guess to cut down speed, but I think they might be making it even more dangerous because it's so turny with all those high speeds.
Si. Marcel Hirscher wins World Cup slalom in Zagreb before Felix Neureuther and Local hero Ivica Kostelic.
Junior world champion Reto Schmidiger succeeded in difficult conditions, a very good performance. The Hergiswil expiated 3.38 seconds on a well-Marcel Hirscher and reached the 19th Place the fourth-best World Cup result of his career.
The two Swiss veterans could pack up their belongings after the first run. Markus Vogel was disqualified after a heavy Innenskifehler shortly after launch. Marc Berthod retired for the fourth time in succession in a World Cup race. The 23-year-old C squad riders Marco Tumler from Samnaun debuted with a 53rd Rank in the World Cup.
The runway at Sljeme presented himself as a soggy, white ribbon in green-brown landscape. Accordingly, a low starting number was important. With the Austrian Marcel Hirscher, the Swede Andre Myhrer, the Croat Ivica Kostelic and the German Felix Neureuther occupied after the first run, the rider with the numbers 1 to 4 analogous to the boot sequence, the first four places.
In the second run, which degenerated to a rodeo at the end of furrows deep, Hirscher kept his nerve. The 22-year-old Salzburg prevailed in 0.29 seconds and 0.36 seconds ahead of Kostelic Neureuther. Myhrer was made after a big mistake on the 5th Spot back.
Hirscher celebrates the sixth World Cup victory of his career, the third this winter to Beaver Creek (giant slalom) and Alta Badia (slalom). He solved it Aksel Lund Svindal from a Leader in the overall World Cup. Kostelic, meanwhile, continue to wait for the coveted win at home. He stood on the mountain in Zagreb fifth attempt for the fourth time on the podium.
Second DH training in Bad Kleinkirchheim (AUT) canceled due to strong wind
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Friday 6 January 2012
BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM, Austria – The wind was howling through the mountains of the Carinthia region of Austria long before the sun came up Friday morning and as it continued throughout the day, officials canceled the second downhill training run of the Bad Kleinkirchheim World Cup event.
The downhill race is scheduled for 11:45 Saturday morning and the super G is set for 11:45 Sunday morning. The forecast is calling for light snow both days.
Austrian Anna Fenninger had the fastest time in Thursday’s first training. See details, including a video of Fenninger and Lindsey Vonn describing the challenging course here.
Last season’s World Cup overall winner, Maria Hoefl-Riesch, left the finish area immediately after Thursday’s training to go to the clinic, where she was diagnosed with a fever and flu and told she should not compete in this weekend’s races.
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Commentaire par Old Timer
Vendredi 6 janvier 2012 17:23
NOW have they adjusted the first 2 treacherous gates???
Commentaire par Sigmund
Vendredi 6 janvier 2012 17:37
It doesn't seem so, Old Timer. The wind is blowing even stronger now and snow isn't going anywhere. We'll see, I hope for the best!
Commentaire par atomic-fan
Vendredi 6 janvier 2012 17:52
@old-Timer : The reason for the course setting of those gates at the start is that it would get too fast into the next gates on the course.
One thing people always complained this year that FIS should not change the skis but should think about the course setting - now they take care on that AND again people are complaining. Looks like no matter what FIS is doing there are always mourners .......
I think it`s a good thing to reduce the speed at the start a little bit.
Commentaire par Renard
Vendredi 6 janvier 2012 18:42
@Atomic-fan, I fully agree, it seems that no matter what FIS is doing, it's always wrong. But I know that these organizations, just like politicians et al., are great punching balls for those sitting on the sidelines.
On the other hand, the athletes asked very politely if anything could be changed.Maybe they could adjust the course setting just a little bit?
THE CLASSICS BEGIN WITH ADELBODEN!
FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012 AT 04:46PM
ZAGREB MEN AND BAD KLEINKIRCHHEIM FOR THE WOMEN, ADELBODEN TOO!
The Men’s slalom in Zagreb was marred by very warm temperatures and soft snow conditions. That was confirmed when you saw the first 10 starters finish in start-order. Ted had himself a great first run to put him in the hunt, but struggled on run 2 and fell back to 14th. I still get the feeling that Ted will crack into the top 15 in slalom soon. I think if he can ski within himself in Adelboden and Wengen he will start to creep up the WCSL by the time Schladming rolls around. He is close to getting it done. In the end, the Snow King was Hirscher. He had the start number to take a lead (#1) and executed. That is not always an easy thing, especially when it is expected. He got it done, took the strong lead and was able to hang on in some very difficult conditions after Felix put some serious pressure on him. It was a very solid professional and winning performance.
THE RACE FOR THE OVERALL
Hirscher went into the lead in the overall, which tells me that this race is wide open until the end of the year. There might be as many as 7 guys in the race, at least 6 at this point. Hirscher, Svindal, Ligety, Kostelic, Feuz and Miller are your top 6 right now and they all have deficiencies that need to be overcome to win the overall. Hirscher has no speed points in the offing. Svindal’s slalom has gone away and his GS has only been ok so far. But staying on Aksel for a minute, I think he seems to be the favorite because he has been below his career average in GS and DH so far and I think those disciplines will improve with Adelboden coming up and the classic DH races this month and next. Ted will need to get more consistently fast in slalom and improve his start number in that discipline while keeping his GS sharp. He will also need to tack a few points on in SG, I think. But I really do think he is on the brink of a breakthrough in slalom and a few hundred slalom points could go a long way toward the overall. Kostelic cannot be ignored because he has proven he can do this, but his speed work has got to come around soon. Feuz is interesting because he has proven he can score big in speed and score some in GS. I think he is a long-shot at this point but will be an interesting watch for the next month. And then there is Bode. And I think he really wants to win in Wengen and Kitz. He is getting close to the end of his career and Kitzbuehel is missing from his resume. I know he wants that one, badly. But he will also need to sharpen up his GS to pull it off for the overall.
To me, as a fan, a multi-man and multi-talented race for the big globe is very exciting.
We all know I am a big Lindsey fan. And while her lead has dwindled of late, it is mostly because Marlies has been (and will continue to be) unbeatable in slalom. But that is not enough to win an overall title. She can get herself 900-1000 points in slalom, but that will not win it. Lindsey will be closer to 2000 points by the end of the season, provided she stays healthy. Maze is 251 points behind already and has not shown to be a threat in anything but slalom. Anna Fenninger finally seems to be meeting expectations and can score big in 3 disciplines. And the real all-around skiers, Riesch and Goergl, have not been super strong this season either. My point is simple, all of the girls mentioned need to start stepping it up now if they have a prayer of catching Lindsey.
The girls lost a training run today due to high winds. And this can be a little problematic as it is not a regular stop on the tour. It is a pretty tough hill and with some snow in the forecast, the bad visibility could add to the difficulty. I would expect that the real downhill pros with a lot of experience will excel in this venue tomorrow. Lindsey picked 19; Julia picked 17 which both seem like good choices with the forecast as it is. As well, Alice McKennis and Stacey Cook drew 23 and 24 which would also seem like some good luck. The same goes for Laurenne Ross in 25 and Leanne Smith in 29. However, Laurenne will definitely be battling some mental demons from her crash in Lake Louise. The other favorites are in the range between 16 and 22. I have to say that I have little to say about the outcome of this race except that I believe in Lindsey in every downhill situation so it is hard not to go with her for the win. Anna Fenninger won the only training run and is confident coming off the big GS win last week, so you have to consider her a favorite to podium as well. But she drew 10, and I am not sure that is late enough with the threat of light snow on the track tomorrow. As I said before, given the circumstances, I definitely would bet on the more experienced skiers. One last note is that Maria is not on the start list for tomorrow due to the flu.
PODIUM: Lindsey, Gisin, Goergl
A meter of snow has fallen in Adelboden which I am sure will just cause a ton of course work to take place. Some snow continues to fall there but the course crew seems to have it under control. Since the high-speed quad was put in a few years ago on the Chuenisbaergli, Adelboden has done a lot of work on the trail there, widening the piste quite a bit. That, I am sure, is helping the crew clear the snow so the track can be as fair as possible.
The favorites have drawn in this order: Jansrud, Richard, Schoerghofer, Ligety, Hirscher, Svindal, and Fanara. Jansrud has got to be thrilled with his draw. I am sure Ted is fine with his. In the past, Ted has not done well in Adelboden. His best here in 9th and he has some finishes in the teens as well as at least one epic crash. He has been heard to say, “Adelboden is not all that tough,” but yet he has not excelled. Personally, I think he gets too amped up for it and takes too many chances. He has also had trouble with the sometimes severe and ever-present terrain. There is not one turn on that hill where you don’t deal with a bump, roll, road, side-hill or compression. It is tough, very tough. I do think that if Ted skis within himself and works the terrain more positively, he can win here. It will just take a change in his approach.
If you go through recent history on the hill, you need to look at Svindal and Richard as the favorites. Fanara has been strong here recently too. Blardone has 4 podiums at Adelboden including a win and is coming off a huge win in Alta Badia. His confidence is very high and he tends to be streaky that way. Do not be surprised to see him on the steps again.
The other thing about Adelboden is that the crowd is very, very pro-Swiss. They are fantastic in the support of their boys. When any Swiss guy is in the start, the crowd goes crazy and creates a very loud environment. It does not matter if it is Janka, Berthod, Cuche or Christian Spescha. They will support him. Janka is really the only veteran Swiss who does not have a strong finish in Adelboden. This really puts a crimp in the “ice man” reputation if you think about it.
So where do we go with a podium prediction? I don’t really know. Blardone is on fire but is a risk. He has not been consistent in a few years. Richard was great last year. So was Aksel, but he has been mediocre in GS so far. Hirscher, while pretty hot as well, has a Ligety-esque history on this venue. Fanara is hard to pick too, due to his penchant for taking too much risk. So here I go, I think Ted overcomes his Adelboden problems to rise to the podium. Blardone will compete for the win but I think he loses out and Jansrud takes his number 1 bib to the top step. Watch for Svindal and Richard to compete for the podium but get edged into 4th and 5th.
Reader Comments (2)
Raich is 2nd - he nearly won the race (0,08 behind Hirscher). Your words in a former blog about Raich: His only chance are new FIS rules that`s why he is for the change! Bullshit - we have seen it today.
By the way how many races have you won in your carrier - do you have at least one medal your list against the successes of Raich ? The only one who looks small now is you , Mr. Needell !
Never ever remove Raich from your list . It took some time this year - but he is back now !
Posted: Jan 08, 2012 - 7:39 PM GMT
Edited: Jan 08, 2012 - 7:41 PM GMT
Fabienne Suter wins and leads a strong team
Si. Fabienne Suter in celebrating super-G in Bad Kleinkirchheim their fourth World Cup victory. The Schwyzerin leads to a convincing Swiss team.
One day after the 3rd place in the downhill is able to increase again Fabienne Suter. Almost three years after her most recent triumph, that the end of February 2009 in the downhill in Bansko (Bulgaria), is the driver of saddle back on top. The decision to appeal last summer, a break from ski racing and to be active, among other things on a farm and as a service employee at a restaurant in the village shows increasing its positive impact. A month ago she was in Beaver Creek (USA) has already become second in the super-G. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten who missed the podium by only four hundredths, in fourth, fifth and Lara as well as Dominique Gisin provided Seventh for an outstanding balance of Swiss team.
Tina Maze made the double success for the Swiss ski company Stöckli perfect. The Slovenian Bestergebnis equaled her in this discipline. Second in a super-G Giant slalom world champion was once, in January 2006 in St. Moritz become.
Lindsey Vonn, who the first two Super-G of the winter had won, had to be beaten as the day before the departure. The gastro-intestinal flu that they had weakened this week, was too much of a handicap. Lindsey Vonn was 18th place with a long series of podium finishes to end. In the last 19 Super-G in February 2009, she had always been classified among the top three, 14 of these races they had won.
Bad Kleinkirchheim (NC). World Cup super-G of the women. Status after 33 riders: 1 Fabienne Suter (SUI) 1:09,55. Second Tina Maze (Sln) 0.34 back. Third Anna Fenninger (N) 0.74. 4th Fraenzi Aufdenblatten (Swi) 0.78. 5th Lara Gut (Swi) 0.88. 6th Veronique Hronek (De) 0.91. 7th Dominique Gisin (Swi) 0.97. 8th Julia Mancuso (USA) 1.01. 9th Elizabeth Görgl (N) 1.15. 10th Nicole Hosp (Aut) 1.21. Furthermore, 18 Lindsey Vonn (USA) 1.53. 27th Anja Paerson (Swe) 1.83. 28th Martina Schild (Swi) 1.87. 30th Tina Weirather (Lie) 2.07. 52nd Milena Küng (Swi) 4.20.
[URL=Commentaire par Renard Dimanche 8 janvier 2012 17:21 What a result, and what a run of Fabienne Suter. Very happy to see her on top of the podium. Congrats to Tina Maze, she's on fire again. She said in an interview that the North America races are always difficult for her, because of the snow and because it's not so easy to find back into the rhythm. Now she is firing on all cylinders again, and as Dudley, I hope that she can win a Super G soon to be in that exclusive club of ladies winning races in all 5 events. Great performance of Anna too, she is really brilliant this year. Great run of Veronique Hronek, I couldn't believe my eyes! Too bad for Vicky Rebensburg, she started out so good but then skied out once again. As to Lindsey Vonn, she surely was handicapped a bit because of her illness. However, we have seen her win on these occasions as well, and not long ago she posted the second-fastest run in the Zagreb slalom. So I do think that her poor performance is mainly due to the course. The bumpier and icier and more technical it gets, the more she loses speed. She needs a lot of strength to turn her stiff skis and that was not to her advantage today and yesterday. I would be most happy if this streak of diverse winners in the ladies' speed events continued, and if Vonn's lead was more and more chipped away. The girls are coming closer, and I like that. But I also know that Lindsey will strike back, probably already in Cortina. Great run of Steffi Köhle, she's on fire too. It seems that the competition in the Austrian team girls pushes them to higher limits this year. Also happy for Laurenne Ross who did very well this week-end, especially considering her crash not long ago.]
[QUOTE]WWW.ALPINERACECONSULTING.COMMain | THE CLASSICS BEGIN WITH ADELBODEN! »
More in Adelboden and Bad Kleinkirchheim tomorrow!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2012 AT 07:12PM
HIRSCHER, GOERGL AND SNOW IN ASPEN!
Before I even get into today’s racing and tomorrow’s preview, I have to tell you all that it is snowing in Aspen! It started in earnest about and hour ago and the forecast is for a good amount. No one seems to want to predict, but rumor has it that there is 6 inches on the ground in Glenwood and the storm is headed up-valley. I cannot tell you how much we need the snow. It will go a long way toward pulling us out of this drought. Not that I am complaining, but it has been sunny here for a very long time. Hopefully this breaks the hold the high pressure has had on us since December 20th or so. I think the last truly significant snowfall was in early December. Anyway, we have had great training because of the dry-spell and hopefully this marks the beginning of a new, and wetter, pattern.
In Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, the girls experienced a pretty gnarly downhill race today. It was a very interesting scenario that unfolded there in Kaernten. First of all, the track is named after The Kaiser, Franz Klammer. So the hill needs to be worthy of his name. It is dark, bumpy and icy. It has a ton of terrain of all kinds and seemed to be quite turny as well. I have only been there one time in my career, for some tech Men’s World Cup races in early December, 2007. Truly, the GS and SL hills there met the description above. It’s a tough venue, without a doubt. We did get to ski some of the ladies’ DH that year as our GS training venue was on part of it, and we accessed training from the ladies’ start. It is an impressive track. To add to it, it is not a regular stop so there is very little cumulative experience on the hill. That tends to take away the advantage the veterans have over the less experienced. Also, the girls had only one training run available so it really was a more spontaneous event. The rhythm of the week is disrupted. Those who might have had a tough first day did not have a chance to correct their line or overall approach, or to build confidence they might have lost. And while I certainly did not pick the podium in order yesterday, I am not that surprised with the outcome. Goergl, Mancuso and Suter are all veterans and very solid all-around skiers. Lizzy and Jules have always done well in the more difficult and spontaneous situations. When ad-libbing has a lot to do with the outcome, you can often count on those two to do well. And Fabienne, who has well-documented mental barriers, didn’t have anything negative to dwell on in BK because she had no expectations on that hill. Because she had no history there, and neither did most of the others, she could just ski. And she did well. And Lindsey, aside from falling down on the second gate, really did quite well. She was 0.8 behind Julia at the first split and was able to make up a good portion of that time. And that problem she had actually shows me how good she really is, and how mentally tough she can be. All of us have screwed up early in a race, and it is so difficult to shake that out of your mind and get to the business at hand. And in downhill, you had better pull it together or pull off the course, because if you are not totally invested, you could end up in the red room, or worse.
I was very impressed with the American girls. It was a big day: Jules on the podium, Lindsey pulling herself off the snow to finish 4th, Stacey with a very solid 8th and Alice in 26th. But even better, Julia Ford scored her first World Cup points! And as great as that is for Julia, I am sure it gives hope to the other two in her training group, Kiley Staples and Brooke Wales. And certainly not least, I was extremely impressed with Laurenne Ross pulling herself out of the B Net and chopper ride in Lake Louise to score in the next Downhill. That is not an easy task.
Fabienne Suter definitely impressed. She skied very well and seems to be shaking off her mental struggles. I thought Fenninger did well and I would watch for her to threaten the podium tomorrow. The closer you get to a GS sized turn, the better she will do.
I have to say, I thought it would be a Gut day. But she was really not good, not very good at all. And Tina Maze continues to struggle with speed events right now. And Anja Paerson is not looking like she can ski at all. I think she has had enough. That might be harsh, and I am sure I will get some mail about it. But really, that was bad. She had no business on that hill the way she is skiing right now.
That was an awesome race! Hirscher won the first run, but not by much. Boys came from pretty far off and put down nice second runs to put pressure on the leaders. Benni looked like himself again. There was a lot that went on today in Rattle-boden.
Benni, for sure. He has been pretty far off the pace coming back from ACL surgery last season. But he seems to be back up to speed now. Hirscher absolutely is skiing with total confidence. Ted had his best finish of his career in Adelboden and challenged for the race. In the position he was in, I am sure all he wanted to do was lay down a very fast run and put pressure on Hirscher. But that is often when he gets himself in trouble on a hill like Adelboden, which has so much terrain top to bottom. A mistake or a crash is lurking with every edge-set. And Giovanni Borsotti (ITA) has been charging up the WCSL since the beginning of the season. Once he gets himself in the draw, watch out for more.
The Swiss team. That was not a good showing at home. And these people come out to really pull for their guys. The scene is so genuinely Swiss from the Raclette stuffed baguettes to the Weisswein. It is something to behold. The top three take home enormous cowbells in addition to the winning checks. It is a great spectacle and the fans feel let down, for sure. They will be looking for redemption tomorrow. And Jansrud, that was really not great skiing. He knew it as soon as he crossed the line on the first run.
The girls have another shot at that nasty hill in Bad Kleinkirchheim, albeit in Super G. And I think you can expect much of the same. I think the same top 5 girls from the DH will be in the mix for the win and podiums tomorrow with the addition of Fenninger and possibly Rebensburg. I would throw Lara Gut in the mix but I just can’t get over how uninspired she looked today, so I am not picking her. You would also think Maze would be up to the challenge since she is one of the better skiers in the bunch, but after today and some pretty bad GS skiing from her this season, I cannot choose her either. I think the results in the top 30 could be a pretty similar bunch in similar finish positions. Although you need to take into account some changing start numbers. So it will be tougher for the likes of Stacey Cook to duplicate her scores tomorrow, but I would not be surprised if she scores pretty deep into the 30. Watch out for possible good moves from Fede Brignone and Stefanie Koehle. Leanne Smith has a great chance from an early start number.
PODIUM: Fenninger, Vonn, Mancuso.
In Adelboden, the slalom hill is every bit as difficult and terrain ridden as the classic GS hill. The slalom is run on the bottom ½ of the GS and starts with three major rolls and some side-hill action during the first 20 turns or so. Then it drops onto an almost uphill flat section and bends a little, again with some major terrain. As you work your way around the basketball turn that is so prominent in the GS, the hill starts to drop into the free-fall toward the finish. This pitch is so steep in slalom that if you lose snow contact even one time, you could fly past the next gate. The hill runs in 2 major parts. From the start to the basketball turn it is an all-out charging hill, and then it is just good, solid skiing for the rest of it, shifting gears again to charge across the short flat into the finish. It is an amazing hill, coupled with the generous and incredibly enthusiastic crowd, and the unbeatable vistas, it is a race that is a must-see for most race fans. I have said this in the past. If I had only one week to spend in Europe to watch racing, I would suggest one of three weeks: Val Gardena and Alta Badia, Adelboden/Wengen and Kitzbuehel/Schladming. Not necessarily in that order. In fact, if I hadn’t had the good fortune of working those races with the US Ski Team, I would make sure I did all three of those weeks at some point. While I am on this subject, another cool trip would be checking out the girls in Cortina and then the boys in Kitz.
Anyway, back to the race. To go against Hirscher right now is crazy. He is totally in the zone and confident. But Adelboden can ruin the day of even the best skiers and leave you with a void of confidence in just one day. In truth, this hill is built for Kostelic. His skiing skills and the need to ski ahead of the course fall right into his wheelhouse. He was last year’s winner and I can absolutely see him on the top step again. Hirscher was second last year, he will repeat that performance. This is a great hill for Mario Matt, who starts number one and it is also a great one for Benni Raich, if he has found his slalom touch along with the GS he displayed today. Also, Felix Neureuther has been excellent in slalom besides a lame knee this year so I could see him in the mix again. As I have said recently, if Ted can take a similar approach as he did in the first run today, he could get a solid result tomorrow. Other than that, the USA boys have had some trouble of late in Adelboden in the slalom and I don’t think that will change. Brandenburg can’t find the finish line on easy hills, so I don’t know how this one will work out for him. Unless, the more difficult hill makes him take his foot off the gas and just ski well, which will be good enough. Jimmy has had some off and on success in Adelboden but the pitch challenges him as he does not pole-plant very effectively. That level requires basic execution, especially on the big hills, and you need to commit to those skills if you want to earn a living on the World Cup. Bode has had some great results here, but that seems like a long time ago now.
On the Canadian side, you have to think Mike Janyk can step up tomorrow as he did last year. And this is a hill that fits Cousi’s skill set pretty well. Spence has been skiing pretty well and starts in 28, but this hill will challenge him a bit on the bottom pitch.
All in all, I am going with: Kostelic, Hirscher, and Neureuther. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. There are so many mistakes and DNFs on this hill that it is really hard to get it right.
After this, the boys move onto Wengen, truly a favorite; and the girls to Cortina for Ferraris and furs!
Reader Comments (1)
So, easy Austrian fan. I am not a big Benni fan for many reasons you do not understand. But regardless, he is always good at adelboden. But he is simply average now, and even average guys have their day. You have the option t