LAKE LOUISE – The Audi FIS Ski World Cup ladies’ speed season is primed to open at Lake Louise (CAN) on Friday 30th November with the first downhill of the season for the fastest female skiers on Earth. Although some perennial favorites will be absent at the start, 300 World Cup points are on the line from Friday through Sunday.
Lindsey Vonn, the most successful female ski racer of all time, is sidelined with a non-surgical knee injury. She won the last four downhill races on the tour and finished the 2017/18 season in second place in the discipline standings. The 2018 Olympic champion and World Cup downhill title winner Sofia Goggia will also miss the opening weekend of races with an ankle injury. However, The tour is excited to welcome back 2017 World Cup downhill and alpine combined title winner Ilka Stuhec who will push out of World Cup race starting gate for the first time in 20 months following her return from a knee injury.
In the first downhill training run on Tuesday 27th November, Austrian Christine Scheyer posted the fastest time down the track, clocking in at 1:50.61. Scheyer was the 2017 downhill winner at the Altenmarkt-Zauchensee World Cup. In Wednesday’s training, Germany’s Kira Weidle shaved some time off the previous day’s run to finish fastest of the day with a time of 1:49.26. The third and final training run featured clear skies and sunshine on Thursday with ideal conditions. Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer, the 2017 World Champion in super-G, showed consistency to clock the fastest run of all at 1:48.37. She also had the second-fastest run on Wednesday, demonstrating some promise heading into the first race.
The ladies are slated to race downhill on Friday and Saturday starting at 12:30 LOC and super-G on Sunday starting at 11:00 LOC. Weather forecasts are currently positive and should provide for picturesque race days for competitors and spectators alike.