On a snow-covered day that forced the organisers a one-hour delay before racing and to start at the reserve start, with bib number 26, the Olympic snowboard and ski champion Ester Ledecka (CZE) crossed the finish line like a missile clocking the fastest time. Corinne Suter was already looking forward to her first World Cup victory, but she had to settle with a second-place which is the third career World Cup podium for the Swiss ski star.
This is always the case with Ester, the crazy horse who still has to choose whether to become a skier or a snowboarder, opened the speed season wearing the famous red bid after her first 2019/20 World Cup race.
After becoming the first athlete to win two Olympic gold medals in snowboard and alpine, now she also became the first one to win both a World Cup alpine and snowboard event.
“Going to wear the red bib it’s freaky, and I hope to continue like that in the next races,” says Ester “I’ve not decided yet if I’ll race in St.Moritz or Cortina D’Ampezzo and I’ll probably decide it the week before. This is what I usually do, and this drives my coaches crazy!”
The Austrian flag cannot be missing on the podium, this time with Stephanie Venier (AUT). She finished third in front of her teammate Nina Ortlieb (AUT) who ties the fourth place with Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) conquering her career-best result.
The reasons to celebrate are not over in Lake Louise, and this year, Alpine Canada took the opportunity to commemorate the 100th Anniversary with their annual friend and family event. Their athlete’s families, the ski community and future athletes, gather together to celebrate this incredible milestone.
Ford writes history in Beaver Creek
Tommy Ford (USA) picks the home giant slalom in Beaver Creek to seal his first ever World Cup victory (and podium). The American skier, clocked the best time in run 1 and the second best in run 2, finishing clearly ahead of the Norwegian pack composed of Henrik Kristoffersen (+0.80) and Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen (+1.23).
Ford will be wearing the red bib in Val d’Isère as he is now leading the Giant Slalom standing with 150 points, 30 more than French Mathieu Favire, currently second.
“I am just sticking to what I know and did really trust my skiing. It’s been a progression, I have been building into this in the last couple of weeks also in training and here we go.”
Kristoffersen (NOR) is back where he belongs, even in giant slalom. The Norwegian delivered two consistent runs and climbed up one position from run 1 finishing second, a clear step forward from the opening in Soelden (AUT).
Nestvold-Haugen (NOR), second after run 1, was happy to celebrate his third individual World Cup podium with his third place in the American venue. The Norwegian had started the season with a 10th place in Soelden and proved his great condition even in Beaver Creek.
The men’s World Cup Tour now heads to Val d’Isère (FRA) for a weekend of technical events on 14-15 December.
Rebensburg wins season-opening SuperG race
Once again, the snowfall overnight brought some hard work for the famous Slad Dogs crew that, in the end, have been able to put together two downhill races and one SuperG in perfect conditions.
Lake Louise just accomplished its weekend with three races won by three different athletes. For the SuperG one, on the top of the podium, there is the German veteran Viktoria Rebensburg who showed high confidence, and she never stopped accelerating across her run, only making one mistake which didn’t slow her down significantly.
She has now recorded her 18th World Cup success and the fourth one in the discipline, and she become the first German woman to win two straight SuperG race since Katja Seizinger captured 5 in a row in 1997.
The second and third steps of the podium are occupied by two athletes who conquer it for the first time in this discipline.
Delago vaulted onto the podium starting 31st, and she fell on her knees in the finish corral upon realizing she’d earned her second career podium and first in super-G.
Corinne Suter confirmed her speed skills and good condition, taking the third spot, 0.42 seconds behind the Italian.
The Women’s tour will now take over to Europe for St.Moritz weekend with a SuperG and Parallel race.
Third wins for “Nici” Schmidhofer in Lake Louise
Intense snowfall overnight gave work to the course crew of the Lake Louise World Cup, but nothing the hardworking sleddogs cannot handle and today’s second downhill race of the season kicked off from the top of the World as planned.
After a 7th place yesterday, last year Downhill Globe winner Nicole Schmidhofer has been able to pull out a strong run again today and claimed the top spot of the podium. The Austrian ski star won her first World Cup races in Lake Louise last year with two consecutive victories, and with today’s race, she can add the third victory to her Palmares.
“Nici” was joined on the podium by Mikaela Shiffrin in second who nearly grabbed her 63rd career world cup win, finishing just 0.13 seconds behind. The American added another podium finish on the course where she won her first downhill race in 2017 and first super-G race in 2018.
Since the beginning of the season, there have been no races without surprises, and today is Francesca Marsaglia’s turn. The Italian skier surprised herself a bit by skiing a clean run onto her career-first speed podium.
Feuz dominates Beaver Creek Downhill
Beat Feuz (SUI) secured his second Birds of Prey downhill in a row, winning this year’s shortened race in front of Johan Clarey (FRA) and Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), both in joint second place 0.41 seconds behind.
Due to strong wind in the top section, the Beaver Creek downhill start was lowered, resulting in a shorter race like in 2018. Not only the start, but even the winner was the same as last year.
With this victory, Beat Feuz has claimed his 30th downhill World Cup podium and achieved top-three finishes in 13 of the last 15 downhill races.
Clarey, starting with bib 19, surprised everyone, even himself, and closed in second position, matching his career best, achieved in Kitzbühel last season and in Kvitjell in 2014.
Kriechmayr, who was sitting in the leader’s corner when Beat Feuz crossed the finish line, shared the second place with Clarey and achieved his best result of the season so far.
It has been a very close start to the speed season, with three out of four races resulting in joint positions on the podium.
Beat Feuz now is at the top of the downhill ranking, while Matthias Mayer (AUT) continues to lead the overall standing ahead of Vincent Kriechmayr.