Halfway through the Australia New Zealand Cup
Downunder, winter has arrived for over a month and the Australia New Zealand Cup crowned 16 winners already. Lots of World Cup athletes have been training in the Southern Hemisphere and took the opportunity to participate in those Continental Cup races.
The Tour started in Thredbo, Australia, between 21st and 25th August, with two slaloms and two giant slaloms for ladies’ and two slaloms and three giant slaloms for the men. Sweden’s Sara Hector made the best out of it and grabbed three of the four wins on the ladies’ side, leaving only one slalom victory to her teammate Estelle Alphand. A more heterogenic statistic is to be found on the men’s side, with Adam Barwood (NZL), Daniel Meier (AUT) and Erik Read (CAN) claiming the wins in giant slalom, while Germany’s World Cup winner Linus Strasser was the fastest in both slaloms.
Moving to New Zealand, the Continental Cup stopped in Coronet Peak as part of the Audi Quattro New Zealand Winter Games, where four more tech races for each gender were scheduled to take place. The young Norwegian Mina Fuerst Holtmann and Sweden’s Sara Hector were able to take the wins in the ladies' giant slaloms, while Canadian Erik Read dominated both races on the men's side. The slaloms went to Vice World Champion Manuel Feller, Sweden’s Estelle Alphand, Switzerland’s Marc Rochat and Chiara Mair, a young Austrian racer who grabbed two medals at the Junior World Championships in Are 2017.
Results available here.
With two super-g remaining for the Australia New Zealand Cup, set be organised in Mt. Hutt (NZL) on 5th-6th of September, the current standings are of particular interest. So far, Krystof Krysl from the Czech Republic, is topping the Overall ranking thanks to his constant results in all disciplines. On the ladies’ side, Sara Hector proved that she’s in an excellent shape and is leading the Overall standings ahead of her teammates Estelle Alphand and Maria Pietilae-Holmner.
Standings available here.