Norway dominates SAC tech racing in Chile
As national teams from Europe and North America descended on Chile for training, last weekend's South American Cup technical races in El Colorado and La Parva became hotly contested events. The ladies and men both started with a giant slalom race at El Colorado on Saturday where the Norwegians more than held their own.
In the ladies' race, Kajsa Vickhoff Lie – the two-time Junior World champion in the speed disciplines – adapted to some tighter turns to better Canadian World Cup skier Candace Crawford by 0.19 seconds for the win. Lie's teammate Maren Skjoeld, a World Cup regular on the slalom circuit, expanded her typical radius to claim third place at 0.46 seconds back. The top skier from the host continent was Francesca Baruzzi Farriol in eighth place.
Coming off a hot streak at Norwegian National Championships in the spring where he claimed three titles, Rasmus Windingstad blew open the men's GS at El Colorado with a head-turning 1.24-second victory and a 6-point result over fellow countryman Henrik Roea. Ondrej Berndt of the Czech Republic rounded out the podium in third place, and Cristian Javier Simari Birkner was the top continent skier in eighth.
The Norwegian ladies pulled out all the stops in Sunday's slalom at La Parva with a podium sweep. Kristin Lysdahl battled back in the second run and ultimately took the win over teammate Mina Fuerst Holtmann, both of whom collected 8-point finishes in the process. Kristine Gjelsten Haugen, who skied the fastest first run, settled for the final podium position in third to complete the sweep. Baruzzi Farriol was again the top skier from the continent, this time in fifth place.
The men's slalom also featured a podium sweep, but it was from the Czech Republic. Berndt improved his podium spot from the previous day to take the win over teammate Jan Zabystran by a massive 1.49 seconds. They were followed by Tomas Klinsky in third for the trifecta. Simari Birkner again proved to be the fastest skier from the host continent with his fourth-place finish.
The SAC continues with speed racing in La Parva 4-5 September followed by more speed and technical races later this month.