Roulin clinches men's European Cup Overall title
Last week-end was not only the World Cup Finals in Aspen, but the European Cup season also came to an end in the Italian resort Innichen – S. Candido, where the concluding tech events were held. After a total of 73 races, Norwegian Kristina Riis-Johannessen and Swiss Gilles Roulin topped the rankings and claimed the Overall titles.
The performances on the European Cup are also important in regard to a personal qualification for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup 2017/18. The Overall winners are automatically qualified for every event, while the Top 3 of each discipline’s ranking is qualified for that particular discipline. Here is a short summary of all the athletes we will encounter on the World Cup next year.
Part II: Men
Gilles Roulin (SUI, 94) is the men that dominated the European Cup on the men’s side. He finished the season 369 points ahead of his main contender in the Overall, teammate Stefan Rogentin (SUI, 94), and is the only one to earn podium placement in different disciplines (DH, SG and AC).
Four of the eight downhill of the season went to Gilles Roulin (SUI, 94). As the young athlete from Zurich had secured the discipline title already, he didn’t go to the last Europa Cup races in Sarntal but headed to Kvitfjell to participate in his first World Cup races, where he scored in Super-G. In second position, Johannes Kroell (AUT, 91) claimed two wins, one in Meribel and the other in Sarntal. The rest of his season was pretty inconstant, but good enough to defend his runner-up spot. Manuel Schmid (GER, 93) made a big step forward in his career and was able to earn his first podium spots in downhill and finished every single race in the Top 10. This allowed him to grab the third place in the season ranking.
In super-g, the season ranking win also goes to Gilles Roulin. Despite a difficult start in the season, he was able to claim two wins in Meribel and Hinterstoder and score enough points to top the standings. Close behind him, Niklas Koeck (AUT, 92) was extremely constant throughout the season and never skied out of the Top 9, including two second places. Participating in all the races of the season, Gian Luca Barandun (SUI, 94) grabbed the third spot on the podium, thanks to two second places, one in the first race of the season in Reiteralm, the other in the last race in Sarntal.
The ten giant slalom races ended with the win of Elia Zurbriggen (SUI, 90), who was on fire at the end of the season, claiming three wins and a second place in the four last races and skiing his career best result in the World Cup with an eighth place in Kranjska Gora. Samu Torsti (FIN, 91) also skied his best World Cup result this season, with a tenth place in Adelboden, and in the Europea Cup, besides a 32nd place in the first race of the season, he was able to keep the level very high and rank within the Top 7 in all the following races, including five podiums and a win, what allowed him to grab the second place of the season standings. Right behind him, Cyprien Sarrazin (FRA, 94) earned not less than three wins, two further second places, but also three DNFs. Besides this third place in the European Cup ranking, he could celebrate his first World Cup win in the Parallel Giant Slalom in Alta Badia.
Familiar faces from the World Cup also dominated the slalom standings of the European Cup and the top positions were very fought for, as the Top 3 is within a tight 15 points. Reto Schmidiger (SUI, 92) scored the highest amount of points, by participating in all but one race, winning a classic slalom in Zakopane and the Parallel Slalom in Kronplatz, and adding two third places to his good season performance. Marc Digruber (AUT, 88) raced only six out of ten slaloms, but three wins and no result outside of the Top 7 brought him enough points to claim the second place in the season ranking. In third place, Christian Hirschbuehl (AUT, 90) had a great season, with a win on the European Cup (btw, in a historical 3-people tie for first place with Leif Kristian Haugen and Thomas Hettegger), two further podium placements and a career best fourth place in the World Cup in Wengen.
The alpine combined consisted of three races and not less than nine different podium finishers. Stefan Rogentin (SUI, 94) participated in all three races and finished 2nd, 4th and 16th, enough to claim the season title. Daniel Danklmaier (AUT, 93) finished in second position, only one point behind Rogentin, thanks to a 2nd, a 4th and a 17th place. Overall winner Gilles Roulin managed to earn the last spot on the podium with a win in Hinterstoder and a 13th place in Meribel.