Seven titles still up for grabs at Lenzerheide Finals
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland – It’s Finals week and the best 25 ladies and men are getting ready for the last races of the season. This year Lenzerheide will be as exciting as it can be, with only three out of the 10 season titles being already secured. Aksel Lund Svindal secured once again the downhill and super-G titles while at his home races in Kvitfjell and Mikaela Shiffrin will be taking home her second slalom title in a row – all the other discipline titles and the two Overall ones are still up for grabs.
Today the last downhill training runs of the season took place in outstanding conditions and under a clear blue sky, a very welcomed improvement from the challenging weather the Finals faced last season.
Adrien Theaux led the men’s training ahead of Sandro Viletta and Carlo Janka but all the talk in the finish area was about tomorrow’s race for the downhill titles.
On the ladies’ downhill side, Maria Hoefl-Riesch is 80 points ahead of Anna Fenninger but the German announced today that she wasn’t feeling well and would be skipping the second training run, giving Fenninger a possible small advantage for race day.
“No DH tr for me today. Fever and a bad cough force me to stay in bed. Hope I can race tomorrow! #fightingforthecrystalglobe #lenzerheide ,” Hoefl-Riesch wrote this morning on her Twitter profile.
Anna Fenninger looks actually very comfortable on the "Silvano Beltrametti" downhill course. Third in yesterday's training, the 24-year-old Austrian clocked the fastest time in the second and final training run, ahead of Switzerland's Fabienne Suter and Lara Gut, respectively 0.86 and 1.25 seconds off the pace.
"I had a good run today," said Fenninger. "I tried to stay on the line, to keep my skis on the edge and not to drift to much. I had a good feeling coming down. It's steep and bumpy in some sections, you really have to be a good technician to be fast on that hill. I'll try my best tomorrow and we will see."
Things are clear for tomorrow’s title on the men’s side but that doesn’t mean the race is going to be any less exciting. The battle for the Overall title is still wide open with Marcel Hirscher being only 4 points ahead of Svindal going onto the last week of races this season.
With Hirscher not on the start list of tomorrow’s downhill and Svindal not having scored slalom points since 2009, they each have 3 races to show who is the best skier of 2013/14.
“I think it’s a 50/50 chance for each of us at this point,” Svindal said after Tuesday’s training run where he finished 20th.
“Who wins will be a combination of many small things, of having your mind and body connected and get the best out of it. It’s important for the sport to present a good slope, to have these final races in good weather and this week should be just like that. It makes it fairer and there is less negative focus than in the past years. With all the cancellations many were not happy with how things turned out last year but everything is ok this year and the atmosphere is more positive."
The men's downhill is scheduled for 09:30 and the ladies one for 11:30 CET tomorrow.