Winter Games NZ and ANC tech races conclude
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand – Following a rugged day of “buckle up and hang on!” racing at Coronet Peak on Wednesday, Swiss skiers emerged victorious in the first of two ANC slalom races contested as part of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ.
Charlotte Chable laid down scorching first and second runs to take the overall win in the ladies’ race by 0.61 seconds to score an 8.01-point result in the process. She was followed by 17-year-old Neja Dvornik of Slovenia who has skied impressively throughout the ANC series. The final podium position went to New Zealand’s Piera Hudson who skied the second fastest second run to claim third place overall.
‘It’s a really good field here…there are a lot of girls here who ski World Cup slalom. So yeah, I’m really stoked to be on the podium today,” said an excited Hudson.
The men’s race was a closely fought battle. Heading into the second run Norwegian racer Max Roeisland of the University of Vermont was in the lead followed by World Cup regular Adam Zampa of Slovakia. With strong skiing in challenging conditions on the middle section of the course, Switzerland’s Marc Rochat – who made an impressive move last winter in the Kranjska Gora World Cup – emerged as the winner and 6-point finisher in the race, besting the field by 0.37 seconds. Zampa held on for second and Rochat’s teammate Sandro Simonet skied into third. New Zealand’s Adam Barwood in 24th and Willis Feasey in 32nd were the top continent finishers on the first day.
On Thursday, blue skies and firm snow graced the athletes on the final day of alpine competition on the ‘Outwide’ trail where courses for both men and women ran hard and fast.
Zampa was out for redemption and led the field with a scorching first run. Johannes Strolz of Austria challenged him on the second run but ultimately finished in second place at 0.86 seconds back. Rochat skied onto the podium for the second day in a row in third place.
The ladies were off to a flying start as well, with many in the field hitting top gear but only 22 completing the first course for a second run. A blazing run by Canadian Amelia Smart, nailing the fastest second run time, was effort enough to hit the podium in third place. Chable notched another strong finish in second place as Charlie Guest of Great Britain was absolutely delighted to ski the race of her life and take top spot on the slalom podium.
“It’s been two years since I had any kind of result like this – coming back from injuries and I’ve been working so hard in training, I just can’t believe this has happened! It feels so good!” exclaimed Guest.
The Winter Games NZ races wrapped up the technical races of the ANC for 2018. Zampa won his career-third ANC men’s slalom title, and Australia’s Louis Muhlen-Schulte claimed World Cup starting rights in slalom as the top-ranked continent skier. Dvornik won her first Continental Cup title with the ANC ladies’ slalom, while Hudson picks up World Cup starting rights in slalom for the coming Northern Hemisphere winter.
The ANC now moves on to Mt. Hutt, New Zealand, where men and ladies will contest two super-G races 3-4 September to conclude the series and determine overall winners as well.
View complete results from the Coronet Peak ANC series here.
Release courtesy of Winter Games NZ