FIS World Cup highlights
It was a week of fine tuning and Olympic anticipation as the FIS World Cups held their final events before the world turns its attention to Sochi for the Olympic Winter Games.
The FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Viessmann was in Toblach (ITA) for the last stop before the Olympics and many interesting storylines emerged. Switzerland’s Dario Cologna showed he is an Olympic threat despite missing most of the season with an injury. He finished just 2.9 seconds behind Alexander Legkov (RUS) in the 15 km classic competition. It was Legkov’s first-ever win in the event.
On the sprint side, Norway and Germany filled the podiums with four Norwegians and two Germans taking up all six places in the men's and ladies' competitions. Norway's Marit Bjoergen and Ola Vigen Hattestad led the field in the free technique sprint.
It was an outstanding weekend for Poland’s Kamil Stoch, who picked up two more victories to bring his season total to five in the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup presented by Viessmann. The World Champion and FIS Athletes’ Commission member dominated the competitions in Willingen (GER). Local hero Severin Freund also had a strong weekend, taking second place in both competitions.
On the ladies side, it was almost the same story in Hinzenbach (AUT). Japanese star Sarah Takanashi won both the Saturday and Sunday competitions, bringing her season total to an amazing double digits showing of 10. Much like Severin Freund, Daniela Irashko-Stolz (AUT) did well on home soil, earning second place in both competitions.
The top young athlete in the three Nordic disciplines also had the chance to take centre stage with the Junior World Ski Championships and U23 Cross-Country races being staged in Val di Fiemme (ITA). For a complete overview of all the action from there, please click here.
Mother Nature once again showed she is a force to be reckoned with, as difficult conditions forced both the men’s downhill in St. Moritz (SUI) and the ladies’ giant slalom in Kranjska Gora (SLO) to be cancelled.
On Sunday, conditions improved enough in both locations for the two Audi FIS World Cup tours to squeeze in one last pre-Olympic race. In St. Moritz, it was the leading trio in giant slalom once again sweeping the podium with USA’s Ted Ligety dominating the field by 1.51 seconds. Marcel Hirsher (AUT) and Alexis Pinturault (FRA) finished in second in third in a familiar podium line-up in the discipline this season. In the ladies’ slalom in Kranjska Gora, Sweden's Frida Hansdotter clinched her first ever World Cup victory. The 28-year-old put two solid runs together in tough conditions. Austria's Marlies Schild and her younger sister Bernadette took second and third, respectively 0.05 and 0.15 seconds back.
Patrizia Kummer (SUI) and Sylvain Dufour (FRA) clinched the season's final of the race boarders which was staged at Sudelfeld, Germany. As the dominating Alpine rider of the season, Kummer clinched the crystal globe for PGS Globe as well as the overall parallel title after already taking the PSL title in Bad Gastein (AUT) in mid-January.
On the men's side, second-ranked Lukas Mathies (AUT) who scored his fourth podium this season, took the title in the PGS and Alpine Snowboard World Cup bringing home his career's first Crystal Globes: “What a season! In the beginning, my goal was to make the Olympic team. Now I'm the Overall World Cup Champion.”, the 22-year-old commented.