On the Snow: FIS World Cup series back in action
Hot off the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the FIS World Cup series were back in action last weekend with competitions across Europe and Asia.
The FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Viessmann returned to Lahti (FIN), host of the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, for sprint and interval start races.
Local hero Krista Parmakoski and Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ) won the 10/15 km interval start competitions in classic technique. For both of them it was a repeat from Planica (SLO) where they both won the same event before the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.
Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR) and Federico Pellegrino (ITA), World Sprint Champions from one year ago, returned to their winning ways in the free technique sprints. Both commented after their competitions that they knew how to win there last season and that they repeated their performances again.
With two World Cup stops left in Oslo (NOR) and Oberstdorf (GER), Olympic Champion Maren Lundby (NOR) already secured the crystal globe at the FIS ladies’ Ski Jumping World Cup presented by Viessmann last weekend in Rasnov (ROU).
With a win and a second place, she took the overall globe thanks to outstanding results and consistency this season which has included eight victories to date.
Katharina Althaus (GER) and teammate Carina Vogt jumped to first and second place on the first day of competition, while on the second day, Althaus and youngster Nika Kriznar (SLO) rounded out the podium.
The men stopped in Lahti for an individual and a team event. Kamil Stoch (POL) reigned surpreme on the large hill while Germany flew to victory in the team event ahead of Poland and Norway.
The FIS Nordic Combined World Cup presented by Viessmann stopped in Lahti for an individual Gundersen competition from the large hill and a team sprint.
Olympic Champion Johannes Rydzek (GER) took the victory in the individual event, followed by teammate Vinzent Geiger and Joergen Graabak (NOR).
In sprint, the team of Austria (Gruber/Denifl) came out victorious, with Norway (Graabak/Schmid) and Finland (Hirvonen/Herola) sprinting to second and third place.
The Audi FIS Ski World Cup tours were in action in Crans Montana (SUI) for the ladies and Kranjska Gora (SLO) for the men.
In Crans Montana, Federica Brignone (ITA) claimed her second career alpine combined victory over Olympic Champion Michelle Gisin (SUI) and Petra Vlhova (SVK).
Swiss fans had much to celebrate as local hero Wendy Holdener finished fourth on the day to collect her second alpine combined discipline title.
In the ladies’ super-G, Tina Weirather claimed victory and with it took over the lead in the super-G standings ahead of the final races in Are (SWE) next week. Anna Veith (AUT) came second while Wendy Holdener produced the surprise of the day as she skied into third place.
In the technical events in Kranjska Gora, super star Marcel Hirscher (AUT) took his 56th and 57th FIS World Cup wins and sealed the slalom, giant slalom and overall crystal globes, two weeks ahead of the final events.
The giant slalom podium was rounded out by Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) and Alexis Pinturault (FRA).
In the slalom race, Kristoffersen took yet another second place, while surprise Olympic silver medallist Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI) finished in third for his first World Cup slalom podium.
The Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup tour stopped in Sunny Valley (RUS) for back-to-back races.
The first race saw an exceptional performance from the Swiss team with Fanny Smith and Jonas Lenherr winning. They were joined on the respective podiums in second and third places by Canadian Brittany Phelan and Katrin Ofner (AUT), with Kevin Drury and Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA), respectively.
In the second race on Sunday, World Cup leader Sandra Naeslund (SWE) took victory in dominant fashion. On the men’s side, Drury went one better than the previous day to claim his first World Cup win. Phelan and and Smith finished closest to Sweden’s ladies World Cup leaders, with Lenherr and Filip Flisar (SLO) rounding out the men’s podium in second and third place.
The world’s best slopestyle skiers were in action in Silvaplana (SUI).
16-year-old Tess Ledeux (FRA) and rising U.S. star Alex Hall claimed victory at the 3300 meter resort.
In the ladies’ event, Johanne Killi (NOR) and young gun Jennie-Lee Burmansson (SWE) took second and third place respectively. Burmansson’s performance, however, moved her up to the top of the slopestyle rankings at the age of 15, with one event to go.
On the men’s side, Hall claimed the first FIS World Cup victory of his fledgling career with Swiss favourite and World Cup leader Andri Raggetli securing second place. With 340 points, Ragettli now sits 92 points ahead of third place finisher Ferdinand Dahl (NOR).
The FIS moguls World Cup tour stayed in Asia and made the short trip from Korea to Tazawako (JPN) for single and dual moguls competitions.
Coming off of a gold medal-winning performance in PyeongChang 2018, Perrine Laffont (FRA) kept the momentum rolling, storming to victory giving her the World Cup lead with only three more stops to go. She was joined on the podium by Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN) and Keaton McCargo (USA).
In the men’s event, double World Champion from Sierra Nevada 2017, Ikuma Horishima (JPN), topped the podium, relegating World Cup leader Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) and Dmitriy Reikherd (KAZ) to second and third place respectively.
On the second day of competition, it was again Horishima who thrilled the Japanese crowd with a victory over Kingsbury and Reikherd.
In the ladies’ event, 17-year-old Tess Johnson (USA) won the duals ahead of more experienced World Cup colleagues Britteny Cox (AUS) and Laura Grasemann (GER).
The FIS Snowboard World Cup held events in La Molina (ESP) for the snowboard cross racers and in Kayseri (TUR) for the alpine parallel athletes.
In snowboard cross, Eva Samkova (CZE) and Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT) topped the ladies’ and men’s snowboard cross podium in the tenth of the twelve races this season.
Samkova edged out French ladies Nelly Moenne Loccoz and Charlotte Bankes while Haemmerle dominated the final run against teammate Hanno Douschan and Emanuel Perathoner (ITA).
In Kayseri, Milena Bykova (RUS) and Stefan Baumeister (GER) won the penultimate parallel giant slalom event of the season.
Bykova took her first FIS World Cup win, edging out double Olympic Champion and World Cup leader Ester Ledecka (CZE). In the small final, Daniela Ulbing (AUT) earned her first PGS podium, crossing the finish line ahead of Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS).
On the men’s side, Baumeister had the upper hand against Edwin Coratti (ITA). In an all-Slovenian small final, it was Tim Mastnak coming out successful against teammate Rok Marguc, to secure his career's first podium in his 54th World Cup start.