The wait is coming to an end and the action is returning with the traditional opening of the Ski World Cup in Sölden (AUT). The incredible Rettenbach glacier is ready to kick off the 2021/22 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season on 23-24 October 2021.
The public is back on the Rettenbach!
Following Tyrolean health regulations, the organisers will finally be able to welcome spectators back to a World Cup race after last season's closed races. The Sölden Committee has decided to sell up to 5000 tickets for Saturday's race (women) and the same number for Sunday's race (men), tickets can only be purchased online and are nominal.
Queens of the Giant Slalom
Marta Bassino (ITA) is undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited skier at the Austrian opening, undisputed queen of the most technical discipline, she crowned her dream of winning the Giant Slalom cup last season. She started her ride in Sölden when she won the opening for the first time in her career.
Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI) will certainly be one of her biggest rivals. After winning the giant slalom gold medal at the World Championships and finishing second in the overall ranking, the Swiss skier will be arriving at the starting gate in a fiercer mood than ever.
Let's never forget the veterans Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) and Petra Vlhova (SVK). The American has just finished a season that began quietly but ended with a four-medals record at the World Championships, while the Slovakian has kept pace with all the others by winning the Overall and becoming a national hero.
There are the veterans and there are the young stars, such as Alice Robinson (NZL), who won her first World Cup in Sölden two seasons ago and is the epitome of genius and unruliness from which you can expect everything!
Kings of the Giant Slalom
Alexis Pinturault (FRA), is definitely one of the skiers to keep your eyes on throughout this season. Being the winner of the Crystal Globe in GS last year and first in the overall Cup Standings, Pinturault will surely have his target set for this season. Having claimed five top 3 GS finishes in the 2020/2021 season, we can expect more exhilarating racing from Pinturault this season.
National teammate, Mathieu Faivre (FRA), most probably won’t be too far behind in the leader board this season. The French national won gold at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2021. Being world champion, Faivre will surely have the motivation and desire to make his mark on the GS circuit, starting from his very first descent in Sölden.
Marco Odermatt (SUI) will also be a top contender in chasing the Crystal Globe this season! Finishing second in the overall Cup Standings and third in the GS Cup Standingds, the Swiss skier won’t withholding anything in order to finish in that top position!
We of course can’t forget the winner of the opening event last year in Sölden, Lucas Braathen (NOR). Unfortunately, he tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) last season whilst racing in Adelboden, which put him out for the rest of the ski season. He is back and we’re sure that he’s pumped to get the new season underway!
Predict the winner!
Test your knowledge of the alpine skiing world! The FIS Predictor Challenge is now live, so head over and make you predictions of who will be the successful athletes this upcoming weekend. Register for free on: https://predictorchallenge.fis-ski.com/