The wait is almost over. The World Cup opening weekend in Sölden (AUT) is just around the corner. The incredible Rettenbach glacier is covered in snow and ready to kick off the 2020/21 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season on 17-18 October 2020. Despite the new restrictions and regulations and the absence of big crowds in the finish area, this season will certainly keep us on the edge of our seats.
The glacier will be closed to the public, for exclusive use of the World Cup participants: athletes, staff, officials and media. This is to ensure the safest conditions for everyone involved in the World Cup.
Robinson and Pinturault defending champions
Last season started off with a bang, as Alice Robinson (NZL) took her first ever World Cup victory under blue skies. The young Kiwi born in 2001 edged Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) and Tessa Worley (FRA) in a very tight finish! Alexis Pinturault (FRA) put on a great show and dominated the first men’s giant slalom of the season. The French athlete finished over half a second in front of teammate Mathieu Faivre and Slovenian Zan Kranjec.
Many big names, no clear favourites
It will be a very exciting start, with many athletes fighting for the victory.
In the women’s race, with Shiffrin missing the season opening due to a back injury, the battle will be between 2019/20 Giant Slalom World Cup winner Federica Brignone (ITA), Petra Vlhova (SVK) and Alice Robinson (NZL). Despite the injury that kept her away from competitions for part of last season, Tessa Worley (FRA) could also fight for her second victory in Sölden and certainly Marta Bassino (ITA) is also among the ones to watch!
In the men’s race, one of the favourites is Alexis Pinturault (FRA) who won the last two races on the Rettenbach glacier. Norwegian Kristoffersen, after winning the Giant Slalom globe last season, will be battling hard as well. Finally, Zan Kranjec (SLO) and Filip Zubcic (CRO) will also want to steal the show and keep building on the momentum from last season.
The favourites should better watch out though, a surprise is always around the corner!
Predict the winner now
FIS recently launched the FIS Predictor Challenge for fans to compete against each other and guess the winner before each race. Head to predictorchallenge.fis-ski.com to sign up for free and start playing now. Create your own league with family and friends to battle it out and see who comes out on top. You can win great prizes, including Longines Timepieces!
We are all ready. Let the show begin!