On the Snow: FIS World Cups in action on three continents

The various FIS World Cup series were in action last weekend in Europe, Asia and North America.

Alpine

The Audi FIS Ski World Cup kicked off its North American leg with the ladies in Killington, Vermont (USA) and the men in Lake Louise (CAN).

In Killington, Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) claimed the honours in Saturday’s giant slalom ahead of local hero Mikaela Shiffrin (USA). Rebensburg has emerged as the biggest threat to Shiffrin early in the season as Saturday’s victory was her second of the season after Soelden. Sunday’s slalom saw a return to winning ways for Shiffrin much to the delight of the in a fully sold-out stadium.

The men had an emotional pair of speed races as the entire tour recovers from the tragic loss of David Poisson in a training accident. Many paid their respects throughout the weekend races, which saw Beat Feuz (SUI) take the first downhill win of the 2017/18 season ahead of comeback king Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR). On Sunday, Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) was the top man in the super-G.

Nordics

All three Nordic disciplines were together in Ruka (FIN) for the official opening of the 2017/18 Nordic season presented by Viessmann. Cross Country and Nordic Combined have taken the three-days of Ruka competitions and turned them into mini-tours, with results cumulating throughout the weekend.

In Cross Country, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR) proved that he is a man for all occasions winning the Ruka Triple 2017.  He started the final race on Sunday with a 38-second lead on the field and held on for the victory in a tactical 15 km race on the final day.

Sweden's Charlotte Kalla picked up the ladies’ Ruka Triple victory after a pulling away in stunning fashion from Marit Bjoergen on the final lap of the 10 km race on the final day of the weekend, her surge on the steep hill was enough to give her the overall victory.

Nordic Combined had three different victors in the three inaugural triple Ruka Triple competitions, with Espen Andersen (NOR) earning his first-ever World Cup victory on Friday, followed by a gutsy skiing performance by Akito Watabe (JPN) on Saturday, and the power of Johannes Rydzek (GER) in Sunday’s win. In the end, the Ruka Triple title could only go to one of the three deserving winners, which proved to be Watabe, who had the best overall performances in the three competitions.

In Ski Jumping action, 34-year-old Slovenian Jernej Damjan provided a big surprise in the individual event. With jumps of 140 m and 142 m, Damjan took a well-deserved win against the world's elite. It was only his second career World Cup win. Meanwhile, the Norwegians won their second team event of the season in convincing fashion as their depth is proving to be tough to overcome.

Freestyle, Freeski & Snowboard

The FIS Freeski slopestyle World Cup was back in business last weekend at the famous Stubai Zoo snowpark in Tirol, as the second stop of the season saw Jennie-Lee Burmansson (SWE) and Oystein Braaten (NOR) taking home big wins in what was an exceptional start to the slopestyle competition season in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Anna Gasser (AUT) and Mark McMorris (CAN) earned historic wins triumphing in the FIS Snowboard World Cup Infinite 2017 Air + Style Beijing which was staged in the Worker's Stadium. It was the first time ever that the Asian stop of the well-respected event series was sanctioned as FIS Snowboard World Cup, and the first time ladies entered the contest.

The FIS World Cup Big Air season will continue next week with the second ever ARAG Big Air Festival in both Freeski and Snowboard being staged in Moenchengladbach, Germany on 2nd December.