On the Snow: Thrilling city event in Stockholm

Alpine Skiing

On Tuesday evening, Stockholm (SWE) hosted its third Audi FIS Ski World Cup city event on the slope at SkiStar's Hammarbybacken. The race was the final World Cup technical event prior to the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, where a head-to-head racing format will make its Olympic debut in the Alpine Team Event. 

In front of a sold out arena of cheering fans, Nina Haver-Loeseth (NOR) and Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI) won the thrilling event.

Zenhaeusern beat Sweden’s Andre Myhrer (SWE) in the final of the men’s race. He led by 0.04 seconds after the first run and clinched the final as Myhrer was disqualified in the second leg. It was the first World Cup victory for the rising Swiss star.

In the ladies’ final, Wendy Holdener (SU) led after the first leg, but a mistake on the second allowed Haver-Loeseth to pass her and claim victory.

Last weekend, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour stopped in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) for a downhill and giant slalom. In Saturday’s downhill, Beat Feuz (SUI) staked his claim as the man to beat for Olympic gold as he earned his third downhill victory of the season, edging Italian Dominik Paris.

Sunday’s giant slalom winner needed no introduction as Marcel Hirscher (AUT) earned his tenth victory of the season ahead of teammate Manuel Feller and American Ted Ligety, back on the podium after missing xxx due to injury last season.

The ladies’ tour was in Lenzerheide (SUI) for a full three-race weekend. Things got off on the right foot for the host nation as Wendy Holdener delighted her home fans with the win in Friday’s alpine combined. Tessa Worley (FRA) earned victory in Saturday’s giant slalom ahead of German Viktoria Rebensburg. Rounding out the weekend action was Petra Vlhova’s return to the top of the podium in Sunday’s slalom ahead of Frida Hansdotter (SWE) and Holdener in third, who had a strong week.

Ski Jumping

The Ski Jumping World Cup presented by Viessmann was in Zakopane (POL), where the Polish team gave their 50,000 committed fans reason to celebrate on Saturday, in claiming the team victory.

On Sunday, Anze Semenic (SLO) took his first career World Cup victory. It was a very good day for the Slovenians led by Semenic who had two strong jumps and benefited from many favourites struggling with the tricky conditions. Andreas Wellinger (GER) finished second while Peter Prevc (SLO) came in third. After Kamil Stoch had an uncharacteristically bad qualification jump, he failed to make the final round which gave Richard Freitag (GER) the overall World Cup lead with 737 points. Stoch has 733 points, while Wellinger follows in third with 665 points.

Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT) returned to World Cup action in grand fashion, winning the second Individual competition of the weekend in Ljubno (SLO) with jumps of 89.0 and 89.5 meters. With the win on Sunday, the Austrian snapped the winning streak of Norwegian Maren Lundby, who took second on the day after having added a victory to her season total in the weekend’s first individual competition on Saturday. Iraschko-Stolz’s performance adds another level of intrigue to the hunt for the Olympic gold medal with Lundby, Katharina Althaus, Sara Takanashi all looking strong for the Games.

Snowboard

It was snowboard-mania in Bansko (BUL) with three days of cross and parallel action in the last FIS World Cup events before the Olympic Winter Games.

In the two parallel events, there were two entirely different podiums as Ester Ledecka (CZE) and Jasey Jay Anderson (CAN) claimed victories in the first of the competitions.

The next day, neither athlete made the top three as Swiss rider Nevin Galmarini took his first World Cup victory for the men, while Austrian Julia Dujmotvits was the ladies’ winner.

The snowboardcross competition proved to be a good day for France as Charlotte Bankes and Pierre Vaultier secured the double victory in the 300-meter long sprint course.