SANTA CATERINA, Italy (Dec. 29, 2016) – In alpine combined, athletes usually favor one run over the other, but sometimes it all comes together and the results follow. Such was the case in Thursday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup alpine combined (super G/slalom) for Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT), who led three Americans into the top 30 with a career-best 10th place finish.
“It feels really good to kind of put it on the edge for the super G portion … I think I did pretty well with that,” said Cochran-Siegle, who finished 12th coming from the 50th start position in the morning super G. “Then in slalom, I just tried hanging in there. I think I skied pretty well once I got into the course, but the top was a little slow. Those top guys are very, very good slalom skiers, so I’m pretty happy to be where I am.”
SEMMERING, Austria (Dec. 28, 2016) – Wet, heavy snow can’t slow you down when you’re having fun. Just ask Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), who battled through a snowstorm to win her second giant slalom in a row at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Wednesday in Semmering.
“There was so much snow coming down, I could feel my skis in the track speeding up, and then coming out slowing down,” Shiffrin said. “And I was like ‘oh, this isn’t good, it’s gotta be slow!’ So I kept fighting and fighting.”
Mikaela Shiffrin won her second-straight Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom in Semmering, Austria, Tuesday. (Getty/Agence Zoom-Laurent Salino)
SANTA CATERINA, Italy (Dec. 28, 2016) – Strong winds forced the cancellation of Wednesday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup Downhill.
Following two start delays, the winds wouldn’t let up and the forecast didn’t improve, so unfortunately, the only option left was to cancel the downhill.
With two cancellations already this season (Lake Louise – rescheduled in Kvitfjell / Beaver Creek – rescheduled in Val d’Isère) and a very tight World Cup calendar, the Santa Caterina downhill will not be replaced on the calendar. So the 2016/17 season will now have eight downhills instead of nine.
The sun was shining, but the wind was howling as #AmericanDownhillers await a snowcat ride for course inspection Wednesday. (USSA)
SEMMERING, Austria (Dec. 27, 2016) – Maybe it wasn’t perfect, but it was fast and capped off with a double fist pump and celebratory “Yeah!”
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) won her second career Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom race Tuesday in Semmering, a make up event from last week’s race that was canceled due to wind in Courchevel, France.
“Today I felt really good just going for it,” Shiffrin said when asked about her reaction coming across the finish line and realizing she had won. “I wasn’t trying to ski perfect; I was just trying to ski fast. I believed in myself for the first time in a GS race, and that was very emotional.
SANTA CATERINA, Italy (Dec. 27, 2016) – The Audi FIS Ski World Cup circuit resumed Tuesday with a make up race on a steep, dark and challenging course. But none of that mattered to Tommy Biesemeyer (Keene, NY), who posted a career-best eighth-place finish to lead five Americans into the top 30 Tuesday.
“Everybody here is a good skier, but I actually believe that I’m a great skier!” Biesemeyer said. “I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I’m just really trying to focus on my abilities, my skiing characteristics, and a hill like this I think plays to my advantage where I can channel my innate skiing ability into a technical, steep, dark and intimidating hill.”
SEMMERING, Austria (Dec. 26, 2016) – The holiday flew by on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup circuit. With the rescheduled giant slalom race from Courchevel for the women and super G from Lake Louise for the men, there wasn’t much time for celebration and relaxation. Even so, the athletes made the most of their time, celebrating with teammates and family before moving on to Semmering and Santa Caterina, Italy.
On the women’s side, the tour returns to the iconic Semmering giant slalom/slalom venue outside Vienna for three races, including an important night slalom for Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) on Thursday. Shiffrin will look to build on her win streak, which is at six successive wins following her victory in Sestriere.
MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy (Dec. 22, 2016) – Santa came early this Christmas for the young AJ Ginnis (Vouliagmeni, Greece). Under the lights and in front of 16,000 screaming Italian fans at one of the longest-standing, most classic venues on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup circuit, Ginnis snagged his first World Cup points, finishing 26th. David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) finished 17th.
For the second consecutive year, Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen and Austria’s Marcel Hirscher went 1-2, with Italy’s own Stefano Gross finishing third, 1.35 seconds out. No worries, Hirscher—no drones in sight this year. Instead, it was Ginnis who stunned the crowd, skiing a clean and solid first run, rocketing him from 58th to 13th.
COURCHEVEL, France (Dec. 20, 2016) – Strong and gusty winds forced officials to cancel the Audi FIS Ski World Cup women’s giant slalom Tuesday. A rescheduled date and location have not been announced by the FIS.
The race started on schedule at 10:30 a.m. local time and the first 19 racers completed the first run as winds picked up. Italy’s Sofia Goggia was in the lead before officials held Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon in the start with bib 20 due to conditions. Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) was sitting in 10th position. Following a lengthy course hold, officials announced the race would be re-started from a lower position starting with bib 1 at 12:15 p.m. local time.
After postponing the rescheduled start to 12:30 p.m. local time, officials ultimately decided to cancel the race due to unfavorable weather conditions.
ALTA BADIA, Italy (Dec. 19, 2016) – 22-year-old Cyprien Sarrazin of France took the surprise win in just his seventh World Cup start at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup parallel giant slalom in Alta Badia.
32 racers battled for the win in in the head-to-head, knockout format. Carlo Janka of Switzerland was a close second and last year’s Alta Badia PGS winner Kjetil Jansrud took third. Americans Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT) and Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) did not make it past the first heat. Cochran-Siegle finished 20th and Ford was 25th.
Tommy Ford skied to 25th. (Getty Images-Giuseppe Cacace)
The World Cup tour continues in Italy for a night slalom in Madonna di Campiglio Thursday before the Christmas break.
ALTA BADIA, Italy (Dec. 18, 2016) – The men’s World Cup tour moved to the other side of the Dolomites where Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) was the fastest American in the Alta Badia giant slalom.
Marcel Hirscher of Austria took an easy victory over Mathieu Faivre of France in second and Florian Eisath of Italy in third, which catapulted him to first in the giant slalom standings over France’s Alexis Pinturault, who crashed second run. It was also Hirscher’s fourth win at Alta Badia, tying him with Alberto Tomba, the only other man who has won the venue four times.
Ford skied strongly both runs down the dark Grand Risa pitch, but had a couple of mistakes that cost him a top-10 finish. He took 13th place, adding to the GS points he scored in Val d’Isere at the beginning of the month. “I’m continuing the work I’ve been doing—skiing well and getting in a good position,” said Ford. “I executed better first run—kind of an unlucky mistake in the middle there.”