AN AUSTRIAN RAZZIA AND TWO FIXED SWISS PLACES
17.03.2023 - The European Cup downhill finals in Narvik (NOR) ended with surprise winners: in the women's race, 24-year-old Camille Cerrutti from France triumphed, 0.07 seconds ahead of discipline winner Nadine Fest (AUT), while in the men's race, Liechtenstein’s Marco Pfiffner (who is soon to turn 29) finished 0.02 seconds ahead of Nejc Naralocnik, the 24-year-old Slovenian who, thanks to this exploit, leapt ahead in the discipline rankings from 7th place, thus securing the third fixed place for the 23/24 World Cup. The positions ahead of him went to the duo from the Bernese Oberland who delivered the best Swiss performances in the downhill. 25-year-old Marco Kohler, winner of the overall European Cup and the downhill, and 21-year-old Franjo von Allmen took 4th and 5th places in the shortened race which saw 30 competitors finish within 0.99 seconds of each other, they finished +0.09 and +0.15 seconds respectively.
In the women's event, nothing changed in the top 3 ranking for the discipline. Nadine Fest, who has been outstanding this season, and who also won the two European Cup downhills in Crans-Montana, scored a total of 506 points this season, well ahead of her compatriots Christina Ager (379) and Sabrina Maier (331). Switzerland’s Delia Durrer, who tied in sixth place with Maier in the seventh and final race of the season, remained in fourth place, 25 points behind. This means that in what has been a great World Cup season for Swiss-Ski, no Swiss European Cup skier has managed to secure a permanent place in the top league for next winter, because in the super-G all the top places had been taken by Austrians before the last race. This has not happened in a long time.
TWO PODIUMS, BUT NO FIXED PLACE IN THE WORLD CUP 23/24
14.03.2023 - The second day of racing in the European Cup Finals in Narvik (NOR) brought two more podium places for Swiss-Ski, in the slalom this time, but there were also some disappointments. Nicole Good and Mélanie Meillard, who had already placed third in Monday's giant slalom, took the podium places to the left and right of France’s Marie Lamure, 0.43 and 0.58 seconds behind her as she celebrated her third win of the season. As for the final decision in the discipline, with five skiers still in the running, they were unfortunately already out of the picture before this tenth race. The battle for three fixed places in the 2023/24 World Cup remained unchanged at the top. Despite Beatrice Sola (ITA/419 points) and Cornelia Öhland (SWE/410) dropping out of the race, they remain in second and third position behind Moa Boström Mussener (SWE/477), who was sixth today. Nicole Good (258) improved once again, to finish in a final 7th place (Meillard/134 was 19th).
In the men's race, where seven competitors were fighting for the last two fixed places behind the already confirmed winner Halvor Hilde Gunleiksrud (NOR), the day winner Joaquim Salarich (ESP) and Steven Amiez (FRA), 0.61 seconds behind him, were all smiles. Amiez, kept his overall second place with 374 points, while Salarich, who is only 19 years old, overtook Tanguy Nef (290) and Sandro Simonet (280) to take third place when he scored his 100th point, giving him 370 in total. After the first run, the situation looked promising for the Swiss. Simonet (2nd) and Nef (11th) were on the right tracks, but they were both eliminated in the second run, as were Noel von Grünigen and Gunleiksrud. The 23-year-old Norwegian, who already has 397 points in the bag, was unfazed.
EUROPEAN CUP FINAL - SWISS IN PLACES 1 TO 3 ! - MELANIE MEILLARD MISSES OUT ON A FIXED PLACE
13.03.2023 - The final European Cup races in Narvik (NOR), which began with the giant slaloms, got off to a good start for Swiss-Ski, with third places for Mélanie Meillard and Josua Mettler. In the men's races, Mettler won both the overall and discipline rankings. The fact that 24-year-old Mettler won the giant slalom in front of Livio Simonet (-9 points) and the unlucky Marco Fischbacher (-27) - who was still in the lead in the discipline before the final race, but ended up out in the second run after setting the second fastest time in the first run - was a huge success for the Swiss team.
The Swiss women didn’t have quite so much luck. Mélanie Meillard from Valais, one of the five candidates still in the running for two fixed 2023/24 World Cup places, was in the lead, 0.25 seconds ahead of Simone Wild after the first run, but in the second run they finished in 16th and 18th place respectively, and were both relegated, with Meillard 0.66 seconds behind Austria’s Michaela Heider (5th + best run time) and Elisabeth Kappaurer (2 x 4th time), with Wild in 6th place. Meillard, who won the last two European Cup giant slaloms in February in Maribor, therefore missed out on a great opportunity and ended up in 4th place in the final ranking with 406 points, behind 22-year-old Swede Hilma Loevblom (516), who was eliminated this time, but who was already guaranteed first place in the discipline, Kappaurer (480) and Elisa Platino (440), who was 4th in the last race. Viviane Härri (14th) and Vanessa Kasper (21st) had no influence on the decision.
SWISS FALL SHORT IN FINLAND, A DOUBLE WIN FOR MARIE LAMURE
8.03.2023 - Eliane Christen was the only Swiss skier to manage a top 15 finish in the two European Cup slaloms held in Suomu.
The Swiss slalom skiers won’t be leaving with fond memories of the two events in Lapland. In Suomu, only Eliane Christen managed a top 15 place in the second race, when she finished 13th. Lorina Zelger finished 18th and 20th. It has to be said that the best Swiss short turn specialists are currently in Åre, where they will be competing in a World Cup slalom in the Swedish resort on Saturday.
It was France's Marie Lamure who gifted herself first place in both competitions on Father Christmas’ home turf. On Tuesday, she beat Norway’s Andrine Mårstøl and Sweden’s Moa Boström Müssener, and on Wednesday she beat Italy's Anita Gulli and Andrine Mårstøl again.
Delia Durrer and Mélanie Meillard for fixed places
The European Cup season is coming to an end and all that remains for the women are the finals next week in Narvik. The only two Swiss athletes who could still claim a top three finish in their discipline and secure a fixed place in the World Cup next winter are Delia Durrer in the downhill and Mélanie Meillard in the giant slalom.
TWO WINS FOR HILMA LÖVLBLOM, TWO TOP 10 PLACES FOR MÉLANIE MEILLARD
5.03.2023 - Mélanie Meillard finished with two eighth places in the Gällivare European Cup. Sweden's Hilma Lövblom enjoyed two wins on home soil.
There were no Swiss podiums in the European Cup giants in Gällivare. After two wins in Maribor, Mélanie Meillard once again showed her consistency in Sweden. She didn’t manage to finish on the podium this time, and had to make do with two 8th places. Only Simone Wild from St. Gallen did better in the second race in Norrbotten, finishing 7th.
However, these two new performances by Mélanie Meillard should increase her confidence before heading to Åre, where the World Cup will be held on Friday and Saturday, with a giant and a slalom scheduled. Elena Stoffel, who finished twelfth in Gällivare on Saturday, will also be pleased to be back with the elite, after not being selected for the World Championships in Meribel.
In the lead, Hilma Lövblom managed two wins in two days. The 22-year-old Swede demonstrated her mastery in both races, beating Austria’s Elisabeth Kappaurer each time. On Saturday, France’s Doriane Escané completed the podium, and on Sunday it was Norway’s Marte Monsen.
MARIUS ROBYR: "TWO SUPERB RACES"
Marius Robyr, president of the Crans-Montana Race Organisation Committee, reviews the European Cup weekend on the Haut-Plateau. An interview, with a smile.
Marius Robyr, how would you sum up this European Cup weekend in Crans-Montana?
"Extraordinary! We were incredibly lucky because we had two great training sessions and two superb races, despite the incredible heat. The European Cup is a bit easier, because you can bring the start forward. We started one race at 9am and one at 8.30am, and we didn't have any injuries, so for me it couldn’t be more positive! And these races will allow us to be even better for the World Cup races next week.”
So about next weekend, Crans-Montana will be holding the next competitions. Is everything ready ?
"We’re expecting huge crowds! But for us, only one thing matters, and that’s the weather. If the weather is on our side, it’ll be a superb celebration, the organisation will be impeccable. Now, if it snows on Thursday or Friday, there’ll be a lot more work for us. But I’m very confident and optimistic."
And if it’s too sunny?
"If it's too sunny, we'll deal with it. We should never forget that in life a good leader doesn't have problems, they only have solutions. This is where we have to show that we’re good at this.”
In 2027, Crans-Montana will host the World Championships. How do the European Cup and World Cup races help to prepare the foundations for this?
“In terms of organisation, for us the work starts now. We can't afford to mess up. As it's very hot, we can't do anything whatsoever wrong on the piste, because it could be catastrophic. Fortunately, we have very competent people working on the piste who know what they’re talking about. We can do an excellent job. "
And what about the athletes?
"I've talked to some of the skiers and they’re looking forward to the World Championships, that's why they’re here. The Swiss, the Austrians, skiers from all countries are looking forward to coming here and skiing a World Cup course. There's a goal, and it's great to see these youngsters getting ready for the World Championships."
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AUSTRIAN NADINE FEST WINS THE DOUBLE IN CRANS-MONTANA, MALORIE BLANC FINISHES IN AN EXCELLENT 5TH PLACE
19.02.2023 - Austrian Nadine Fest won the European Cup double in Crans-Montana, also winning the second downhill of the weekend on Sunday, followed by American Keely Cashman and another Austrian, Sabrina Maier. Malorie Blanc from Valais achieved the best result of her career by finishing 5th on the Mont Lachaux piste.
Nadine Fest was the undisputed queen of Crans-Montana this weekend. After being the fastest in both training sessions and winner of the first downhill of the weekend on Saturday, the 24-year-old Austrian did not cave under pressure, and set the fastest time again on Sunday. American Keely Cashman finished +0.28, to claim her first ever European Cup podium. Sabrina Maier, who also had solid results in training, confirmed the Austrian supremacy, taking third place 0.40 behind the winner.
One of the great moments of the day for the crowd in Crans-Montana was also the excellent performance by Malorie Blanc from Ayent who finished 5th, only 0.13 away from the podium! A very promising result for the 19-year-old from Valais, who finished with the best Swiss result on Sunday. Stephanie Jenal, in third place the day before, had to make do with a 10th place, followed by Nathalie Gröbli (12th), Janine Schmitt (19th), Delia Durrer (20th) and Juliana Suter (22nd).
The European Cup now makes way for the World Cup, which will be stopping off on the Haut-Plateau next weekend, with a downhill on Saturday 25 February, followed
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Malorie Blanc, the new Valais speed talent
Since Fränzi Aufdenblatten retired in 2014, the Valais skiing world has been looking for a new speed specialist. It may have found her in Malorie Blanc. The 19-year-old from Ayent is leapfrogging her way through stages in the European Cup. This weekend in Crans-Montana, she improved on and then blasted her best result in this competition which is the threshold to the elite class. After taking 14th place on Saturday on the Mont Lachaux piste, she finished in a fantastic 5th place on Sunday.
Performances like these could very soon open the doors of the World Cup for Malorie Blanc. Here we meet the talented athlete from Valais.
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Video (in French only): Laurent Morel/SkiActu
ELVEDINA MUZAFERIJA, A SOLE BOSNIAN ON THE WHITE CIRCUS
19.02.2023- Elvedina Muzaferija secured a historic first podium for Bosnia-Herzegovina when she finished in second place in the European Cup downhill in Crans-Montana on Saturday. And the 23-year-old, who says she is a fan of the Mont Lachaux piste, hopes the result will encourage a renaissance of the sport in her country.
"It was a very busy week because after the World Championships in Meribel, I went straight to Bosnia for the European Cup, then I came here to Crans-Montana. So I'm a bit tired, but I'm so happy to be here! I love this piste, that's why I came here for a European Cup race."
The 23-year-old Bosnian missed out on victory by just .02 on Saturday in the first run. At the World Championships in Meribel, she finished 15th in the combined and 20th in the downhill. These are promising results for the young athlete who also competes in the World Cup but doesn’t have the large infrastructure enjoyed by her Swiss, French or Austrian colleagues. "We’re a really small team, I don't even have a coach, it's just me and a service man.” She also self-finances, with the help of sponsors. "But I hope that with my results, more people will become interested in skiing in Bosnia, and we can have a bigger team because we have places to train, but we need support," the skier notes. "I feel lonely being the only skier in my country."
A first in Sarajevo in the European Cup
There is already a glimmer of hope: this week, the European Cup stopped off in Sarajevo. It was the first time the Bosnian capital has hosted a race since the 1984 Olympic Games, and a magical moment for Elvedina Muzaferija. "I didn't ski very well, I was under too much pressure but it was amazing. There were so many people applauding at the finish. I was more stressed than in the World Cup because everyone wanted me to get a good result, but it was great to race at home."
The fact that she has now achieved a first podium for Bosnia-Herzegovina is "huge", she says. It wasn’t entirely unexpected that this would happen in Crans-Montana, as it was in the Valais resort that Elvedina Muzaferija first finished in the top 10 in the European Cup almost three years ago.
Crans-Montana 2027 in her sights
She is now aiming for podiums and victories in the World Cup and, why not, at the World Championships in 2027 on the Mont Lachaux piste that she likes so much. "I was hoping that the Worlds would be here. I’ve loved this piste from the start, and this is the fourth year I've come to Crans-Montana, in the European Cup and the World Cup, so I'm looking forward to the Worlds. And I hope I can ski at a good enough level to be able to get a medal!"
Her next opportunity to dazzle will be next weekend, as Crans-Montana hosts the White Circus for a women’s downhill and super-G.
Video: Laurent Morel/SkiActu
A FINE PODIUM IN THE CRANS-MONTANA SUNSHINE
18.02.2023 - Austria’s Nadine Fest, who had already given an impressive performance in training over the previous two days, won the day, ahead of Bosnia’s Elvedina Muzaferija and Switzerland’s Stephanie Jenal in the first European Cup downhill in Crans-Montana.
Nadine Fest showed that the Mont Lachaux piste suits her down to the ground by winning the first European Cup downhill on Saturday, having already set the best time in both training sessions. It was the Austrian's third victory in the discipline, however it was Elvedina Muzaferija who created a sensation by finishing just 0"02 away from the first place. The Bosnian not only secured the first podium finish of her career, but also the first podium for her country in the European Cup, on a course that she particularly likes. It was here that she achieved her first top 10 in the European Cup, in the 2020 super-G.
Stephanie Jenal saved face for Switzerland in style, by finishing third, with + 0"64, and her fourth European Cup podium. The other Swiss finished further behind. Nathalie Gröbli snuck into 10th place, 0"30 away from the podium. Local Malorie Blanc took an excellent 14th place, achieving her best result in the World Cup in front of her friends.
There was less success for Juliana Suter (16th) and Janine Schmitt (19th), Noémie Kolly (31st), Isabella Pedrazzi (32nd), Nora Guggisberg (41st), Sina Fausch (46th), Daria Zurlinden (48th), Chiara Lanz (49th), Laura Huber (50th), Elena Stucki (53rd) and Eliana Stoessel (58th).
A second downhill will take place on Sunday. The start has been brought forward to 8.30 am in order to take advantage of the best possible conditions on the Mont Lachaux piste.
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THE AUSTRIANS STILL AHEAD
17.02.203 – As was the case the previous day, two Austrians set the top two times in training for the European Cup downhill races in Crans-Montana. Nadine Fest beat Christina Ager and the Bosnian Elvedina Muzaferija. Malorie Blanc came in 7th place.
It looks like it’s going to be a fight to catch up with the Austrians in the European Cup downhill races in Crans-Montana on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February. They’ve stormed through the training sessions on the Mont Lachaux piste. On Friday, in a second training downhill, scheduled at 9am to avoid the high temperatures, Nadine Fest was the fastest, like the previous day. This time the 24-year-old was 0"19 ahead of her compatriot - and leader of the overall European Cup ranking - Christina Ager. Both athletes slowed down at the bottom of the course, and will definitely be faster on the weekend.
One little surprise today came from Elvedina Muzaferija (+0"35), who managed the third fastest time. The Bosnian will be trying to secure her first podium place in the European Cup, a threshold to the World Cup arena. Local Malorie Blanc (Anzère Crans-Montana Ski-Team) was the fastest Swiss, finishing in 7th place, 0"74 behind the fastest time. Delia Durrer (15th), Stephanie Jenal (16th) and Juliana Suter (18th) will also be contenders.
It is also worth noting that 17-year-old Laura Huber from Bern came in 22nd place. She will be trying to score her first European Cup points on Saturday. Nathalie Gröbli (24th), Noémie Kolly (27th) and Isabella Pedrazzi (30th) will also be desperate to shine in front of the Swiss crowds.
Notice from the Organising Committee to spectators of this weekend's European Cup races: Races will start at 09:00 (instead of 10:00 as initially planned).
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THE AUSTRIANS ALREADY OUT TO IMPRESS
16.02.2023 - Nadine Fest and Sabrina Maier set the two fastest times in the first training session for the European Cup downhill races in Crans-Montana. Several skiers got caught out at the bottom of the course.
The first test on the Mont Lachaux piste was a success for the Austrians. The Wunderteam is the favourite, thanks to their impressive performances in the European Cup over the last few weeks, and they already marked their territory on Thursday. In a training session that started at 9.30am in order to avoid the high temperatures forecasted for the sunny Haut-Plateau, Nadine Fest set the best time of the day, beating her compatriot Sabrina Maier by 0"12.
On a piste that held up perfectly, several athletes were caught out just a few dozen metres from the finish, on a gate that was difficult to reach. Nicol Delago finished with the third fastest time, while her sister Nadia finished 6th behind the two French competitors, Anouck Errard and Camille Cerutti.
The Swiss women came in slightly behind. Delia Durrer, who enjoys this Valais piste, nevertheless managed a sound 7th place, without pushing it, with +1"00. Malorie Blanc from Valais came in just behind her (9th, +1"06). She will be keen to dazzle in front of her home crowd, as at 19 years old, she is competing in her second European Cup in Crans-Montana. Stephanie Jenal finished in 13th position, Nathalie Gröbli in 18th, Janine Schmitt in 22nd and Noémie Kolly in 25th.
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A SWISS-AUSTRIAN DUEL IN THE EUROPEAN CUP
13.02.2023 - Two European Cup races will be held this Saturday and Sunday, 18 and 19 February, in Crans-Montana. The two competitions will serve as a general rehearsal for the World Cup races next week.
Crans-Montana will be the scene of two women's European Cup downhill races this weekend, and these events will serve as a dress rehearsal for the women's downhill and super-G on 25 and 26 February. The field will be very strong on the Mont Lachaux piste, where we can expect a duel between top Swiss and Austrian speed experts.
In the Swiss clan, Delia Durrer, Juliana Suter, Stephanie Jenal and Noémie Kolly will be candidates for the podium. The four skiers will take advantage of these European Cup races to prepare for the World Cup races the following week. They will be supported by the young Swiss guard, led by Stefanie Grob, triple medalist from the Junior World Championships, and also by Valais locals Malorie Blanc and Delphine Darbellay.
Christina Ager and the Delago sisters headline
However, the Swiss skiers will have their work cut out against the Austrian armada. European Cup leader Christina Ager will be the great favourite for both races on the Haut-Plateau. The "Wunderteam" will also be able to count on talents such as Nadine Fest, Vanessa Nussbaumer and Sabrina Maier.
Talking of favourites, we should also mention Italian sisters Nadia and Nicol Delago, who are also preparing for the World Cup. Among the outsiders, there is also transalpine Sara Thaler, Germany’s Katrin Hirtl-Stanggassinger, Bosnia’s Elvedina Muzaferija, recently 20th in the downhill at the World Championships in Méribel, and Andorra’s Cande Moreno.
Photographer Hervé Deprez (Crans-Montana) has documented the great work done so far on the Mont Lachaux piste with some impressive images.
THE AUSTRIANS ARE UNTOUCHABLE IN THE EUROPEAN CUP
13.02.2023 - Two super-G races were scheduled this Monday in Bjelašnica, Bosnia. The race, near Sarajevo, was a huge success for the Austrians who managed to finish with two quadruple wins.
Bosnia seems to suit the Austrian women’s squad. As the first European Cup super-G due to take place in Bjelašnica on Sunday was postponed until Monday, they managed a raid on the two scheduled events in the resort that hosted the 1984 Olympic Games. Christina Ager won the first super-G, Michelle Niederwieser the second.
But it was the overall performance of the Wunderteam that was most impressive. Both events produced quadruple Austrian wins. The leader of the overall European Cup and downhill ranking, Christina Ager (27), beat Michaela Heider, Nadine Fest and Sabrina Maier in the first race. Later in the day, Michelle Niederwieser won her first race in the World Cup arena, ahead of Nadine Fest, Sandra Absmann and Christina Ager.
The Swiss women finished further behind. In the first Bosnian race, Juliana Suter took 8th place, and Nicole Good 10th. Nicole Good finished in 8th place in the following race, securing the best Swiss result.
MÉLANIE MEILLARD TAKES THE DOUBLE IN MARIBOR
10.02.2023 – Two victories in two days for Valais’ Mélanie Meillard, who is back on top form again in the giant, and won once again in Maribor.
Mélanie Meillard is back on top form in the giant races. In a discipline where she has been searching for her bearings in the last few seasons, the skier from Valais seems to have found the magic formula, as she sealed a second win in two days in the second European Cup giant in Maribor. On Friday in Slovenia, the skier from Hérémence won the competition in front of Italy’s Elisa Platino and the local in this heat, Neja Dvornik.
Mélanie Meillard moved ahead in the first race, finishing with the best time and a lead of almost half a second over her closest competitor. She didn’t waver as she left the start gate behind her to take her fourth win in the European Cup. Before her victory on Thursday ahead of Sweden's Hilma Lövblom and Austria's Elisabeth Kappauer, she hadn’t enjoyed this honour since her two victories in Bad Wiese in the 2017 slalom.
Five Swiss females in the top 10
The Swiss women did very well on Friday, with five finishing in the top 10. Elena Stoffel achieved a remarkable feat, starting with number 66, and going on to set the best time in the second race to finish 7th. Simone Wild (8th), Lorina Zelger (9th) and Vanessa Kasper (10th) complete the excellent Swiss results.
AUSTRIANS AHEAD OF THE SWISS IN THE EUROPEAN CUP
7.02.2023 - Stephanie Jenal and Delia Durrer finished close to the podium in the two super-G races in Sarntal, which were dominated by the Austrians.
For once, the Swiss women’s speed team returned from a competition without any podium places. In Sarntal in South Tyrol, the Swiss women’s team may not have finished on the steps of the podium, but they weren’t that far away in the two super-G races.
Stephanie Jenal finished in 4th and then 5th place, 0.30 away from the podium on Tuesday. Delia Durrer was close behind, in 5th and then 6th position. Nathalie Gröbli was the only one from the Swiss clan to do well again, finishing in 8th place in the second super-G race.
In front of them, the Austrians were on top of their game. On Wednesday, they managed a triple victory, when Christina Ager won ahead of Elisabeth Reisinger and Nadine Fest. Fest had won the first race on Tuesday, beating Germany’s Katrin Hirtl-Stanggassinger and her teammate Christina Ager.
THREE SWISS ON THE PODIUM IN THREE RACES IN CHÂTEL
3.02.2023 - Juliana Suter, Delia Durer and Stephanie Suter took turns on the podium in the European Cup races in Châtel.
One Swiss skier can hide another. In three days of European Cup competitions in Châtel, three Swiss athletes ended up on the podium. It started on Wednesday, with the first downhill on the programme in the Haute-Savoie resort. Juliana Suter from Schwyz took third place in the event, behind the two Austrians, Christina Ager and Nadine Fest. This is her sixth podium of the winter on the threshold of the elite category. Nidwalden’s Delia Durrer just missed out on 4th place.
However she got her revenge on Thursday - in style. The talented skier even avenged her compatriot, by winning the second downhill ahead of Christina Ager and Nadine Fest once again. This is the first time in her career that Delia Durrer has won in the European Cup.
On Friday, Delia Durrer once again finished at the foot of the podium in the super-G, but it was Stephanie Jenal from the Grisons who really stood out. In the last race in neighbouring France, she took third place behind Austria’s Christina Ager and Michelle Niederwieser.
18-year-old Malorie Blanc from Valais achieved the best result of her career, finishing in 19th place in the second downhill.
THIS SWISS WOMEN’S SLALOM TEAM FALLS BEHIND IN VAUJANY
28.01.2023 - The two European Cup slaloms in Vaujany, France didn’t go too well for the Swiss women. Only Lorina Zelger managed to finish in the top 10, taking 6th place in the first race.
The Swiss women missed out in the European Cup event in Vaujany. In France, the Swiss slalom skiers finished a long way from the podium in both events. Lorina Zelger finished with the best result in the Swiss team, taking 6th place in the first slalom, whereas Aline Höpli finished 15th. Eliane Christan was the most consistent Swiss skier, finishing in 12th place twice.
At home, France’s Doriane Escané won on Friday ahead of Norway’s Bianca Bakke-Westhoff and Sweden’s Estelle Alphand. On Saturday, it was another Swede, Cornelia Oelhund, who triumphed ahead of Norway’s Andrine Mårstøl and Italy’s Beatrice Sola.
ALINE DANIOTH IS BRILLIANT, ELENA STOFFEL AND MÉLANIE MEILLARD PLACE
15.01.2023 - In her first European Cup races this winter season, Aline Danioth from Uri finished on the podium in both slaloms in Pozza di Fassa. Elena Stoffel and Mélanie Meillard finished in the top 10.
One day is the same as the next for Aline Danioth. The skier from Andermatt continues her good progress in the European Cup, finishing with a solid 3rd place in the first European Cup slalom in Pozza di Fassa, and then taking 2nd place in the second slalom in the Italian resort, beaten only by Cornelia Öhlund, who also won the day before. The 17-year-old from Sweden is full of promise for the future, competing in only her 13th and 14th European Cup races.
Aline Danioth on the other hand, took her 14th and 15th podium places on this threshold to the World Cup, building her confidence before the next rendez-vous with the elite. But she wasn’t the only Swiss competitor to shine in Italy. Elena Stoffel had been unhappy on the previous day, after
THE AUSTRIANS OUT IN FULL FORCE, THE SWISS ARE ON TRACK
12.01.2023 - The Wunderteam left nothing but crumbs for their opponents in Zauchensee. Among them, the Swiss held their ground, like Delia Durrer, who finished 3rd in the second downhill.
The European Cup in Zauchensee had to dodge raindrops and snowflakes this week. It wasn’t possible to complete the super-G on Thursday. Only 32 skiers were able to start in Zauchensee (AUT). The race was stopped after Austria’s Magdalena Egger, who started with number 32, fell. But the results were still validated because over 30 skiers had been able to start. After brilliant results in the downhill, the Austrian women enjoyed even more success on their home ground. Michaela Heider dominated the race to win by 0"85, ahead of her compatriot Sabrina Maier, and 1"04 ahead of another compatriot, Michelle Niederwieser. In fifth place, Stefanie Grob from St. Gallen finished 0"23 away from the podium, however she achieved her best result in the World Cup arena. Janine Schmitt (7th) finished with her third best performance in the category. Isabella Pedrazzi finished 14th, in a race where only 16 athletes crossed the finish line. Katja Grossmann, Nathalie Gröbli, Nora Guggisberg and Melanie Michel did not finish.
It was the Austrians, competing at home, who ruled the roost in the two downhills held on the same day on Wednesday, following the cancellation of the first race on Tuesday. In the morning, Sabrina Maier won, 0″12 in front of Magdalena Egger and 0″26 ahead of Michelle Niederwieser. Another Austrian, Vanessa Nussbaumer, won the second downhill, 0″08 ahead of her compatriot Christina Ager, and Delia Durrer. And the Swiss didn’t disappoint, on a shortened piste for the races, which lasted just over a minute. After finishing in fifth place in the first race, only 0″12 from the box, Delia Durrer did even better in the afternoon when she sealed her 3rd podium place in the European Cup.
Stefanie Jenal (14th place and then 9th), Janine Schmitt (13th in the first race) and Nathalie Gröbli (22nd and 18th) also showed what they are capable of. And then there was Stefanie Grob (18th and 21st), with a very solid performance once again, and Malorie Blanc (20th and 25th). For her 5th and 6th European Cup races, and the first outside of Switzerland, the 19-year-old from Valais finished with her two best results in the category. The skier from Anzère finished just over a second away from the podium, and proved that she is improving from race to race.
NICOLE GOOD WINS IN THE EUROPEAN CUP
17.12.2022 - Nicole Good from St. Gallen has won the slalom in Ahrntal, South Tyrol this Saturday, the second European Cup win of her career. The Swiss women are back on top, after a tricky first slalom on Friday.
After a difficult first slalom in Ahrntal on Friday, where none finished in the top 15, the Swiss women reacted on Saturday in the second slalom. After being eliminated in the second race on the previous day, having finished third in the first race, Nicole Good from St. Gallen triumphed in Italy on Saturday. And with a very good margin, since the skier from Pfäffers relegated Sweden’s Moa Bostroem Mussener and Emelie Henning to finishing 47 and 79 hundredths behind her.
This is Nicole Good's second career success on the threshold to the elite class, after her victory in the combined event in Les Diablerets in 2019. This was the last time that the skier, who has just celebrated her first two top 20 finishes in the World Cup slalom, has finished on the podium in the European Cup.
Lorina Zelger, who was also eliminated on Friday, took the lead again with the 9th fastest time. Mélanie Meillard (14th) and Aline Höpli (15th) completed the very good Swiss scores. Elena Stoffel and Valentine Macheret were eliminated in the first race.
On Friday, only Mélanie Meillard (17th) and Janine Mächler (23rd) finished in the top 30, in a race that was won by the USA’s Paola Moltzan.
ASJA ZENERE IS ON FORM, THE SWISS WOMEN ASSUME
14.12.2022 - The Italian won both European Cup giants in Ponte di Legno. Vivianne Härri leaves Italy with a podium place.
Switzerland continues to shine in the Alpine Skiing European Cup. Vivianne Härri finished on the podium in the first giant in Ponte di Legno. In Italy, the skier from Giswil took third place in a race that was won by Italy's Asja Zenere ahead of Austria's Elisabeth Kappauer. Vivianne Härri was already third in the first heat, and managed to keep her place in the second race. She finished 0″75 behind the day’s winner, taking her 4th podium in the European Cup. The next day, she finished in a sound 7th place, while the Italian winner did it again, ahead of her compatriot Elisa Platino, who finished 0″16 behind her and Sweden's Hilma Lövblom at 0″25. The best Swiss result of the day went to Simone Wild in 5th place, 0''25 away from the podium, although she had exited in the second race the previous day.
Another top performance for the Swiss camp during the two days in Italy was Stefanie Grob’s 13th and 10th places. The 18-year-old from Appenzell started with bib number 87 on Tuesday, and is now 11th in the overall ranking of the European Cup, although she had only competed in two races in the European Cup prior to this season, without scoring any points.
As for the skiers from Valais, Delphine Darbellay took 28th and 29th places, and Julie Deschenaux took 30th place in the first race.
VANESSA KASPER AND MÉLANIE MEILLARD IN THE TOP 10 IN ZINAL
6.12.2022 - Vanessa Kasper was the best performing Swiss in the second European Cup giant race in Zinal, finishing 6th. Mélanie Meillard validated her good position from the previous day by finishing 8th. Victory went to Germany’s Jessica Hilzinger.
The day after her brilliant 4th place in the first European Cup giant in Zinal, Mélanie Meillard validated her good performance in the second giant on Tuesday. The Valais skier ranked 8th in the Val d’Anniviers competition. It was another good performance for the skier from Hérémence, who once again started with a high number, 21 on this occasion. She might have managed an even better result after her 5th place in the first heat, and she was still in 4th place at the last intermediate time, but she dropped a few hundredths on the final flat. Thanks to this result, she should start with a number close to 30 in the World Cup giant on Saturday in Sestriere.
In a race that was won by Germany's Jessica Hilzinger, who was 2nd the previous day, ahead of Magdalena Luczak from Palermo and Austria's Elisabeth Kappauer, the top Swiss placed was Vanessa Kasper from the Grisons, who finished 6th and is back on form after her 18th place on Monday. Vivianne Härri (14th) was also in the top 15. Slalom specialist Aline Danioth (17th) gave another encouraging performance in her return to the giant class after a serious knee injury three years ago.
As for the French-speaking Swiss, Delphine Darbellay finished 36th, Julie Deschenaux 41st and Lara Briguet 47th. Camille Rast did not take part in the race.
MÉLANIE MEILLARD FINISHES AT THE FOOT OF THE PODIUM IN ZINAL
5.12.2022 - Having started with bib number 34, the Valaisan skier managed a blazing performance in the Val d'Anniviers to boost her confidence. Thanks notably to a very fluid second heat, the skier from Hérémence finished in an encouraging 4th place. Camille Rast was less successful.
Mélanie Meillard has something to smile about. The Valais skier took a solid 4th place in the first giant in the European Cup in Zinal. The 24-year-old was only beaten by Italy’s Asja Zenera, who took first place, and Germany’s Jessica Hilzinger and France’s Doriane Escané. Above all, Loïc's sister, who started with bib number 34 and finished 18th in the first heat, made a superb comeback in her second race. Her second run, where she finished with the 2nd fastest time, was of a very high standard. In the end, the athlete from Neuchâtel only missed the podium by 0″39.
Importantly, thanks to this result, Mélanie Meillard will score very good FIS points, which means she will be able to start with a better bib number in the next World Cup giant races. In Killington, the skier from Hérémence had to start with the number 46 bib. She should be able to start somewhere just after 30 in Sestriere on Saturday. The second ranked Swiss skier, Vivianne Härri, took 13th place, although she’d had a good first heat (4th).
Camille Rast was less successful in the resort that sponsors her. After a solid first heat, despite some inaccuracies, and finishing in 12th place, the Valais skier fell back into 15th place. The 23-year-old is apparently still struggling to find the best settings on her new equipment, which is evident because her standards seem far from what they were at the end of last season. However, the learning process continues for the athlete from Vétroz, who will have another chance to shine on Tuesday in the second giant race in the Val d'Anniviers. Vanessa Kasper (18th), Janine Schmitt (20th) and Lorina Zelger (22nd) will also be looking to improve their results.
A FIRST FOR JANINE SCHMITT IN ZINAL
2.12.2022 - The skier from St. Gallen won the second European Cup super-G in the Valais resort, taking the top step of the podium for the first time at this level.
Janine Schmitt gave an excellent performance in Zinal on Friday. The 22-year-old enjoyed her first win in the European Cup. In the Valais mountains, she finished 0″07 ahead of Austria's Michaela Heider, and 0″13 ahead of France's Karen Smadja-Clement, the previous day’s winner.
Janine Schmitt managed a sensational first half of the race to take first place on the podium. Until now, the 2021 Swiss downhill runner-up has never finished higher than third in the European Cup, in a downhill in the Val di Fassa in December 2021. She had only ever finished in the top ten twice at this level before this win. Her achievement could open the doors to the World Cup, as two downhill runs and a super-G are scheduled in St. Moritz from 16 until 18 December. The St. Gallen native may have the opportunity to compete in the training sessions, or perhaps go even further.
The other Swiss athletes did not disappoint in Zinal on Friday. Stefanie Grob took a solid 6th place, as she had the previous day. The 18-year-old from Appenzell has been performing well, especially considering that she was only competing in her 5th European Cup race. Nathalie Gröbli took 11th place and Isabelli Pedrazzi 15th, in her fourth race in the category. Janine Mächler (21st), Livia Rossi (22nd) and Nora Guggisberg (24th) also scored points, as did Julie Deschenaux (29th). The 17-year-old from Valais started with bib number 39, and has entered the top 30 for the first time in her young career. Delphine Darbellay (42nd) missed her start.
THE SWISSPLACE WELL IN ZINAL
1.12.2022 - The first European Cup super-G in Zinal was won by France’s Karen Smadja-Clement. Nathalie Gröbli took 4th place, and Stefanie Grob 6th.
The Swiss women are getting closer to the podium in the European Cup. The Swiss team didn’t do too badly in Mayrhofen, and like Lorina Zelger, who finished 5th twice in Austria, Nathalie Gröbli just missed out on the podium in the first super-G in Zinal on Thursday. The 26-year-old from Nidwalden missed the top 3 by less than three tenths of a second, finishing fourth for the sixth time in her career in this anteroom for the World Cup, having only finished on the podium twice.
The race was won by France’s Karen Smadja-Clement, a first win for her at this level. A friend of Fribourg's Alexis Monney, she has only finished on one podium in the category before, over two years ago. She won in style, pushing Michaela Heider and Sabrina Maier back 0″44 and 0″52 respectively.
Several other members of them Swiss team did not disappoint, such as Stefanie Grob, who finished a solid 6th. The 18-year-old from Appenzell has had a good start to the season, having already finished 17th in the giant in Mayrhofen. She had only competed in two European Cup races a year ago, also in Zinal.
Livia Rossi took 14th place, while Janine Schmitt finished 19th. Isabella Pedrazzi from the Grisons (18), in her third race at this level, finished 23rd. Delphine Darbellay took 28th place. In her first European Cup race, Nora Guggisberg (also 18 years old) finished in 30th place.
FOUR TOP 10 FINISHES FOR SWITZERLAND
29.11.2022 - The female Swiss-Ski skiers started the European Cup season in Mayrhofen AUT with mixed success. The best result came from 23-year-old Lorina Zelger from Gams/SG, who finished fifth on two occasions. In the Giant Slalom, she finished 0.77 seconds behind the winner, France’s Doriane Escane. The podium was completed by Stella Johansson/USA (2nd +0.15 seconds) and the duo Clarisse Brèche/FRA and Moa Boström Mussener/SWE (3rd place tie +0.70 seconds). She stood at +0.99 seconds on Tuesday, when the 21-year-old Swede won the slalom, ahead of Italy's Lucrezia Lorenzia (0.76) and Vera Tschurtschenthaler (0.82). Besides Zelger, Vanessa Kasper (13th) and Stefanie Grob (17th) marked points in the giant slalom, and Nicole Good (6th), Aline Höpli (9th) and Eliane Christen (20th) in the slalom.
START OF THE WOMEN'S EUROPEAN CUP SEASON
25.11.2022 - This weekend (26/27 November), the Women's European Cup begins in Mayrhofen AUT with a giant slalom and a slalom. The programme for the 2022/23 season, which culminates with the World Championships, includes 35 races. The races will be held in 15 resorts, and Switzerland will host four of them. Two times in Zinal in early December (2 SG and 2 GS), two races in Hasliberg in mid-January, and two downhills in Crans-Montana on 18 and 19 February. For the men, a total of 40 races are planned, from 1 December until the final in Narvik NOR in mid-March. Switzerland will host races in Zinal, St. Moritz, Wengen and Jaun.
For the Swiss-Ski teams, the aim is to perform at the second-highest level of Alpine skiing competition and to make their mark in anticipation of even greater challenges. Alpine Skiing director Walter Reusser sums it up: "The European Cup is a springboard. For those at the top, the aim is to finish with top placings, and ultimately permanent places. For the next in line, it's about progressing to podium places and securing permanent places, like Aline Danioth, Juliana Suter, Simone Wild, Delia Durrer and Vivianne Härri did last winter. Head coach for the women’s team Beat Tschuor, who is also the coach for the European Cup, describes it as a kind of "hot water tank", and he is confident that the young Swiss athletes have what it takes for a sound third winter, following on from the three, respectively five, fixed places that have already been achieved in the World Cup.
INNI HOLM WEMBSTAD WINS, DELIA DURRER DOES IT AGAIN
20.02.2022 - The Norwegian, who finished in second place on the previous day, has won her first European Cup downhill race in Crans-Montana, beating Jonna Luthman from Sweden. Delia Durrer once again finished on the podium.
The results of the European Cup races in Crans-Montana are already extremely positive. Despite the difficult conditions in preparing the Mont Lachaux piste, both downhills were a great success. And after a great win by Franziska Gritsch on Saturday, it was the astonishing Inni Holm Wembstad who won on Sunday. The 21-year-old Norwegian, in second place the previous day, has never finished on a European Cup podium before. She found a way to surpass herself in Crans-Montana, in a race with a strong field, with several World Cup skiers competing.
On Sunday, the Scandinavian skiers hit the jackpot, as Wembstad, from Asker, a suburb of Oslo, beat Sweden’s Jonna Luthman by 0.32, on a perfectly prepared course. Delia Durrer, who was already third on Saturday, did it again, finishing 0.33 behind the day’s winner. The promising 19-year-old from Nidwalden, a great hope for Swiss skiing, therefore took her second European Cup podium place. Next week, she will travel to the Junior World Championships in Panorama (CAN).
"High praise from the FIS coordinator for the Women’s European Cup"
Another Swiss skier was also particularly impressive in the Valais sun. Jasmina Suter, 4th, finished just 0.06 short of the podium in the absence of her sister Juliana, who is already sure of winning the European Cup in the discipline. Katja Grossman took 11th place, 1.13 behind the winner, finishing with the same time as the previous day's winner, Franziska Gritsch. Nathalie Gröbli (17th), Melanie Michel (19th) and Livia Rossi (21st) completed a good set of Swiss results.
The weekend in Crans-Montana was "a success" according to the organisers and Jordi Puyol, FIS coordinator for the Women's European Cup. He emphasised the quality of both the piste and the infrastructure, something that is rarely found at this level of competition. "It was an excellent test for the World Cup next weekend", said Marius Robyr, president of the organising committee. "We’re now looking forward to the races that will serve as a rematch after the Olympic Games." The World Cup downhills will take place on Saturday (10.30am) and Sunday (10am). Access to the finish area and along the course is free, except for the grandstands.
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A FIRST PODIUM FOR DELIA DURRER
19.02.2022 - Delia Durrer took 3rd place in the first European Cup downhill in Crans-Montana. The victory went to Austria’s Franziska Gritsch.
Delia Durrer from Nidwalden has not been far from the European Cup podium since the beginning of the season. Now she’s done it, managing to finish on the box for the first time in her career, in the first European Cup downhill in Crans-Montana. The 19-year-old finished third on Saturday on the Mont Lachaux piste, two tenths behind the winner, Austria’s Franziska Gritsch, who is used to competing in the World Cup, although she was not selected for the Olympic Games. Norway's Inni Holm Wembstad came in second place.
"It's really great, I was originally aiming for a top 10 place," said the skier from Beckenried. "It's great to be able to compete at home, in front of our own public. I was a little afraid with the rain over the last few days, but the piste was in good condition, and it’s great that the race could take place." After a few experiences on the White Circus circuit, Delia Durrer hopes to establish herself in the World Cup next season. However, she will not be able to take part in the Olympic rematch during the two World Cup downhills scheduled for next weekend, as she will be flying to Panorama (CAN) to compete in the Junior World Championships.
In the Swiss clan, Katja Grossmann (8th), Nathalie Gröbli (11th), Jasmina Suter (14th) and Livia Rossi (18th) are all in the top 20. In her first European Cup downhill, 18 year old Malorie Blanc from Valais placed 28th.
Juliana Suter wins without skiing
Juliana Suter has been ill, and was therefore absent from Crans-Montana, but she is still guaranteed to win the European Cup downhill ranking after the first race on the Haut-Plateau. The Schwyz native is more than 200 points ahead of the Austrian runner-up Emily Schöpf, who finished in 6th place on Saturday, with only two downhills left in the competition now. Juliana Suter has secured a permanent place in the World Cup next winter.
The second European Cup downhill scheduled for this weekend in Crans-Montana should start at 9:15 am on Sunday.
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THE AUSTRIANS AT THE FOREFRONT
The training for the downhill in Crans-Montana was a success for the Austrians on Friday. Sabrina Maier won the rehearsal, ahead of her teammates Emily Schöpf and Nadine Fest. Delia Durrer was the highest placed Swiss skier in 5th, 0.39 behind the fastest time the day. Jasmina Suter took 5th place. On the eve of her first European Cup downhill, Malorie Blanc from Valais finished in an encouraging 22nd place.
Unfortunately, the overall European Cup leader Juliana Suter from Schwyz will not be skiing this weekend due to illness. However, it is possible that she will be present next week for the World Cup races.
There are two downhills on the programme this weekend, the first of which is scheduled for Saturday at 10am. Admission to the finish area below the Mont Lachaux piste is free for everyone.
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1ST DOWNHILL TRAINING IS CANCELLED
17.02.2022 - It has been raining since yesterday! In these conditions, the jury has decided to cancel the first training session scheduled for this morning in order to preserve the optimally prepared track. The programme for Friday will be communicated later.
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MARIUS ROBYR: “THERE WOULD BE HARDLY ANY RACES WITHOUT THE ARMY”
16.02.2022 - For the Women’s World Cup Classic to come to Crans-Montana, it is necessary for all the authorities and people involved to work hand in hand, and the Swiss Army plays a very important role in this process, as it is very much involved in setting up the World Cup and European Cup races in Crans-Montana.
For this year's European and World Cup events, the organisers, led by Marius Robyr, can rely on expert help from Artillery Group 49, an artillery battery from the Canton of Ticino, under LT Col Paolo Colombo. It is the bttr log art 49, under the command of Major Gandhi Sylla. As part of their annual rehearsal course, the 220 or so soldiers involved are responsible for setting up the infrastructure, preparing and maintaining the pistes.
As a brigadier and long-time commander of the Patrouille des Glaciers, OC President Marius Robyr is well aware of the importance of the Swiss Army in organising the Women's World Cup races. On the troops’ first day, Marius Robyr stressed: "Without the dedicated commitment and support of the army, we would never have seen a new World Cup era here in Crans-Montana", adding that "this cooperation has been working perfectly for years now".
Major Gandhi Sylla, who has seen his troop reinforced for the occasion by soldiers from the Ecole Sanitaire 42, meteorologists from the Armed Forces EI Brigade and traffic control specialists, says he is "very proud and happy to be able to collaborate on such an event". A feeling shared by his men. "If, in the end, the races can take place thanks to our help, then this is the greatest reward for us."
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THE EUROPEAN CUP, A REHEARSAL FOR THE WORLD CUP IN CRANS-MONTANA
14.02.2002 - After the FIS snow control for the Women's World Cup in Crans-Montana, everything goes according to plan for the first Olympic rematch, with two downhills scheduled for 26 and 27 February. However, the demanding Mont Lachaux piste will already be bustling with activity this week. The European Cup is here! On the programme: Thursday 24th and Friday 25th, two training sessions, Saturday and Sunday at 10.00am, downhills 7 and 8 (preceded by two speed events in Val di Fassa, Orcières-Merlette and St. Anton) of the 9 planned for this season.
These events, which are a kind of rehearsal before the World Cup, will be the stage for a "pre-decision" in the discipline, since afterwards there is only the final, which takes place four weeks later in Soldeu/Andorra (14 - 20 March). It is good to see Switzerland’s Juliana Suter clearly in the lead in the general rankings, with 505 points. She is ahead of a strong Austrian trio of Emily Schöpf (261/winner of the first downhill in Fassa), Christina Ager (247) and Lena Wechner (235). All of them have a chance to secure one of three fixed places in the World Cup. Delia Durrer (6th with 214 points), who has not yet managed a podium place but has already finished in the top ten five times, could also qualify.
In the six downhills so far, there have been four different winners; in total, twelve athletes have finished on the podium at least once. Juliana Suter has performed exceptionally well, with three wins this season and two podium places. Emily Schöpf (AUT), Esther Paslier (FRA) and Elena Dolmen (ITA) have also won an event. Besides Suter, only Paslier and Alice Robinson (NZL) have finished on the box more than once. Both Livia Rossi and Janine Schmitt have had the pleasure of accompanying their teammate, Juliana, on the podium, each on one occasion – how about repeating this great experience in Crans-Montana?
TWO WOMEN’S RACES IN 2022
18.06.2021 - The European Cup will make six stops in Switzerland in the next Olympic season. The calendar for this threshold to the World Cup, where the young alpine skiing talents cut their teeth, includes three Swiss stages for the women and the same for the men.
Zinal (8/9 December – 2 super-G), Meiringen-Hasliberg (19/20 January – 2 slaloms) and Crans-Montana (Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 February – 2 downhills) will host the women’s competitions. Zinal (30 November/1st December – 2 giants), St. Moritz (4/5 December – 2 super-G) and Wengen (7/8 January- 2 super-G) will host the men’s races.
The two women’s speed races in Crans-Montana, like those in Saint-Moritz and Wengen, will be part of the preparation for the World Cup classics taking place the week after the European Cup competitions. In January, Jasmine Flury from Davos won the downhill on the Haut-Plateau ahead of Lisa Grill (AUT) and Noémie Kolly from Gruyère. Due to heavy snowfall, this was the only race that could be held.
A reminder, last winter a total of 13 European Cup races were organised in Switzerland. At the end of the season, seven Swiss-Ski athletes finished on the podium in the various disciplines: Jasmina Suter (age 25/1st super-G), Stephanie Jenal (23/2nd super-G), Simone Wild (27/2ndgiant), Stefan Rogentin (26/1st super-G), Ralph Weber (27/2nd super-G), Semyel Bissig (23/2nd giant) and Marc Rochat (28/3rd slalom) thus securing fixed starting places for the 2021/22 World Cup.
NEWS SEASON 2020/2021
SEVEN FIXED WORLD CUP 2021/22 PLACES FOR SWISS EUROPEAN CUP ATHLETES
22.03.2021 - Norway’s Marte Monsen and Austria’s Maximilian Lahnsteiner took the overall ranking of the 2020/21 European Cup. The 21-year-old Scandinavian is the Slalom specialist, while the 24-year-old Austrian is more focused on speed. But the Swiss also shone brightly.
Ralph Weber (4th) and Simone Wild (9th) were the best Swiss skiers this year, in this antechamber to the World Cup. However, the most important thing to remember is that three women and four men have secured permanent places in the White Circus next winter by finishing in the top three. Jasmina Suter (25, 1st in the Super-G ), Stephanie Jenal (23, 2nd in the Super-G), Simone Wild (27, 2nd in the Giant), Stefan Rogentin (26, 1st in the Super-G), Ralph Weber (27, 2nd in the Super-G), Semyel Bissig (23, 2nd in the Giant) and Marc Rochat (28, 3rd in the Slalom) have secured their places.
As all seven skiers are already in the world’s top 60, they will not be taking World Cup places from any Swiss skiers. They are simply entitled to an extra place, on top of the Swiss quota in their discipline. This is rather good news.
This overall result is also much better than last year’s, when only Rahel Kopp (Downhill), Jasmina Suter (Super-G) and Semyel Bissig (Combined) achieved the same result. Walter Reusser, Swiss-Ski Alpine director, was very satisfied: "Having two additional places is extremely useful, especially in the Super-G, where we are very successful, and where there is not necessarily a place for young people. It gives us some breathing space and creates opportunities for the next generation."
The European Cup, second only to the World Cup, included a total of 56 races this winter: 30 for the men, and 26 for the women. Of these, 13 were held in Switzerland (Zinal 8, Meiringen-Hasliberg 2, Melchsee-Frutt 2, Crans-Montana 1 (the second Downhill had to be cancelled due to too much fresh snow).
While the men’s programme was fairly balanced (6 Downhills, 7 Super-G, 8 Slaloms and 8 Giants and 1 Combined), the women’s calendar was more technically oriented, with only 3 Downhills and 4 Super-G, compared to 10 Giants and 9 Slaloms. "We noticed that there is less density in the technical disciplines in Switzerland ", continues Walter Reusser. "We’re working intensively on this. The goal is to have strong teams in all disciplines. This is the only way to have a chance of winning the Nations Cup.".
In total, Switzerland celebrated ten European Cup victories thanks to Stephanie Jenal, Jasmine Flury, Jasmina Suter, Justin Murisier, Ralph Weber, Joel Lütolf, Lars Rösti, Josua Mettler, Semyel Bissig and Stefan Rogentin). Seven of these wins took place on Swiss pistes (6 in Zinal, 1 in Crans-Montana).
According to Walter Reusser, Switzerland’s strength in the speed sector is direct linked to the efforts made in Swiss ski resorts, and he is very pleased about this: "It is very gratifying to have lots of European Cup races in Switzerland. This creates platforms for the next generation. Crans-Montana, as the organiser of the World Cup, European Cup and a training partner, deserves a big thank you. Swiss-Ski greatly appreciates the fact that Crans-Montana has organised European Cup races every year since it ventured into the domain of the World Cup again in 2008, like the European Cup finals in 2009, which were a great success."
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|Thanks to her victory in the European Cup downhill in Crans-Montana, Jasmine Flury from the canton Grisons finished the season in fifth place in the discipline.|
The European Cup 2020/21 top-3 (plus the best Swiss)
Overall (26 races): 1. Marte Monsen NOR 591. 2. Andreja Slokar SLO 553. 3. Jessica Hilzinger GER 522. – 9. Simone Wild 382.
DOwnhill (3): 1. Lisa Grill AUT 280. 2. Nadine Fest AUT 160. 3. Vanessa Nussbaumer AUT 114. – 5. Jasmine Flury 100. 8. Stephanie Jenal 84. 9. Noémie Kolly 79. 10. Rahel Kopp 76. 14. Katja Grossmann 51. 15. Delia Durrer 50.
Super-G (4): 1. Jasmina Suter SUI 252. 2. Stephanie Jenal SUI 250. 3. Julia Pleshkova RUS 180. – 5. Rahel Kopp 149. 13. Delia Durrer 80.
Giant Slalom (10): 1. Marte Monsen NOR 553. 2. Simone Wild SUI 382. 3. Hilma Loevblom SWE 350. – 23. Vanessa Kasper 107. 24. Selina Egloff 106. 26. Viviane Haerri 102. 27. Camille Rast 88.
Slalom (9): 1. Andreja Slokar SLO 465. 2. Lara Della Mea ITA 341. 3. Sara Rask SWE 297. – 22. Selina Egloff 111. 35. Camille Rast 60.
Overall (30): 1. Maximilian Lahnsteiner AUT 692. 2. Raphael Haaser AUT 668. 3. Dominik Raschner AUT 570. – 4. Ralph Weber 496. 5. Stefan Rogentin 429. 9. Lars Rösti 360.
Downhill (6): 1. Victor Schuller FRA 334. 2. Maximilian Lahnsteiner AUT 319. 3. Erik Arvidsson USA 285. – 6. Yannick Chabloz 175. 7. Ralph Weber 160. 8. Lars Rösti und Gilles Roulin je 147.
Super-G (7): Stefan Rogentin SUI 328. 2. Ralph Weber SUI 325. 3. Roy Piccard FRA 305. – 6. Lars Rösti 213. 7. Nils Mani 179. 8. Arnaud Boisset 164. 11. Josua Mettler 136. 14. Alexis Monney 128.
Giant Slalom (8): 1. Dominik Raschner AUT 353. 2. Semyel Bissig SUI 301. 3. Timon Haugen NOR 300. – 20. Cédric Noger 104.
Slalom (8): 1. Billy Major GBR 258. 2. Anton Tremmell GER 248. 3. Marc Rochat SUI 237. – 14. Dionys Kippel 149. 15. Noel von Grünigen 143. 17. Joel Lütolf 126.
Alpin Combined (1): 1. Joel Lütolf SUI 100. 2. Florian Loriot FRA 80. 3. Luca Aerni SUI 60.
THE EUROPEAN CUP, GOOD FOR CONFIDENCE
Some of the best skiers in the world were already in Crans-Montana this weekend to compete in the European Cup races. A good opportunity to get their bearings before next weekend’s World Cup races. A meeting with Jasmine Flury, Kajsa Vickhoff Lie and Joana Hählen, who have been building their confidence on the Mont Lachaux piste.
Video (in French only): SkiActu
TOO MUCH SNOW AND THE 2ND DOWNHILL IS CANCELLED
Despite the hard work by all those involved in preparing the pistes, the second downhill in the women’s European Cup in Crans-Montana on Sunday has to be cancelled. Depending on the areas, there has been over 60cm of snow overnight between Saturday and Sunday, and more snowfall is expected in the morning, making it impossible to hold a race.
However despite the difficult weather conditions over the past few days, the Organising Committee still views this European Cup event positively. A great effort was made to offer athletes a long-awaited speed race on Saturday in the first European Cup downhill of the winter, which was won by Jasmine Flury. The Organising Committee was also able to come to an excellent conclusion about the strict measures to be applied within the framework of the Covid-19 protection protocol, in view of the three World Cup races that will take place between 22 and 24 January.
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THE WOMEN’S CLASSIC IN SIGHT
17.01.2021 - The Crans-Montana World Cup Organising Committee receives a degree of recognition from the International Ski Federation (FIS) and from Swiss-Ski by organising the European Cup races each year, which are extremely important for promoting young talent. At the same time, these races are an excellent dress rehearsal for the World Cup races which take place the following week. This year, the European Cup races are also a full-scale test for the implementation of Covid-19 protection measures required for the three World Cup races. Last photo: Spaniard Jordi Pujol, FIS Women’s European Cup coordinator, and Marius Robyr, president of the Crans-Montana European and World Cup Organising Committee, both currently under great pressure. Photos taken by Hervé Deprez, the Organising Committee’s official photographer.
JASMINE FLURY AND NOÉMIE KOLLY’S REACTIONS
16.01.22021 - Both took podium places in the first European Cup downhill in Crans-Montana, and Jasmine Flury and Noémie Kolly had smiles on their faces in the finish stadium. Their reaction, a few minutes after a race that, in the end, took place in excellent conditions on the Mont Lachaux piste.
Video (in German and French): SkiActu
JASMINE FLURY AND NOÉMIE KOLLY SHINE AT HOME
16.01.2021 - Jasmine Flury won the first of two European Cup downhills in Crans-Montana on Saturday. The skier from the Grisons, who is used to Ski World Cup races (super-G victory in Saint-Moritz in 2017), dominated on the middle section of the Mont Lachaux piste. After 50 seconds of racing, the skier from Rinerhorn had an 0’’80 advantage over her closest opponent, the Austrian Lisa Grill, before losing almost all of her lead in the lower part of the course. But not enough to be overtaken by the European Cup leader.
Behind her, another Swiss stood out. The Fribourg native Noémie Kolly took a European Cup podium place for the second time in her career, after a 3rd place in 2017 in the Val di Fassa. Third once again, 0’’32 behind her compatriot, the skier from Gruyères had a close call with Laura Gauché’s number 42 bib. The French skier finally finished 4th, 0’’5 behind Noémie Kolly in third place.
In the morning, fog affected the finish area. After managing to launch 19 competitors in the morning’s training, the organisers were forced to interrupt the session. All of the lower part of the piste was in fog. Although at one time it looked like it would be a question of shortening the downhill and doing two sprint heats, in the end everything was able to run according to the initial plan. Let’s hope that it will be the same for the second leg scheduled for Sunday. The technical team, led by Markus Murmann, race director and Patrice Morisod, piste director, deserves praise for their work and their flexibility.
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|The Podium: 1. Jasmine Flury/SUI. 2. Lisa Grill/AUT. 3. Noémie Kolly/SUI. 4. Laura Gauché/FRA. 5. Vanessa Nussbaumer/AUT|
GO! THE EUROPEAN CUP LAUNCHES
16.01.2021 - Several Swiss skiers will be trying to dazzle on this Mont Lachaux piste during the two scheduled European Cup downhill races. On the eve of the races, Charlotte Chable met with Jasmina Suter, Noémie Kolly and Stephanie Jenal to discuss their form. You can find out here.
Video (in French/German only): SkiActu
THE MONT LACHAUX IN ITS SUNDAY BEST
15.01.2021 - Over 120 centimetres of snow have fallen in recent hours, making the preparation of the Mont-Lachaux piste, that is hosting two European Cup races this weekend and then the World Cup races next weekend, very complicated.
However it’s not enough to scare Patrice Morisod, the piste director for the Crans-Montana competitions. The team working on the piste, led by race director Markus Murmann and assisted by some 120 military personnel, is actively working on the course and doing everything possible to guarantee the safety of all athletes during the training and the races. Report.
Video (in French only): SkiActu
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THE SNOW, A MAJOR CHALLENGE
14.01.2021 – The large amount of snow that has fallen in recent hours in Crans-Montana hasn’t made the task of preparing the Mont Lachaux piste easy. In fact the wintry landscape doesn’t just have advantages, since the fresh layer of snow has to be cleared in order for the women’s European Cup races to take place on the Haut Plateau. Not forgetting the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also created challenges for the organisers. An update with Marius Robyr, president of the Organising Committee, before the downhills on Saturday and Sunday.
Video (in French only): SkiActu
14.01.2021 - Decisions taken this morning by the jury and the Organising Committee:
The downhill training sessions on the programme this Thursday and tomorrow Friday are cancelled due to the weather conditions.
Training in the morning and first downhill in the afternoon (tbd)
The detailed programme will be decided this Thursday evening.
CRANS-MONTANA FOR THE FIRST WOMEN’S DOWNHILL RACE
10.01.2021 - Who could have imagined that the first downhill in the Women’s European Cup season would be taking place on Saturday 16 January in Crans-Montana? This will however be the case, as the Haut-Plateau resort is hosting two races in the discipline on 16 and 17 January, on the Mont Lachaux piste. Last winter the races were scheduled at the end of February, on the weekend before the World Cup. The Austrians Nadine Fest and Rosina Schneeberger won the downhill, whereas Switzerland’s Jasmina Suter took the super-G. These were the last speed events of the season, which was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This time, the health situation has "only" caused fans to be absent.
Austria and Switzerland have dominated the super-G so far
This season, the young speed specialists still don’t know exactly where they stand in the downhill. The European Cup athletes have been able to make a few observations. In the two Zinal super-Gs at the beginning of January (replacing Saint-Moritz), the Swiss dominated initially in the first race (a double win, with Stephanie Jenal’s victory over Jasmina Suter; 6 Swiss in the top 10), before the Austrians took their revenge (a win for Lisa Grill in front of Christina Ager; 6 members of the "Wunderteam" in the top 10). Consequently, the teams from Switzerland and Austria dominate the rankings in the discipline. In the overall rankings, after the slalom weekend in Vaujany (FRA), Andreja Slokar, 23, is in the lead. The Slovenian has a 26 point lead over Lisa Grill. The best Swiss, Stephanie Jena, is 6th with 150 points. Just behind, Camille Rast is in 8th place with 148 points.
Rehersal for the three World Cup races
Lisa Grill, Stephanie Jenal and co will therefore tackle these downhills this weekend. One week later, the Mont Lachaux piste will host the traditional Women’s World Cup Classic, with two downhills and a super-G on the programme. For the European Cup, some 90 skiers from 17 nations are enrolled. Amongst them are some of the world’s best specialists, who prefer to come to Valais rather than take a break, while two World Cup giants are scheduled in Kranjska Gora. The list of entrants includes Breezy Johnson (USA), Kira Weidle (GER), Ilka Stuhec (SLO) and Kajsa Vickhoff Lie (NOR). It remains to be seen who will actually take part in the training and races. The hopes of the Swiss team mainly lie with Stephanie Jenal, Jasmina Suter, Rahel Kopp and Noémie Kolly, whereas the winter is already over for the talented Juliana Suter and Luana Flütsch, who are injured.
A PODIUM PLACE AND CONFIDENCE FOR CAMILLE RAST
10.1.2021 – The skier from Valais finished in third place in the European Cup slalom in Vaujany. She has been reassured, after just missing several World Cup qualifiers.
A podium place, some good FIS points, and confidence. It wasn’t a wasted trip to Vaujany (FRA) for Camille Rast. In Isère, the skier from Vétroz managed three great European Cup races, proving if need be that her level of skiing really is there. Starting with the number 21 bib on Saturday, she had the 4th fastest time in the first slalom race. She also managed the 3rd fastest time in the second race, but ended up a respectable distance (1″86) from the winner, Sweden’s Elsa Fermbaeck, and the runner-up, Slovenia’s Andreja Slokar.
But in a tough race with huge gaps, Camille Rast managed above all to collect some decent FIS points, and hopes to get closer to those good start numbers in the World Cup. In the Mont-Frais stadium, Lorina Zelger took 17th place, while Selina Egloff and Valentine Macheret didn’t finish. In the second slalom on Sunday, Camille Rast took 5th fastest time on the first run, but didn’t finish on the second. Victory went to the Slovenian Andreja Slokar, the new leader in the European Cup overall rankings. Selina Egloff took 22nd place, Nicole Good 24th and Lorina Zelger 25th.
A NICE PRESENT FOR DIONYS KIPPEL
6.01.2021 - The young Swiss are still going strong in the European Cup. After the Swiss women’s podium places in the Zinal super-G, it was the men’s turn to be in the spotlight in Val Cenis. In France, Dionys Kippel took 2nd place in the slalom behind Great Britain’s Laurie Taylor, who beat him by 34 hundredths of a second. For the Valais skier, who was 4th in Jaun last winter, this is his very first podium place at this level. The skier from Fiesch managed to give himself a wonderful birthday present on his 23rd birthday.
There was a big disappointment for Noël von Grünigen from Bern. He recently took 2nd place in the Crans-Montana exhibition slalom, but made a mistake in the second race, whereas he had the best time in the first run. In the absence of many of the athletes, who were competing in the World Cup in Zagreb, only Joel Lütolf managed to scrape into the top 15, taking 14th place.
THE AUSTRIANS HAVE THEIR REVENGE
5.01.2021 - The day after the Swiss double win, this time two of the ski "Wunderteam" took the top two places in the second super-G in the European Cup in Zinal. Rahel Kopp came third.
No two days are the same in the Val d’Anniviers. The day after the excellent overall Swiss result, topped off by the double victory of Stephanie Jenal and Jasmina Suter, the Austrians shone in Zinal. For this second super-G in the Valais resort, which replaced the cancelled Saint-Moritz races, Lisa Grill, who was third on Monday, won this time, 0.34 ahead of her compatriot Christina Ager.
However all is not lost for the Swiss team, who once again ended up with a great result. Rahel Kopp completed the podium, while Stephanie Jenal was 4th. As for Jasmina Suter, she finished in 6th place. Fribourg’s Noémie Kolly, who is back on form after her serious injury last winter, finished on the threshold of the top 10, in 11th place.
Although Nicole Good (16th), Vivianne Härri (17th) and Katja Grossmann (19th) scored decent points, the day was more complicated for Juliana Suter, Luana Flütsch, Delia Durrer and Delphine Darbellay, who all exited the course.
SWISS DOUBLE IN ZINAL
4.01.2021 - On home turf, the Swiss female skiers were defiant in the very first speed event of the European Cup season. Stephanie Jenal and Jasmina Suter scored a magnificent double in the first super-G in Zinal. The Grisons native, who has only once taken part in the World Cup, took her very first podium place in the anteroom to the elite competitions on the piste in the Anniviers Valley, just 0.02 seconds ahead of her compatriot. As for Jasmina Suter, she is forging onwards. The skier from Schwyz notably finished in 3rd position in the European Cup downhill rankings last winter. Third place went to Austria’s Lisa Grill.
The Swiss skiers had great success in Valais, since six of them finished in the top 10. Luana Flütsch (7th), Delia Durrer (8th), Rahel Kopp (9th) and Juliana Suter (10th) enjoyed tremendous results. The Swiss-French are lying in wait. Fribourg’s Noémie Kolly took 19th place, whereas the very young Delphine Darbellay (18), in only her 4th race at this level and her first in two years, was 20th, with race number 53.
CAMILLE RAST BRILLE
21.12.2020 - Camille Rast has sealed her third podium place in the European Cup in Andalo. The 21-year-old skier from Vétroz was only beaten by the Norwegian Mina Fürst Holtmann. In Italy, the Valais skier was already in 3rd place on the first run. This was the 2019 Swiss champion in the discipline’s first podium place in the European Cup since her return after injury. In the Swiss camp, Simone Wild (Flumserberg) placed 11th and Lorina Zelger /Gams) 29th. The second race scheduled for Monday has been cancelled.
TWO TOP 10 PLACES FOR SIMONE WILD
17.12.2020 - In Hippach, Austria, Maryna Gasienica-Daniel has largely dominated the second stage of the Women’s European Cup, which stops off in Crans-Montana for two races on 16 and 17 January 2021.
The 26 year old Pole took the two giants on Wednesday 1"22 ahead of Austria’s Elisa Mörzinger and on Thursday 0"75 seconds ahead of Norway’s Maria Therese Tviberg. Simone Wild (Flumserberg), who was the best Swiss on both days, finished 10th on the first day (1"75 behind) and 6th on the second day (1"22 behind). Leana Barmettler (Engelberg), was 15th on Wednesday, and Camille Rast (Vétroz) and Viviane Härri (Giswil), who took 23rd and 29th places on Thursday respectively, also obtained a few points.
The next European Cup races will take place in Andalo/ITA, where the 3rd and 4th giants of the season are scheduled.
THE WOMEN’S EUROPEAN CUP 2020/21 IS LAUNCHED
14.12.2020 - Finally, the women’s European Cup skiers were able to start their season. After cancellations in St.Moritz (too much snow) and Livigno (Covid-19), the first outing of the winter took place in Ahrntal-Klausberg/ITA, with two slaloms.
The first race, on Saturday 12 December, was won by 21 year old Italian Lara Della Mea, 37 hundredths ahead of Germany’s Jessica Hilzinger (23) and 40 ahead of her compatriot 21 year old Marta Rossetti. Sunday’s second race was taken by Czech Martina Dubrovska (28), who was 4th the previous day, with 16 hundredths advantage over Della Mea, and 31 ahead of Austria’s Marie-Thérèse Sporer (24).
The best Swiss skier was 19 year old Selina Egloff. The skier from Scuol placed 15th and 13th. Nidwalden’s Carole Bissig (24) also scored twice, finishing 25th and 28th. The competitions continue on 16/17 December with two giant slaloms in Hippach/AUT.
SPRINGBOARD TO THE WORLD CUP
11.12.2020 - The European Cup is an indispensable part of alpine ski racing. Hardly anyone has reached elite level without taking part in this second level of racing. But this is not just the case for the athletes involved. Organisers can also take advantage of the event to test their organisation and procedures – particularly important in the Covid-19 era – and make their mark.
Covid-19 demands sacrifices
Holding European Cup races in Crans-Montana is a tradition. Wherever possible, the races are organised a week before the Women’s World Cup Classic. This season, two training sessions and two downhills are scheduled between 14 and 17 January.
We just need to hope that the conditions allow these races to take place. At the beginning of the season, the women skiers were very unlucky. In Saint-Moritz, the huge amount of snow made it impossible to hold the races. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the events in Livigno/ITA, Val di Fassa/ITA and Gstaad Saanenland/SUI have already been cancelled, on a calendar that included 17 legs.
The men have had better luck so far, and they have already been able to compete in five races in Gurgl/AUT and Zinal/SUI. There have been five different winners so far, the last was Cyprien Sarrazin/FRA in Zinal. In the first giant in Gurgl, Raphael Haaser/AUT took first place ahead of Stefan Luitz/GER. Julian Rauchfuss/GER won the following day, ahead of Haaser.
In Valais, the Swiss stood out in the first two races, with two victories and a total of five podium places. Weber won the super-G and Joel Lütolf took the combined. Nils Mani, Urs Kryenbühl and Crans-Montana skier Luca Aerni took excellent 3rd places. Justin Murisier proved his speed by winning the super-G in the combined race in the Val d’Anniviers.
Nina Ortlieb, the model
Although the women have to be patient, it is worth taking a look back at last winter. Nadine Fest/AUT (who won the downhill, super-G and combined) triumphed in the overall ranking, ahead of her compatriot Rosina Schneeberger. They will now have to consolidate in the World Cup, like Nina Ortlieb and Elisabeth Reisinger, who won in Crans-Montana in 2019 and 2020.
We can even say that it was in Valais that Nina Ortlieb really began to shine. It is here that she celebrated her first World Cup podium in February 2020, finishing third behind Lara Gut-Behrami and Corinne Suter. One week later, she celebrated her first victory in the super-G at La Thuile/ITA.
The Swiss also did well in the European Cup last season: Rahel Kopp (3rd in the downhill ranking) and Jasmina Suter (3rd in the super-G) obtained World Cup start places.
The European Cup is indeed a springboard !
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Thanks to her 3rd place in the overall European Cup (downhill) ranking for 2019/20, the Swiss skier obtained her start place for the World Cup for the 2020/21 season.
news season 2019/20
JASMINA SUTER DOMINATES THE CRANS-MONTANA SUPER-G
16.02.2020 - Swiss victory on the Haut-Plateau on Sunday in the Super-G. Jasmina Suter managed to dominate the big Austrian favourites, claiming her first victory in the European Cup.
After two downhills on the Mont Lachaux piste, the ladies competing in the European Cup competed against each other in the Super-G on Sunday. The presence of Tina Weirather didn’t upset the hierarchy. The Liechtenstein skier couldn’t keep pace, and had to abandon the race. Switzerland’s Jasmina Suter clinched the victory, her first in the European Cup. Already in third place in Saturday’s downhill, she confirmed that she felt very much at ease in Crans-Montana. «It wasn’t all perfect. But in the Super-G, if you don’t make any mistakes, it means that you’re not going very fast», adds Jasmina Suter. The Schwyz local won in 51’’57’’, beating Austria’s Nadine Fest by just four hundredths of a second. Rahel Kopp took the third podium place, 0’’44 behind.
After the three races held in Crans-Montana, Nadine Fest ends up the overall winner in the Valais stage of the European Cup. After one victory and two second places, the Austrian strengthens her first place in the overall rankings of the European Cup, 244 points in front of her compatriot Rosina Schneeberger. She is also in the lead in both the Super-G and downhill rankings.
At the time of evaluating the event, Marius Robyr, president of the Crans-Montana World Cup and European Cup organisation committee, says he is very satisified: «In running these races, we are working for the future of skiing. The girls learned a lot during their stay in Crans-Montana. And for us as organisers, it means we can also fine-tune details for the World Cup races next week. » The White Circus will once again be stopping off on the Haut-Plateau, with two downhills on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 February, as well as an Alpine Combined on Sunday 23 February.
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Triple Austrian crown in Crans-Montana
16.02.2019 - The Ladies’ European Cup circuit stopped off in Crans-Montana on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February for two Downhill races. During the first race, which was held in perfect conditions, Austria totally dominated the field on the Mont-Lachaux piste. Elisabeth Reisinger won in 1’13’’41. Nina Ortlieb, daughter of the Olympic and World champion Patrick Ortlieb, finished second with + 0’’08, and Ariane Raedler completed the podium line up in + 0’’27. Elisabeth Reisinger therefore confirmed her form, after dominating the two training sessions on Thursday and Friday.
As for the Swiss competitors, the best result went to 22 year old Nathalie Groebli from Nidwald, who is generally more comfortable in the giant slalom, in 6th place with + 0’’71. As for Priska Nufer, she took 11th place with + 0’’94 and Stephanie Jenal took 12th position with + 1’’03.
One of the attractions this weekend is the presence of Ilka Stuhec in Crans-Montana. The World Downhill champion attracted a lot of attention, but in the training sessions she couldn’t manage better than 4th place, with + 0’’46. The smiling Slovenian signed autographs at the finish stadium, not just for spectators but also for some of her fellow competitors who see her as a role model.
The rematch of the Downhill is planned for Sunday morning (17.02), on the Mont-Lachaux piste once again. The start is planned for 08.45.
Reisinger is once again fastest
15.02.2019 - The second training session enjoyed optimal conditions. A piste that was even faster than the previous day gave us the same winning threesome. In fact Austria’s Elisabeth Reisinger (22 years old), the European Cup leader, clearly obtained the best time, with 1:13.89, France’s Esther Paslier was 0.64 behind her, and the second Austrian, Nina Ortlieb, took 3rd place once again, with + 0.79. The World Champion Ilka Stuhec finished in fourth place with + 0.95, but remains the favourite for Saturday and Sunday’s Downhills (number 17). The top Swiss competitor, Nathalie Groebli, came in 12th place, with +2.16, followed by Priska Nufer in 14th place with +2.23, then 16th Juliana Suter +2.39, 17th Noemie Kolly +2.46, 18th Luana Fluetsch +2.53, 26th Rahel Kopp +2.69, 28th Stephanie Jenal +2.74, 42nd Jasmina Suter 3.73, 48th Anne-Sophie Loretan +4.20, 49th Raphaela Suter +4.21, 53rd Lisa Grognuz +5.49.
The first European Cup Downhill is programmed for tomorrow, Saturday 16 February at 08.45. It is the same for the second Downhill on Sunday 17 February.
1st Downhill training
14.02.2019 - The first training session on the Mont-Lachaux piste took place in optimal conditions on a perfect piste. For the competitors, it was their first contact with the course, and a test of their capacity to master the difficulties in order to find the best line.
The best time went to Austria’s Elisabeth Reisinger with 1:15.44, 36 hundredths in front of France’s Esther Paslier and her compatriot Nina Ortlieb, 44 hundredths behind. The best of the 12 Swiss skiers in the line-up, Luana Fluetsch, took 9th place. Then in 10th place, Priska Nufer +1.66, in 15th place Raphaela Suter +2.30, 19th Noemie Kolly +2.59, 20th Rahel Kopp +2.70, 23rd Juliana Suter +2.76 and in 30th place Jasmina Suter, +3.01.
The World Champion Ilka Stuhec stated that she was delighted to be racing on this piste in these conditions in order to accrue training heats for the races ahead, in particular for those taking place next week.
The second training is programmed for tomorrow, 15th February at 09.00.
The world Downhill champion, Ilka Stuhec, in the line-up for the European Cup in Crans-Montana
12.02.2019 - After a positive snow check by the FIS, Crans-Montana awaits the Ladies’ World Cup on 23 and 24 February for a Downhill and an Alpine Combined heat. But before that, all attention will be on the next generation, when the best speed competitors in the European Cup will meet on the Valais Haut-Plateau. Two Downhills are programmed for Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February on the Mont Lachaux piste, with two training sessions planned on the Thursday and Friday. The start time each day is planned for 10.15am.
The event will feature some 60 skiers from 14 countries. Amongst them, Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, who has just been crowned the Downhill queen at the World Championships in Åre. After four of the seven Downhills scheduled this season, Italy’s Nadia Delago is leading the discipline in the European Cup, with 380 points.
The 21 year old hopeful from Val Gardena has won three races this winter, at Val di Fassa and twice in Zauchensee. The only other Downhill win this season went to Austria’s Elisabeth Reisinger, who is 90 points behind in the overall rankings. The 22 year old skier is however dominating the overall European Cup ranking. After 26 of the 34 races this winter, she is 101 points ahead of the Italian Roberta Milesi.
The Swiss women are also hoping to shine on their home territory in Crans-Montana. Juliana Suter, Luana Flütsch and Noémie Kolly are in 3rd, 4th and 5th places respectively in the Downhill rankings, behind the Delago/Reisinger duo. Juliana Suter has already achieved three podium places, while Luana Flütsch has managed it once. So anything is possible for the Swiss skiers in Crans-Montana, who are hoping, via the European Cup, to secure their place for the 2019/2020 World Cup.
Preparations for the European Cup and World Cup in Crans-Montana are all going according to plan
9.02.2019 - On his return from Åre, Marius Robyr, president of the 2019 European and World Cup races, was satisified to see that the preparation is going smoothly in all areas.
Work on the Mont Lachaux piste, supervised by Markus Murmann, the Race Director, is well underway, the A nets are in place and various sectors have been sprayed. All of this has been thanks to precious help from the heads of different sectors and their assistants, volunteers and also men from the civil protection. Promising young competitors in training have « tested » the piste. From Wednesday 13 February onwards, the military will be on duty : some 180 men from the Inf Kp 13/1 and Inf Kp 13/3 sections will be helping the Organising Committee in different domains.
The two Ladies’ European Cup races on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February will be preceded by two training rounds (14/15.02). It will be the same for the World Cup races the following weekend, on 23 and 24 February, with training on 21 and 22 February. The FIS International Ski Federation will be carrying out its own snow control on the Mont Lachaux piste on Monday 11 February.
NEWS SEASON 2017/18
Victory for Jasmine Flury in the Super-G
A superb Swiss victory in the Super-G brought the Crans-Montana European Cup to a close. Jasmine Flury took first place with a time of 1:11.06, in front of Nina Ortlieb (AUT) with +0.13 and Tina Weirather (LIE) with +0.25. The podium line-up was completed by Ariane Raedler (AUT), who dominated in the recent downhill races, with +0.56. The Top 10 features : two more Austrians, one Norwegian, one Swede and two Swiss, Joana Haelen, 9th with +1.37, and Rahel Kopp, 10th with +1.42. It should be noted that half of these ten competitors took part in the recent Olympic Games.
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Austria dominates in the third Downhill
The third Downhill in the European Cup (replacing Zauchensee) took place in postcard-like scenery in Crans-Montana today, once again in very low temperatures. The Austrian team enjoyed a triple victory, with a win by Ariane Raedler in 1:16.83 (placed 1st and 7th yesterday) in front of Nina Ortlieb, with +0.63 (6th and 4th yesterday) and Martina Rettenwender with +0.79 (also placed 4th twice yesterday). Switzerland’s Priska Nufer (3rd and 1st yesterday) placed 4th with +0.82. So the Top 10 features : 6 Austrians, one Swiss, two Swedes and one German competitor.
DEPREZ photos SA, Crans-Montana
Switzerland’s Priska Nufer, today’s winner with two podium places
27.02.2018 - There’s satisfaction in Crans-Montana, as it was possible to hold the two downhill races planned for Tuesday. They took place in freezing temperatures ( -18 to -14 degrees) on a piste in perfect condition, and the sometimes changeable visibility didn’t get in the way of consistency in the racing. The piste proved faster than in the training sessions, whilst almost the same competitors were ranked in the top places.
In the first downhill, Austria managed a winning double with Ariane Raedler taking first place ahead of Christine Scheyer, and Switzerland’s Priska Nufer coming in third place. Six competitors from Austria were placed in the Top 10, with one from Switzerland, one from Italy, one from France and one from Russia.
The second downhill saw our own Priska Nufer (3rd in the first descent) taking her revenge, as she widened the gap between Sweden’s Lisa Hoernblad, who was second with +1.10 and Lin Ivarsonn, third with +1.22. Following, in order, were five Austrians, one Norwegian and one French athlete. Therefore seven out of the top eleven competitors in the first leg were placed in the Top 10 of the second leg.
DEPREZ photos SA, Crans-Montana
FIS Ladies European Cup: 2nd training session postponed
25.02.2018 - Due to persistent fog on the course, the 2nd training session planned for Sunday had to be postponed several times, and was finally definitively cancelled. As a second training session is absolutely essential, the jury has modified the programme for Monday 26 February, as detailed below:
- 2nd downhill training session at 09:30
- Downhill 1 at 11.30
FIS Ladies European Cup : 1st Downhill training
24.02.2018 - The first training day on the Mont-Lachaux piste took place in optimal conditions on a perfect piste. For the competitors, it was a first contact with the course, and with their ability to master the difficulties of the descent in search of the best line.
The best time recorded was by Austria’s Nina Ortlieb, ahead of three of her compatriots. The best of the line-up of 12 Swiss was Priska Nufer, who came in 9th place.
The 2nd training day will take place tomorrow Sunday 25 February at 09.30.
THREE EUROPEAN CUP RACES IN CRANS-MONTANA AS A PRELUDE TO THE 2018 WORLD CUP
5.12.2017 - In the past, Crans-Montana has organised over 40 FIS European Cup races on its « Nationale », « Mont Lachaux » and « Chetzeron » pistes. Since 2008, there have been fourteen races (nine mens and five ladies) , and note that the resort has also had successful experiences with the FIS European Cup finals in 2009, as well as the FIS Junior World Championships in 2011. From now on, Crans-Montana will host a heat of the European Cup every year, just before the arrival of the FIS World Cup. The Ladies World Cup stops off this season on 3 and 4 March 2018, on the Mont Lachaux piste, the European Cup races are therefore programmed for Monday 26 February and Tuesday 27 (two Ladies Downhill) and also Wednesday 28 (Super-G). Races will start at 10am. As for training sessions, they are planned for Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 February at 10am
Today it’s clearly recognised that the European Cup (and the FIS races) are an effective, beneficial and sustainable stepping stone for competition sport. They even represent an essential step on the way to the top. Nowhere else do young athletes have the possibility to gain experience on the international scene and rub shoulders with tougher competition. This is particularly useful in the speed disciplines, where it is invaluable to gain experience on different pistes. Crans-Montana is highly motivated to contribute to this promotion.