news season 2020/2021

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
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Jasmine Flury
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Lisa Grill
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Noémie Kolly
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Yeah!

 

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

 

 

new programme

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.

Saturday 16.01.
Training in the morning and first downhill in the afternoon (tbd)
The detailed programme will be decided this Thursday evening.

Sunday 17.01.
2ndDownhill (tbd)

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.

2021-01-10 Stephanie Jenal
Stephanie Jenal
2021-01-10 Jasmina Suter
 Jasmina Suter

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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2020-12-11 Rahel Kopp

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.