23 Jan

A podium with an Italian accent in Crans-Montana

Once again, Italian Sofia Goggia has demonstrated how it should be done on the Mont Lachaux piste, winning the downhill for the fourth time in a row. Lara Gut-Behrami is back on the podium after an unsuccessful race on Friday.

It appeared that you had to speak Italian to be on the podium on Saturday, in Crans-Montana’s second downhill. As was the case the day before, Sofia Goggia showed that she is uncompromising on the Mont Lachaux piste, which was able to be skied from the top today, despite snow overnight. She was able to do a good job of negotiating the most difficult parts of the course, combining speed and technique. Nothing seems to perturb the skier from Bergamo in this early part of the season, she is full of confidence, and has been on fire so far this season, as this is her fourth victory in five downhills. In this 11th win of her career, the athlete from Lombardy has equaled the American Lindsay Vonn, the last athlete to win four races in a row. In fact alongside Picabo Street, Sofia Goggia is only the second skier in 26 years to win at least four competitions in a row in the supreme discipline.


Lara Gut-Behrami back on the podium


Sofia Goggia beat Ticino’s Lara Gut-Behrami. After missing out in the first downhill on Friday (16th), last winter’s double winner in Crans-Montana picked herself up. Much more involved than the day before, despite back and pelvis pain, the skier from Comano almost snatched a 10th World Cup downhill win. 27 hundredths of a second separated her from Goggia, but still, the Swiss skier who has a love-hate relationship with the Mont Lachaux piste, seals the 53rd podium in her career.
The podium was completed by Elena Curtoni. The skier from Morbegno finished six tenths of a second behind her compatriot, grabbing 3rd place from the American Breezy Johnson. No mean feat for the Italian, who reached her fifth podium in career, the second one in Crans-Montana after the super-G  in 2017. Ester Ledecka, who was 2nd on Friday and in the race for victory, crashed as she entered the final wall, finishing in the safety nets.


Jasmina Suter’s achievement, getting her place in the Worlds


If Priska Nufer provided a nice surprise for the Swiss team in the first downhill on Friday, on Saturday it was Jasmina Suter’s turn. The 25 year old from Schwyz managed the best race of her career, taking a magnificent 6th place, when she has never been in the Top 15 in the World Cup before, except in the combined in Crans-Montana last year (13th). At the same time, she also validates her entry for the World Championships in Cortina.


Corinne Suter also managed to improve on the Mont Lachaux piste this Saturday, but she didn’t manage to beat her rivals for a podium place. The skier from Schwyz finished 8th, over a second behind Goggia, but she also loses out to the Italian in the overall ranking in the speciality, as Goggia now has a lead of over 200 points.


Michelle Gisin (10th) also had a good race, despite a big scare on the last jump on the course. Priska Nufer and Jasmine Flury share 14th place, completing the Swiss results.

Video: SkiActu

 

Photos:Agence-Zoom

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1st Sofia Goggia/ITA
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2nd Lara Gut-Behrami/SUI
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3rd Elena Curtoni/ITA
podium
The podium with an Italian accent!

 

23 Jan

The piste is ready: incredible commitment by volunteers and the military !

Shortly after 3am this morning, the president of the Organising Committee ordered all soldiers, technical volunteers and piste preparers to meet at the Mont Lachaux piste at 4am in order to clear the snow that had fallen overnight, and to prepare it as best as possible for the 10am deadline. No less than 170 people responded. Led by Markus Murmann, race director, and Patrice Morisod, course director, as well as the various heads of sectors, the motivated group set to the hard work in hand. They were also able to rely on five specialist machines. Although there wasn’t an enormous amount of snowfall overnight, their work was immensely useful. In the current weather conditions, the athletes will benefit from a racing piste worthy of its name. All those who were up at dawn deserve praise and our heartfelt congratulations. And a big thank you to the CMA ski lifts, that did everything possible to ensure that all these people were transported seamlessly.

 

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22 Jan

Sofia Goggia dominates on the Haut-Plateau

Absent last year due to injury, Sofia Goggia has made her comeback on the Mont Lachaux piste in the best possible way. Thanks to her constant offensive, the skier from Bergamo returned to the top step of the podium, a place she also claimed at her last appearance on the Haut-Plateau in February 2019. The technical characteristics of the Valais piste are perfectly suited to the technical qualities of the 28 year old athlete, who now increases her lead in the World Cup downhill ranking.

Although the Italian demonstrated the most solid performance in this downhill, where the start had to be lowered to the super-G due to the wind, Ester Ledecka almost created a shockwave. The Czech had a tremendous race, missing out on first place by just two tenths of a second. The double Olympic champion proves once again, as if she needs to, that she is one of the best downhill skiers in the world, and especially on a piste that she likes.  The podium was completed by the American Breezy Johnson.

Jasmine Flury and Priska Nufer, surprises of the day

In the Swiss camp, Jasmine Fleury provided the best surprise of the day. The 27 year old from the Grisons took a nice 5th place, taking advantage of the experience she gained under a week ago, when she won the European Cup on the same piste. The winner of the St. Moritz super-G in 2017 was able to find excellent trajectories. Another sensation in the Swiss camp was Priska Nufer’s 7th place. At age 28, the Obwald skier achieved her best World Cup result ever, in a resort where she has already finished in the top 10 twice in the combined event.

For the other Swiss however, things didn’t work out as they’d hoped. Corinne Suter, who twice finished in 2nd place behind Lara Gut-Behrami last winter in Valais, couldn’t manage better than 14th place, and her compatriot from Ticino finished in 16th place, falling far short of her ambitions. However it appeared that she wasn’t in full command of her faculties, and was skiing on painkillers. Still the winner of the big Globe in 2016 hasn’t been out of the top 15 in the World Cup for almost a year, since she exited the course in Bansko.

Career best for Noémie Kolly

As for Noémie Kolly, she managed an excellent performance for her 3rd World Cup race. Despite a little mistake at the end of the race that probably cost her a top 15 place, the 22 year old from Fribourg took 23rd place, just behind Joana Hählen. This is of course the best result of her career. Jasmina Suter finished 24th again.

Michelle Gisin was less successful, but she’s still smiling. The skier from Engelberg never established a rhythm, and ended up with a poor performance today. She finished without points, and has lost ground against her rival Petra Vlhova in the fight for the big Globe. The Slovakian had an excellent race and took 4th place. She is now 110 points in front in the general World Cup rankings.

After being postponed from 10am to 1.15pm due to the snowfall in Crans-Montana on Thursday night, the race was also marked by a long interruption due to gusts of wind. However it was finally possible to finish it. A second downhill is scheduled for Saturday on the Haut-Plateau.

Video: SkiActu

 

Photos: Agence-Zoom/DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana

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1st Sofia Goggia/ITA
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2nd Ester Ledecka/CZE
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3rd Breezy Johnson/USA
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4th Petra Vlhova/SVK
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5th Jasmine Flury/SUI
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The p!odium. Sincere congratulations

 

22 Jan

A big thank you to the army

In order for the Women’s World Cup to stop off in Crans-Montana, all the authorities and people involved need to work hand in hand. The Swiss army plays a very important role in this process, as it is heavily involved in the organisation of the World Cup and European Cup races on the Haut-Plateau.

For this year’s "Classic", the organisers, led by Marius Robyr, can count on the expert assistance of a company from the Carabiniers 14 from the Canton of Geneva, and the commander of the company involved with the Patrouille des Glaciers. As part of their annual rehearsal race, the soldiers are responsible for setting up the infrastructure, preparing and maintaining the pistes.

Marius Robyr : "No races without the army"

As a brigadier and longtime commander of the Patrouille des Glaciers, the Organising Committee president Marius Robyr is well aware of the importance of the Swiss army in organising the Women’s World Cup races: "Without great commitment and support of the army, there would never have been a new World Cup era here in Crans-Montana", adding that "the cooperation has been working very well for years".

"We saw it again last week during the heavy snowfall", continues Marius Robyr. Thanks to the support of the army, it was possible to get the Mont Lachaux piste back into condition for skiing for the European Cup." We greatly appreciate the commitment of the army and thank them very much for this".

First-lieutenant Edwin Chapalay, commander of the company involved with the PDG and its men are particularly involved with the steep sections on the Mont Lachaux piste, which is divided into six sectors." We support the civil sector leaders in all areas, whether it’s installing safety nets, maintenance or marking the piste, or access and safety checks," says Edwin Chapalay.

Pride of place

The young commander is "very proud and happy to be part of such an incredible event. A feeling shared by his troops. "If in the end the races can take place, then this is the greatest reward for us".

Colonel Damian Walker agrees. "It would be even better if the Swiss finish once again at the top of the rankings like last year", smiles Walker, who as head of KTVS Valais, is responsible for the  troops’ commitments in Crans-Montana, hoping for more brilliant performances from Lara Gut-Behrami, Corinne Suter and their compatriots.

Video: SkiActu

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22 Jan

The downhill race today has been postponed until 13.15

Due to the snowfall  during the night of about 20cm, the jury has decided, together with the television to delay the 1st downhill in Crans-Montana until 13.15. That way the Organizing Committee has time to prepare the piste and have it in perfect condition for the athletes. The new timing will allow the race in Crans-Montana to be transmitted live, knowing that the Kitzbühel downhill will be transmitted live at 11.30. One men's downhill and one women's downhill, an amazing sports programme in prospective on television.
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21 Jan

The Swiss are confident

Michelle Gisin, Corinne Suter, Lara Gut-Behrami and Joana Hählen will be trying to dazzle on the Mont Lachaux piste from Friday. Although the public unfortunately won’t be present to cheer on the Swiss, they intend to play leading roles. Interviews.

Vidéo: SkiActu

 Foto: Agence Zoom

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Corinne Suter

 

21 Jan

Who are the favourites for the Crans-Montana downhills ?

There are several skiers who could claim victory in the two downhill races planned this weekend on the Mont Lachaux piste on Friday and Saturday. Although the Swiss start with an advantage at home, they will have to work hard in the face of foreign competition, led by the Italians Sofia Goggia and Federica Brignone, the American Breezy Johnson, Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec and Austria’s Tamara Tippler.

Vidéo: SkiActu

 Photos: Agence Zoom

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Breezy Johnson/USA
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Tamara Tippler/AUT

 

 

21 Jan

Oesch's die Dritten are keeping their fingers crossed for the organisers

The popular Swiss folk music group sent the following message to Hugo Steinegger, vice-president of the Organising Committee, and also in charge of the traditional World Cup Party:

« We are keeping our fingers crossed for the upcoming races and this year’s additional challenges. It’s going to be great ! We often think of you, and of the wonderful evening at our concert last February, which was also our last big performance. The extraordinary memories and the chance to launch the Crans-Montana World Cup anthem will remain engraved in our hearts. We send you our warmest greetings and we wish you good luck! Go Switzerland, and we look forward to seeing you again very soon. »

Melanie and the Oesch family

PS: We’ll let you into a little secret…during the next World Cup weekend in Crans-Montana on 26 and 27 February 2022, Oesch's die Dritten will be here to thrill their many fans in Valais with a new show !  

Official anthem Ski World Cup Crans-Montana by Oesch's die Dritten

2021-01-21 Message Oesch's

 

21 Jan

Kajsa Vickhoff Lie ahead of the favourites

Norway’s Kajsa Vickoff Lie won the second training before the Crans-Montana downhill races. She was faster than the American Breezy Johnson and Italy’s Sofia Goggia.

After Sofia Goggia and Corinne Suter dominated in the first training for the Crans-Montana downhills on Wednesday, the second time trial was won by Norway’s Kajsa Vickhoff Lie. The Scandinavian was three-tenths of a second faster than the American Breezy Johnson and almost half a second faster than Sofia Goggia. Jasmine Flury, in 4th place, had the best Swiss result. It’s no surprise to find Lie and Flury again, as they both took part in the European Cup races last week on the same Mont Lachaux piste. A competition which the Swiss skier won.

Except for Sofia Goggia, the favourites for victory on Friday and Saturday remained slightly behind on Thursday, whereas the double winner last winter, Lara Gut-Behrami took 6th place, tied with Austria’s  Tamara Tippler. Federica Brignone took 9th place, Corinne Suter 12th and Ester Ledecka 19th.  Saint-Gall’s Rahel Kopp, who fell on Wednesday, hurting her face, didn’t take part in the second training session. She probably won’t be taking part in the competitions on the Haut-Plateau this weekend.

Due to the snowfall forecast tomorrow night on the Haut-Plateau, it is very likely that the start of Friday’s downhill will be postponed from 10.30 to 13.15.

 Photos: Agence Zoom

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1st Kajsa Vickhoff Lie
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2nd Breezy Johnson
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3rd Sofia Goggia/ITA
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4th Jasmine Flury5
sttade

 

21 Jan

The Swiss-French local who wants to make the most of being at home

At 22, Noémie Kolly has her career in front of her. The downhill skier is planning to show the public her talent this weekend in the Crans-Montana downhill races. Back after a serious injury to her right knee, the Gruyères native took an excellent 3rd place in the European Cup downhill on the Mont Lachaux piste, which opened the doors to the World Cup for her. On the Haut-Plateau, she will be competing in her first race amongst the elite in Switzerland, having already participated in two World Cup events in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Val d’Isère. A great opportunity to shine on her home turf, even though the public won’t be there. Let’s meet her.

Video (in French only):