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.
With some of the world’s best specialists
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.
All News from the women's Europeancup races 2021 in Crans-Montana under