After 14 years, the men’s skiing world cup is back in Crans-Montana. The hosts were able to take over a Kitzbühel ryce that had to be cancelled in January. The sunny and very warm weather resulted in having to use chemicals on the wet snow on the slope to be able to run the race. The speed races were held on a soft and bumpy slope with a lot of different grounds. This led to various accidents and crashes, unfortunately including injuries.
All favorites for the Overall World Cup met at Nove Mesto na Morave in the Czech Republic. The leg is predestined for the classic technique. The race on its 15 km (women) and 30 km (men) distance was not just about the day victory but also about taking another step towards the Overall World Cup. Justina Kowalczyk’s performance was very strong and she already started with a high speed with which only the two Norwegians Marit Björgen and Therese Johaug could keep up. Johaug had to give in on the last kilometers so that only Björgen and Kowalczyk came into question for the victory.
The trip to Sochi was a big challenge for all teams. Three planes were loaded with skis and bags in Zurich. After a turbulent flight, the journey to the skiing region Rosa Khutor continued by bus. The skiers were able to run three training tours on the technical and icy slope. Many athletes had big difficulties with the demanding slope.
Last Monday, most teams arrived in Oslo after the one-week break. As temperatures are sinking in all of Europe, this also happened at Holmenkollen day after day. The national arena presented itself in best winter conditions.
At the sprint race on Thursday, the athletes’ faces could hardly be seen as they taped their faces against the cold. TOKO girl Magdalena Neuner/GER brought home her 30th world cup victory with 0 shooting errors and an impressive skiing performance. Daria Domracheva/BLR became 2nd and Tora Berger won 3rd place in her own country.
The Alpine skiing ladies started in Garmisch this weekend. In very good but freezing winter conditons, -20° C, very exciting races were carried out. The athletes had to tape their faces or ski with a mask on. With 120 km/h the temperatures feel colder still and this can easily amount to frostbite.
The choice of materials wasn’t easy for the service staff. The cold, aggressive snow and the partly icy slope made it difficult to find the right balance.
The 3rd world cup in January brought the athletes to the Antholz valley in the beautiful South Tyrol. On the one hand, they always look forward to Antholz but on the other hand the height of 1600 m really gets to them. At their arrival on Monday, the athletes were greeted by fantastic winter weather. Sunshine and temperatures of minus 10°C let their athletic hearts beat faster.
In Otepää, the important Estonian centre for cross-country skiing, the first World Cup races were held after the Tour de Ski. The two Tour winners Justina Kowalczyk and Dario Cologna were able to keep their excellent form and won head and shoulders above the rest both the sprint and the races of 10 and 15 km respectively in the classic technique.
The weather conditions for the races in Kitzbühel were not very pretty. There was a lot of snow and rain so that Friday’s Super G had to be cancelled. The hosts concentrated on the downhill. During the whole night, many hard-working helpers prepared the slope to get rid of the fresh snow on it.
After more snow and rain on Saturday morning, the start had to be moved down. The race was held despite the snowfall. The numerous spectators followed an exciting race. Due to the shortened distance, the time differences were only marginal.