12/13/17 World Cup Wednesday

Photo above taken this morning at Mad River Glen, VT. Has nothing to do with World Cup, but to eastern skiers who’ve been waiting for snow, it’s a beautiful thing….on to the White Circus…

Ah, the Pain of Politics.

Lindsey Vonn continues to be the name in the news, partly for skiing. Lindz was a bit outspoken recently about her political views. She’s got enough on her plate, and doesn’t need the added distraction. Vonn followed the off-snow theatrics with a back injury during the Super G at St. Moritz this weekend. Despite the injury that she suffered early on (Vonn sez gate six) she still managed to finish in the points in 24th. Let’s hope she’s healthy in time for Pyeongchang.

Pleasant Surprises

The Super G was the only race contested in St. Moritz, with the balance of the slate cancelled due to weather. The surprise winner was Jasmine Flury of Switzerland, the first win and podium of her young career. Flury does have a handful of Super G top tens, so it isn’t a huge surprise. Teammate Michelle Gisin was second, Liechtensteiner Tina Weirather third. Viktoria Rebensburg gained a smidge on overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin with a sixth place finish versus Mikaela’s still-respectable 20th.

Another pleasant surprise was former overall champ Anna Veith finishing a very nice fifth. Veith has been struggling in her comeback from injury — well, at least by her standards. Hopefully this is a sign of better days to come. Either way, we applaud her effort every time she clicks into the bindings.

A sigh of relief was heard clear across Switzerland when Lara Gut walked away after an ugly crash. Gut went sailing into the nets, but the only visible issue was that she had to be disentangled by a course worker. Glad to see that, especially after ACL surgery not too long ago. With Flury and the younger Gisin now finding their way to the podium, these three Swiss skiers may indeed sweep a future Super-G, which would be a pleasant surprise.

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Any thoughts that a new dominant skier might emerge this season on the men’s side of the hill were pretty much laid to rest in Val d’Isere this weekend when Marcel Hirscher proved that he’s invincible. Broken ankle? A mere distraction. The Austrian great finished third in the Giant Slalom, and was victorious in Sunday’s Slalom. What did you expect?

Do we bother with the rest? Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen took second in the slalom, with Swede Andre Myhrer third. Best American finish was by nobody. You asked. Kristoffersen still leads the overall, but has a rearview mirror full of Hirscher.

Victor in the aforementioned GS was Frenchman Alexis Pinturault, followed by German Stefan Luitz, and of course Hirscher. Americans Ted Ligety, Tommy Ford and Tim Jitloff all gleaned points from the event, but not many.

Coming Up

Men are up for speed events in Val Gardena Italy this weekend. And speaking of Team USA, fastest runs in today’s downhill training were laid down by Jared Goldberg and Wiley Maple. The men move immediately from Val Gardena to technical events in Alta Badia, where Hirscher will crush more dreams.

Ladies will fill the vacancies left in Val d’Isere for a couple of speed events. Vonn is on the start list, Shiffrin is not. Incidentally Julia Mancuso will be running this weekend. Super Jules did ski last weekend in some leg of the combined race that was ultimately cancelled. It will be interesting to see if she can be a factor in the Olympics, yet again. Mancuso has an uncanny knack for rising to meet big events head on.

We’re entering the heart of the season right now, with events following closely right through Christmas. I’ll keep you posted as we go in the regular daily news round ups.

Back tomorrow with a bunch of stuff, resort openings, and news from across the nation. Don’t forget to drop me an email if you’d like a free Ski Bum sticker….