The FIS World Cup finally concluded on March 15th 2008 and it’s been a long winter. In fact, the snow is still falling in buckets, with some resorts claiming last weekend had their best ski conditions yet! Following part one, the second part of this FIS World Cup coverage will look at the final winners that came through in the last 3 weeks of the competitions.
- As the month rolled into action, Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner took the seventh snowboard cross by storm, claiming a great double victory for the USA. Following the win, Jacobellis moved to first in the overall standings, whilst it was Baumgartner first ever World Cup win.
- During stormy conditions in Marienbad (Czech Republic), Guilbaut Colas of France took the victory in the Men’s Dual moguls, closing the gap between him and Australia’s Dale Begg-Smith in the process. Meanwhile in the Ladies’, Aiko Uemura held on for the win which moved her into first place overall.
- Over 30,000 attended Moscow’s first ever Freestyle FIS World Cup city aerials event, despite the difficult winds. Canada’s Steve Omischl managed his seventh podium from eight starts in the Men’s event, whilst Emily Cook of USA took a well-earned first victory.
- At the Free Technique Sprint in the Finnish city of Lahti, Chandra Crawford (2006 Olympic Champion) of Canada snatched the Ladies’ win after a close encounter with Russian Natalia Matveeva. The Men’s event was equally close as Anders Gloersen (Norway) snatched first from Andrew Newell (USA).
- The day afterwards in Lahti, Virpi Kuitunen (Finland) claimed the win on home soil, with a 4.7 second gap between her and runner-up Valentina Shevchenko (Ukraine). In the Men’s, Lukas Bauer (Czech Republic) finished way ahead of the chasing pack, putting him even further out in front in the overall standings.
- At the Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom in Lake Placid (USA), Mathieu Bozzetto (France) swept through to first, marking his 35th World Cup win. He dedicated his win to the late Jean-Pierre Remondet who was his first coach. “Yesterday, my first coach who brought me to snowboarding in 1990 passed away in France. I dedicate this win to [him]“. Svetlana Boldikova (Russia) took the Ladies’ victory with a career first.
- At the wonderful City Sprint of Drammen (Norway), Ola Vigen Hattestad took victory on his homeland in the Men’s; the second of his career. While Virpi Kuitunen (Finland) won fifth victory of her season in the Ladies’ after controlling throughout.
- Grindelwald (Switzerland) was home to a great Ski Cross in decent conditions, following a nice dump of powder preceding the event. Sasa Faric (Slovenia) managed a career second victory in the Ladies’ event, also making it her second podium of the season. Lars Lewen (Sweden) was the clear winner in the Men’s with his first ever World Cup victory. Yet there was bigger news with Tomas Kraus (Czech Republic) clinching the overall World Cup title. With two events still left he’s a clear 231 points in the lead and now unreachable.
- In the Free Technique at Holmenkollen (Norway), Valentina Shevchenko of Ukraine came from behind after a bad start to take her second win of the season. In the Men’s, it was Anders Soedergren of Sweden winning the plaudits, winning for the second time in his career by an incredible 2.32 minutes.
- The Freestyle FIS World Cup aerials finished in Davos (Switzerland) with Steve Omischl (Canada) and Jacqui Cooper (Australia) confirming their World Cup title wins. Another award was dished out with Allison Treleaven (USA) winning ‘Rookie of the Year’ after making it to the top 10 in her first ever World Cup.
- Dubbed as one of the best events of the World Cup yet, the penultimate Snowboard Cross was a close affair in both runs. In the Men’s, Pierre Vaultier headed an all French podium – the first time France have held the top three positions in five years. The Ladies’ event was nipped by the reigning world champion, Lindsey Jacobellis (USA), even though she crashed at the final arch and crossed the line head-first.
- Nicolien Sauerbreij (Netherlands) took home the victory and the title. The Dutch haven’t won a World Cup title for thirteen years, making this an extra sweet achievement for Sauerbreij. “Winning the World Cup title is unbelievable. I had so many good results this winter but so had Heidi [Neururer]. Throughout the whole season it was a very tough battle with her. Today, I gave it everything to keep hold on the World Cup lead. This effort finally paid off”.
- At the Ski Cross in Meiringen (Switzerland), Ophelie David of France took an incredible fifth win in a row to move 144 points ahead of second place Sasa Faric of Slovenia.
- The Nordic Combined World Cup title was settled in Holmenkollen (Norway) with Ronny Ackermann of Germany claiming the award, despite not featuring on the podium in the day’s event.
- Didier Cuche of Switzerland claimed his second Crystal Globe in the Downhill after the cancellation the final event in Bormio, Italy. The weather was just slightly too warm, making the famous Stelvio Pass a little too dangerous for competition. However, Bode Miller still leads in the overall rankings by 169 points.
- In the Freestyle Half-pipe, Canada stole both World Cup trophies after Sarah Burke and Matthew Heyward were announced the overall winners. Heyward didn’t actually compete in the final event, but had already done enough in the run-up to secure the top spot.
- Lindsey Vonn became only the second American Lady to win the World Cup Downhill trophy, despite the cancellation of the events in Bormio. “[Ever] since I saw the crystal globe held by Picabo Street in the 90s when she was on an exhibition tour in our area, I have been dreaming of it. I’m very proud to have accomplished this exciting performance.”
- The Snowboarding Cross World Cup came to a close with Pierre Vaultier maintaining his lead and winning the Crystal Globe for France in the Men’s. Maelle Ricker of Canada managed to collect the Ladies’ trophy after a surprise exit from Lindsey Jacobellis. “It’s nice that I won. I had a very constant season including a lot of cool battles with Lindsey Jacobellis. It’s a bummer that she is not here. I’m happy with all of my results – although I didn’t do that well today.”
- Hannes Reichelt caused a major upset in the Super-G to overtake the Swiss Didier Cuche by a single point and snatch the World Cup title. While in the Ladies’, Maria Riesch of Germany clinched the Crystal Globe, despite finishing sixth in the final event. Incredibly, it’s her second of the championships.
- Dale Begg-Smith of Australia and Aiko Uemura of Japan were both on form again to confirm their World Cup titles in the Men’s and Ladies’ respectively.
- At the Parallel event finals, Nicolien Sauerbreij (Netherlands) and Benjamin Karl (Austria) claimed the Crystal Globes with excellent showings in Valmalenco, Italy.
- Norway secured a superb double victory in the last Big Air of the World Cup, with Kim-Rune Hansen finishing first and Gjermund Braaten a close second. Stefan Gimpl of Austria has already taken the title home after the last event, but still managed a respectable third place.
- Thomas Morgenstern finished 19th in the final World Cup Ski Flying competition, but had already done enough to be named overall winner. “Today a dream has come true. I was dreaming of this my whole lifetime. I’m happy now that the season is over. I had no more energy left to be succesull in the last competitions.”
- Following her win at the last Slalom in Bormio, Marlies Schild of Austria kept her World Cup title. In the Men’s Giant Slalom, Ted Ligety followed in the footsteps of Phil Mahre and Bode Miller to become only the third ever American to win this Crystal Globe.
- The overall Crystal Globes were finally decided with Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller taking the glory. This double-header for USA marks the first ocassion in 25 years for two Americans to grasp the prestigious titles.
- Denise Karbon of Italy clinched the Ladies’ Giant Slalom after winning five of all seven events this season. “It has been an amazing season for me, I surely reached much more than I expected, I’m really proud of my achievements this winter”.
I’m glad the BBC’s Ski Sunday is back again this year. It’s made following the FIS World Cup far easier this season, as I prepare to look for ski deals. I thought I’d do a quick recap of everything that’s happened so far, since it’s nearly over for this year and these last few weeks should be the most exciting yet! Read part two here.
- The games slid into action in the resort of Sölden in Austria on October 27th 2007. After last year’s terrible weather and as such a late start to the games, it was a worry how things would go this time around. Fortunately, everything went ahead as planned with the snow falling nice and early. The Ladies’ Giant Slalom set things off without a hitch and Italy’s Denise Karbon took the opening win.
- America’s Bode Miller, who was highly expected to run away with many events, was left at an uncharacteristic 17th after the first round, but soon managed to climb back up to 5th with some excellent second and third runs.
- Marc Gini made a career best result by taking first in the Men’s Slalom in Reiteralm, Austria. Amazingly, the top six were all from different nations. The event was originally due to be hosted in Levi, Finland, but sadly the early snow never quite made it over there and conditions were too poor.
- Daniel Albrecht made impressive wins in the Men’s Super-Combined and Giant Slalom at Beaver Creek as the World Cup entered December, with fellow Swiss Didier Cuche lurking behind him with his third 3rd place of the events. In the Ladies’ Super-G, Swiss Martina Schild was also picking up a win, leaving the Swiss with an excellent set of runs in America.
- Aspen hadn’t held a Women’s Downhill for 20 years, but finally it returned to the slopes. It almost didn’t happen after heavy snowfall on December 7th, but it was delayed until the next day where Britt Janyk of Canada happily took the win.
- Back in Davos, Switzerland, two exciting Cross Country races were unfolding. Virpi Kuitunen of Finland made an incredible comeback in the Ladies’, beating Norway’s Vibeke Skofterud by 10.9 seconds. The Men’s race was even more intense with Germany’s Alex Teichmann gaining his second pole of the World Cup so far, following a race that went right to the finish.
- Austrian Thomas Morgenstern took an incredible record fifth pole in the Ski Jumping event in Villach, Austria, showing just how ahead of the rest of the pack he is.
- In the Snowboarding, surprise was afoot with 22 year old Manuel Veith of Schladming winning a remarkable race which went right down to the last split second. He managed to catch a gap of some 28 hundredths of a second at the very end of the Parallel Giant Slalom, stunning onlookers in Limone.
- At Rybinsk in Russia, Norway’s best picked up three wins out of four in the Cross-Country after Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, Tor Arne Hetland and Anders Gløersen stored the opposition to take victory.
- Jacqui Cooper (of Australia) and Steve Omischl (of Canada) were the winners of the opening Freestyle events on December 23rd in Changchun, China. Both athletes kept the leaders’ bib since they were also the winners from last year.
- In the Bulgarian capital of Sophia, Stefan Gimpl of Austria trounced the opposition with some stunning tricks in the third of six Big Air competitions. Gimpl landed a near perfect Cab 10, ending up just one point off the best possible score of 30.
- The highlight of the season so far for the Cross Country was the Tour de Ski in which Czech Lukas Bauer took away the win with five very impressive stages to beat Norwegian Tord Arle Gjerdalen (second) and Italian Pietro Piller Cottrer (Third). The Ladies’ were equally as exciting with Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla surprising the crowds as she took the lead from under the noses of Virpi Kuitunen (Finland) and Marit Bjoergen (Norway).
- The year ended in Lienz for the Ladies’ events with the Giant Slalom and Slalom races. Italy took a double victory with Denise Karbon and Chiara Costazza. And it was in Italy where the Men’s events were ending the year, though it was America’s Bode Miller who took the win there and started his big comeback in the traditional New Year’s downhill in Bormio.
- Twenty year old Swede Charlotte Kalla grasped the Tour de Ski victory after and exciting last kilometre in the Ladies’ final. In the Men’s Lukas Bauer cruised to gold almost an entire minute ahead of the competition.
- The first ski cross event of the season in the Freestyle FIS World Cup was held in Les Contamines, France. Czech Tomas Kraus held out America’s Casey Puckett to success, while in the Ladies’ Ophelie David of France grabbed her 8th World Cup victory.
- The half-pipe round for the Freestyle World Cup began also in Les Contamines. A great crowd gathered for the night time finals, with Canadians Sarah Burke and Matthew Hayward snatching the golds.
- In Austria’s Bad Gastein, Lindsey Jacobellis (America) and Mario Fuchs (Austria) took the honours during the season’s third Snowboard cross.
- Norwegian Tom Hilde managed a second victory in the Ski Jumping event, overtaking Thomas Morgenstern, whose strong early season had been keeping him afloat at the top on the points board.
- In the Snowboard Giant Slalom, Nicolien Sauerbreij (Netherlands) prevented an all Austrian podium by grabbing first place from Claudia Riegler in the ladies’. While in the men’s, Andreas Prommegger (Austria) took his first every World Cup victory. In the last Parallel Slalom of the season, Heidi Neururer (Austria) and Rok Flander (Slovenia) collected their well-deserved wins.
- Unsuitable weather left the World Cup Ski Flying delayed a day, but once it got going, it turned into a tremendous and exciting round with Janne Ahonen of Finland managed 199.5m to grab the win, some 6.5m beyond anyone else. Though in the overall rankings, Austrian Thomas Morgenstern still held the lead.
- The famous Vogtland Arena in Klingenthal held 15,000 onlookers to watch 19-year old Eric Frenzel and team mate Ronny Ackermann win 1st and 2nd respectively in the Nordic Combined before swapping top positions to win Germany the Sprint round, too. Ackermann still lead the competition overall with a whopping 851 points.
- Meanwhile, in the Freestyle World Cup at Lake Placid, the USA took five podiums of the 12 available on their home soil.
- Ekaterina Stolyarova of Russia took her first ever World Cup win at Mt. Gabriel, Canada, for the Freestyle Moguls. In the Men’s, Guilbaut Colas of France held onto victory, shaking off his bronze finish at last year’s World Cup to success.
- Marco Sullivan and Bode Miller left the competition behind to give USA two more American wins following the Kandahar Downhill and the third Super Combined.
- Having not finished any lower than 3rd in the Giant Slalom, Italy’s Denise Karbon continued her amazing winning progress, despite nurturing a broken thumb. Karbon took her 5th World Cup victory in Ofterschwang during the another exciting Alpine event. Defending champion, Marlies Schild of Austria, took the win in the Men’s event.
- In Leysin, Switzerland, the Snowboard Cross continued in style with two exciting races. In the ladies, Helene Olafsen of Norway managed to beat Diane Liaudy of France to take the win. In the Men’s, Mario Fuchs scored his second pole following his first in his homeland Austria. Following his win, he stated “The grand final was really exciting… and was a real fight in the first curve, almost kamikaze. [A]fter the second bank, I was suddenly leading and just kept on accelerating and it worked out perfectly. I’m very happy right now.”
- Over in Sapporo, Japan, Thomas Morgenstern was further extending his lead with two back-to-back wins that left him over 610 points ahead of the chasing pack.
- The Freestyle concluded with dual moguls and 8,500 happily watching in Deer Valley, USA. Shelly Robertson brought it home for America after changing her final jump to take victory. Canadian Vincent Marquis won his first World Cup event in the Men’s Freestyle with an impressive final display.
- The first-ever Freestyle World Cup ski cross race in North America was held in Deer Valley. Davey Barr of Canada took his first every World Cup win and concluded “It was a pretty big deal for the sport. It shows we (North Americans) are here and are able to win these events. It’s good.”
- Bode Miller took the first of the season’s Crystal Globes after his win in Val d’Isere, France left him uncatchable.
- Stefan Gimpl confirmed his Crystal Globe after winning the season’s penultimate and final rounds in the Snowboard Big Air. The gutsy 15-year old Roope Tonteri (Finland) took it right to the line, but Gimpl landed his tricks to near perfection to take the pole.
- The thrilling fifth Snowboard Cross race left Canada’s Maelle Ricker narrowly edging past America’s Lindsey Jacobellis to take a well-earned win. For the Men’s the gap wasn’t quite as close, as Pierre Vaultier of France eased his way to victor.
- The Snow Queen Trophy was awarded to Tanja Poutiainen of Finland after she beat Austrian Marlies Schild by a huge half a second in the Slalom at Zagreb, Croatia.
- In the fourth snowboard Half-Pipe event of the season, Jiayu Liu made history by becoming the first ever Chinese winner. The 17-year old stayed modest and said of her win “I’m very happy. I put myself under a lot of pressure to secure this win. That I made it is just awesome”.
- Thomas Morgenstern clinched his World Cup title despite finishing fifth in the Willingen Ski Jumping competition.
- Lindsey Vonn fell just shy of victory in the Downhill at Whistler, but the 2nd place was still enough to clinch the World Cup title.
- Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer takes the Ski Flying World Cup title at just 18 years of age. Following the win, he gushed: “This is a dream, my greatest victory so far.”
Roll on March!