The Audi FIS Ladies World Cup again graced the Courchevel Stade. Now in its 9th year, this festival of Slalom and Giant Slalom is one of the holiday period highlights. The Courchevel World Cup is one of the most glamorous events on the Ladies tour and a firm favourite with both athletes and spectators alike. Here’s a rundown of everything that took place at this years Courchevel World Cup.
Courchevel World Cup Ladies Giant Slalom
The Ladies Giant Slalom took center stage on Friday the 21st The weather was less than perfect for World Cup skiing with flat light and snow showers however the stage was set for what was to be a great race. The crowds were expectant of a fourth consecutive win for MikaelaShiffrin.The first run did not disappoint and was incredibly exciting with less than 0.24 seconds separating the top five Ladies. Viktoria Rebensburg from Germany led with Mikaela Shiffrin and Stephanie Brunner 0.08 seconds behind. The French hopes were pinned on Tessa Worley who was lying in fourth place only 0.11 seconds off the pace. This set the race up for an exhilarating second run.
The snow began falling heavily for the second run making conditions very tricky, the start was moved further down the Courchevel World Cup stade for safety. The racing was tight only 0.93 separating the top 8 finishers. Mikaela fought very hard from top to bottom in a determined run to clinch victory from Stephanie Rebensburg. The French fans were not disappointed with Tessa Worley coming in third only 0.33 behind the winner. Shiffrin now has 789 World Cup points more than double that of Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel on 367 points.
Courchevel World Cup Ladies Slalom
Saturday the 22nd saw the day dawn with the weather much improved ready for the Slalom. The teams had been out all night preparing the snow. Mikaela has said in interviews “I didn’t get a lot of slalom training (the past few days) so I’m just going to move my feet quick and see what happens” going for her 50th World cup win the pressure was on.
Petra Vlhova, the first lady out of the start gate, laid down a great run. Wendy Holdener the second lady out could not topple her, then came Mikaela Shiffrin. She was on positive splits down the steep section at the start of the race, and it looked like she would be unable to topple Petra’s lead; however, power and quick feet across the flat allowed her to slide in front by 0.04 seconds. Only Bernadette Schild was able to get close to the first two ladies lying 0.26 seconds behind in third.
The second run of the Courchevel World Cup Slalom was set up as perfectly as the Giant Slalom the day before. With the start in reverse order, the crowds had some spectacular skiing to watch before the top 5 women would have their turn to perform. Lying in fifth Frida Hansdotter put down a real marker for the other ladies to follow. Bernadette Schild charged out of the start gate, was laying down a great run until straddling a gate on the steep section and falling. Petra Vlhova was next and put in a solid performance and what looked like a winning run, piling the pressure on her rival waiting in the start gate. Mikaela came out well and had negative splits early on, some ragged skiing on the middle of the course saw her fall 0.04 behind her rival before pulling it back to win her 50th World Cup by 0.29 seconds. She is now the youngest lady ever to reach the big 50 World Cup victories.
Our whole team enjoyed being part of the Courchevel World Cup with some of our instructors even making it VIP!!
Events like these would not be possible in our resort without the commitment and hard work of all the resort team. The preparations begin months in advance moving temporary tv studios, officials huts and rest areas for the athletes onto the bottom of the Stade. From there piste preparation team take over spending weeks preparing the snow to host this event. Using the latest technology, they inject the snow with water to make the surface as hard and as consistent as possible for the racers. They install nets to ensure that this high-octane race is as safe as possible; finally, the myriad of hospitality tents are erected. All this hard work means an amazing seamless day for the spectators.
A massive thanks to everyone involved in making this a special day from the bus drivers to the lift workers it always combines to be something perfect.