It was another busy day on the slopes above Davos with the ladies opening their speed races with the Super G and the men wrapping up their speed week with the Alpine Combined. To mesh the schedule, the men started with the slalom leg, followed by the ladies Super G race, and the day wrapped up with the men’s second leg of the Alpine Combined with their Super G.
The emerging story of this Championship is Swiss rising star Marco Odermatt, who made it four gold in a row today leading a Swiss double win. Semyel Bissig who took silver after winning the slalom leg of the Combined.
It was a day dominated by the two leading alpine powers of ski racing. Switzerland and Austria took the top seven positions. Ralphael Haaser, who won two silvers in the 2017 World Juniors, was the leading Austrian in third place, adding a bronze to his collection.
Canadians were positioned well after the slalom, with Jeffrey Read (Banff Alpine) as top Canadian in 14th position, followed by Simon Fournier (Tremblant) in 17th, Cam Alexander (Whistler/BC Ski Team) in 25th and Sam Mulligan hiked to finish so he could still race in the Super G.
The top 30 start in reverse order for the Super G, with Alexander posting 9th best time and moving up to 13th in the Alpine Combined, ending up as top Canadian. Read, booted out and hip-slid early in the Super G but still finished and ended up 17th. Fournier was 18th and Mulligan 29th (4th best time in the SG).
In the ladies Super G, it was a day of misses and attrition similar to the men’s Super G yesterday. The track down the Jakobshorn is north-facing, with no sun on the first pitch. The track is best characterized as wide-open rolling terrain, with dips and bumps. Both sets required skillful negotiation of the line to thread the needle through the dips and blind rolls. Of the 53 athletes at the start, 25 did not finish, an abnormally high rate for any Super G.
Kajsa Vickhoff Lie of Norway negotiated the tricky set to take gold, ahead of Austrian Franziska Gritsch who added a second silver to her 2018 medal haul (silver medalist in slalom) and Swiss Stephanie Jenal added another bronze to the host country medal bonanza.
Two Canadians raced the Super G. Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler Mt.) finished 18th and Marina Vilanova (Tremblant) did not finish.
Tomorrow, the ladies take centre stage with their Alpine Combined. A reminder that all the action is both archived and live-streamed at: swiss-ski.ch/davos2018
In the Marc Hodler Trophy, Switzerland now has a commanding lead over Austria, with Norway in 3rd. Canada sits 5th.
Photo credits: Steve Fleckenstein