Hello and welcome to Gravity, a weekly show that brings you up to date with the world of winter sports. France’s Tessa Worley produced a flawless second run to notch up her 11th World Cup giant slalom victory on Saturday as Mikaela Shiffrin narrowly missed out on a podium finish. Let’s see how the American star bounced back in Maribor.
Shiffrin is back
Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin kept her composure to clinch a women’s World Cup slalom in Maribor. The 21-year-old looked in great shape and got back to winning ways in her favourite discipline despite skiing over a broken gate in her final run.
It was Shiffrin’s 27th career win, which puts her level with Phil Mahre in third place among American skiers with most World Cup wins, behind Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn.
Wendy Holdener, bidding to become the first Swiss winner of a women’s slalom in 15 years, produced a superb run but it wasn’t to be for the 23-year-old as she eventually had to settle for second place, 0.19 seconds behind the winner.
Frida Hansdotter of Sweden came home third, 0.31 adrift, and this result sees Shiffrin lead Lara Gut by 305 points in the overall standings, giving her a major boost ahead of the next World Cup event, which will take place in Austria on Tuesday.
MikaelaShiffrin</a> holds a 305-point lead in the overall World Cup title chase after winning today's slalom. 🙌 <a href="https://t.co/lUyfhelKgY">https://t.co/lUyfhelKgY</a> <a href="https://t.co/yOjl2sNTkx">pic.twitter.com/yOjl2sNTkx</a></p>— usskiteam (usskiteam) January 8, 2017
France’s Alexis Pinturault edged out Austrian rival Marcel Hirscher by the narrowest of margins to claim victory in the World Cup men’s giant slalom in Adelboden. The Swiss resort has staged some spectacular events. Let’s go back in time to 2007 as Marc Berthod produced a stunning comeback, giving skiing fans a race to remember.
On 7 January 2007, Switzerland’s Marc Berthod clinched the world cup slalom in Adelboden thanks to a stunning second run which saw him move up 26 spots in the standings into 1st place.
The young sensation, who outclassed Olympic champion Benjamin Raich by 0.26 seconds, then went on to secure two hard-fought second place finishes in Wengen and Beaver Creek, wrapping up a superb season.
After a thrilling race in Adelboden, competitors will now battle it out in Wengen and Kitzbühel, which are viewed by many as the most dangerous events in the Ski World Cup calendar. We met up with French pair Guillermo Fayed and Adrien Théaux to speak about the fear factor ahead of these races.
Guillermo Fayed: “Of course we are scared, it’s part of the game. I think the biggest challenge is to overcome your fear by using it to your advantage when you’re skiing. I doubt my rivals will tell you that they are not nervous before the Kitzbühel race but it’s all about self-control. Once I start skiing, I tend to get in the zone and all my fears disappear.”
Adrien Théaux: “Many have suffered spectacular crashes here so we know what we’re getting ourselves into. We have to cope with this type of pressure, especially in Kitzbühel, but we are used to it. The aim is to ignore these negative thoughts but if someone tells you they are not scared ahead of this particular event, they are lying. Having said this, some might be fearless but they are usually the ones who end up crashing and losing control at this speed can be fatal. It’s all about balance in my opinion, being too scared will also affect your performance. Some skiers are even forced to withdraw as this feeling is unbearable.
Well that’s all we have time for but join us next week for another edition of Gravity. In the meantime, we end the programme with some of the best moments from Maribor with Tina Maze bidding an emotional farewell to the sport on home snow after a glittering 18-year career. It’s snowtime!