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09.03.2018

Ski World Cup Crans-Montana: Huge success!

Marius Robyr, President of the Ski World Cup Crans-Montana Organisation Committee, has every reason to be proud of the work carried out, and can record a positive final result at the end of the Super-G and Alpine Combined races.

The athletes gave brilliant performances, and the different groups of the Organisation Committee, with unwavering support from the cable car company, as well as from military and civil protection members, met all the demands that were placed on them. This was also the case for the four heats of the Ladies European Cup which took place a few days before the main event. Another pleasing result to add to the final report was the huge public attendance once again: 16,700 spectators graced the Ladie’s World Cup with their presence, as well as some 5,500 fans who enjoyed the entertainment and ceremonies at the Ycoor Ice Rink, and not forgetting the 1,000 folk music fans who attended the Oesch’s die Dritten concert on Saturday night at Le Régent tennis hall, and which was sold out.

OLYMPIC MEDALLISTS ON CLOUD NINE : TINA WEIRATHER, ANNA VEITH AND WENDY HOLDENER

03.03.2018 - Surprise for Holdener, disappointment for Gut. The contrast was striking in the Swiss camp after the Crans-Montana Super-G. Wendy Holdener (3rd) and Michelle Gisin (4th) were radiating happiness, whilst Lara Gut (7th) couldn’t disguise her justified disappointment, after relinquishing her first place in the World Cup to the day’s winner, Tina Weirather. After setting off with bib number 31, and no doubt helped by the better light conditions, Wendy Holdener generated immense surprise. The skier from Schwyz, who has never placed higher than 19th in Super-G until today, said herself "What just happened is crazy. I can’t think of anything else to say except ‘wow’. I could never have imagined placing so well in this Super-G" she explained, after claiming her first podium place in a speed discipline.

Gisin 4th on the Super-G leaderboard
Although she was forced off the podium by just 13 hundredths of a second, Michelle Gisin really didn’t hold any grudges. "It’s great for Wendy. She skied very, very well. She took all the necessary risks, and she deserves her place on the podium", added the glowing Olympic Combined champion. "This 4th place is great, I’ve got no issues there. It would have been cool to be on the podium", a feat that she has only managed once in a World Cup up until now (2nd in St-Moritz in December), "but this 4th place is very important for the Super-G standing", she pointed out: the skier from Obwald is now in 4th position in the 2017/2018 World Cup Super-G standing.

Gut 46 points behind Weirather
Lara Gut, who was 18 points ahead of Tina Weirather before the race, missed an opportunity on Saturday. With the Liechtenstein skier now 46 points ahead, fate is no longer in her hands, just before the last Super-G of the season in Are. In order to collect a third globe in the discipline, after her wins in 2014 and 2016, she will really have to pull out the stops in Sweden, and hope that Tina Weirather places no higher than 4th.

Weirather is not over-excited
On the other hand, Tina Weirather was of course ecstatic after her double result on the Mont-Lachaux piste. "The pressure always drops after the Games", in which she was awarded bronze in the Super-G, beating Lara Gut by a hundredth of a second. "That can be dangerous, and I’m really pleased I was able to maintain my concentration", explained the Liechtenstein skier, who feels that nothing is decided yet. "I’ll have to ski really well in Are. A 5th place might not be enough."

A SECOND GLOBE FOR WENDY HOLDENER

04.03.2018 - Wendy Holdener didn’t falter as the sunshine returned to Crans-Montana on Sunday. The headliner of the weekend from Schwyz picked up the crystal globe for the Alpine Combined, finishing 4th in a race that was won by Federica Brignone, who edged in front of Michelle Gisin. A little Globe which surely has to lead to dreams of a bigger one… "It’s too early to think about the big globe. I’m going to finish the season first of all, as I still have objectives: I can still end up on the final podium for the Slalom final, and I want to defend my second place on the general leaderboard", added Wendy. "Then we can put a new preparation programme in place for the summer. But I really don’t want to neglect the Slalom and the Giant. And Mikaela Shiffrin will be difficult to beat in the general standing", she pointed out.

Close to 1000 points
Nonethless, Wendy Holdener has clearly reached a milestone this season. Currently 4th in the World Cup Slalom, and 8th in the Giant – a discipline which she’s made huge progress in this season – she landed her first podium in a speed discipline almost naturally on Saturday on the Mont-Lachaux piste (3rd in the Super-G), surfing the wave of her Olympic exploits.The triple medal winner in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games (Gold in the Team Event, silver in the Slalom, bronze in the Combined) is in any case a solid runner-up to the extra-terrestrial Mikaela Shiffrin on the General leaderboard. With 952 points to her name now this season, she has already beaten her record, which dated back to the 2015/2016 season (817 points, and 6th place overall on the General leaderboard).

A second Globe after 2016
This is the second time that Wendy Holdener has been awarded the little globe for the Combined, after her success in 2016. Even if this trophy, awarded after just two heats this winter, is not quite as dazzling as a globe for a "real" discipline (Downhill, Super-G, Slalom, Giant), it genuinely rewards the versatility of the 2017 Combined World Champion, who’ll be celebrating her 25th birthday on 12 May.

Gisin is also dreaming of the General
The celebrations for the fervent Valais crowd weren’t quite complete on Sunday, as Federica Brignone pulled out all the stops to make her mark and take first place in the discipline for the second year in a row in Crans-Montana. In only 17th place in the Super-G heat, Michelle Gisin’s performance improved drastically. But the Obwald skier (also 24 years old) was 0.03 seconds behind the Italian. "This 2nd place validates the Olympic title I won in the discipline. I’m delighted, even if I just missed my first success in the World Cup", explained Michelle Gisin. She is also brimming with ambition: "Everyone dreams of the big crystal globe. I’ve done some incredible things this season, namely winning this gold medal."