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Men’s Alpine World Cup 2023/24

Swiss Toni

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Due to the heavy snowfall from last night and strong winds, today’s Zermatt-Cervinia downhill race has been cancelled for safety reasons. The outlook for Sunday and Monday is also not looking good.
 

Primoz

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I guess snow won, wind was second, and fog and clouds only third, so my prediction was wrong :ogbiggrin:
I think the whole thing is a fool's errand, to be honest. All of these early season events need to be rethought. And given the high elevation and the time of year it's... not good.

Shift the World Cup season to a December-April schedule and so many problems would be avoided. But so much of this scheduling revolves around both TV contracts and the manufacturers' schedules for new model intros so... well, it's not going to change unless some connected people make the move.
While I agree this "early start" is just push as favor to manufacturers, so they can start selling equipment, so it's all races, as all this WC is exactly because of that. It's marketing game to sell stuff. It has very little to do with sport itself, so yeah they do what's best for marketing and sponsors paying millions for this.
Second, while it sounds cool to have WC from December to April, it's really not realistic. One thing is, equipment and holidays are sold and booked sometime by middle of January. After that there's no more sale (except with huge discounts). People ski till end of February, and there's very little interest for skiing in March already, and in April, there would be zero interest for skiing, which means zero interest for people coming to see races, and zero interest for people watching race on TV, which would finally make them pure sport and races because of races. Only drawback would be, noone would be interested paying for this.
And then there's of course weather. Organizing proper race with right conditions in April is basically impossible anywhere in Europe. In April you normally have +15 or +20c during the day, sun is strong and up pretty damn early already, and in 50% of times, there's not enough snow already. So organizing ski race let's say on 20th of April would be 20:80% chance for success... much worse then October and November races have. I'm sure this Zermatt race would indeed have way better options in late April, but that's pretty much only place on WC tour (US/Canada stops excluded, as I have no idea how are conditions there in that time), where you could have good conditions that late.
 
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4ster

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KILDE
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ODERMATT
 

Rudi Riet

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Another cancellation. So snow wins again.

Snow is good in the long run, right?

Sigh. At least they got a training run. This reminds me of the 2001 World Cup DH at Snowbasin where it was 1 day of training and 4 days of snow removal (well, for my team it was 3 days of snow removal and 1 day of powder skiing with ÖSV, but I digress...).
 
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4ster

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Another cancellation. So snow wins again.
Thank you for the heads up.


Snow is good in the long run, right?

Sigh. At least they got a training run. This reminds me of the 2001 World Cup DH at Snowbasin where it was 1 day of training and 4 days of snow removal (well, for my team it was 3 days of snow removal and 1 day of powder skiing with ÖSV, but I digress...).
That was sure some good powder skiing though :).
The old saying “if you want it to snow schedule a ski race, if you want a blizzard make it a DH” comes to mind :ogbiggrin:.
 

Primoz

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I think not many were powder skiing, as most of lifts were not running due high wind, at least yesterday. No idea for today though, as everyone packed their stuff at 7am already and headed home. For yesterday, main concern was, from what I have heard, that people might be able to get up, but if wind would get even stronger, and forecast was promising even more wind later through the day, they won't be able to get them back down, as lifts would need to shut down completely. Another thing is, at least for me, powder skiing on glacier full of crevasses. I know there's plenty of people doing this, but for me, there's simply no way I would go off piste on glacier. I just like myself way too much to do this.
 
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4ster

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HK
STEEN OLSEN
STRASSER
 

Teppaz

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Of course as a French person my first question here: will Clément Noël get back to form? It’s not like the French team has many bright lights these days. A few men and women who can pull off the occasional surprise podium but nobody’s consistent. Maybe Pinturault will benefit from his new focus on speed but I doubt it.
 
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Personally, I hope so... I became a fan a couple of seasons ago when he started killing it.
Oui, me2!
So many possible podiums in this field & a course I’m not familiar with unless it’s one where they are not using its traditional name.
I really wanted to pick Braathen but of course that‘s not happening. Expecting big things from Sander this season. Also a few US skiers in the field, let’s see if they can ski to their potential :huh:
 

Rudi Riet

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I really wanted to pick Braathen but of course that‘s not happening. Expecting big things from Sander this season. Also a few US skiers in the field, let’s see if they can ski to their potential :huh:

Indeed, tho my guess is the best USST performance will be from the one who got away, AJ Ginnis (who I have predicted to finish in 3rd because I am optimistic).
 

Rudi Riet

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Three Team GB athletes made the flip!

And right after Marco Schwarz's second run some protesters stormed the finish area. Second run is currently on hold as they clean up the finish area. HK confronted them full-on - would love to hear what exactly he was yelling at them, he had to be subdued by venue security.

It's on Peacock for U.S. viewers, FWIW.
 

dbostedo

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Nose-pickers FTW!! (And Austria 1, 2, 3 on home snow!)

Interesting race... some of the top run-1 skiers skied poorly in run 2... surprisingly so to me. I wonder if some were affected by the delay for the protesters and clean-up?
 

Rudi Riet

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Nose-pickers FTW!! (And Austria 1, 2, 3 on home snow!)

Interesting race... some of the top run-1 skiers skied poorly in run 2... surprisingly so to me. I wonder if some were affected by the delay for the protesters and clean-up?

Yeah, the ÖSV sweep was something! And Ryding in 4th - awesome!

The snow looked like it was getting rough in run 2, and the light got more flat as the later runners made their go at things. Flat light on a piste like that is really tough. Add to that a set that had a lot of swing in the first third and it gets more challenging. Where Matt and Ryding did well was in the top third of the course and they had full sun and smoother snow.

Great for Feller! He is definitely in a better place now.
 

Ivan

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Yeah, the ÖSV sweep was something! And Ryding in 4th - awesome!

The snow looked like it was getting rough in run 2, and the light got more flat as the later runners made their go at things. Flat light on a piste like that is really tough. Add to that a set that had a lot of swing in the first third and it gets more challenging. Where Matt and Ryding did well was in the top third of the course and they had full sun and smoother snow.

Great for Feller! He is definitely in a better place now.
I also thought that the light changed for the worse. It's pretty telling that among the last 5 athletes, the best was 18th fastest in the 2nd run, and the other four were 21st, 25th, 26th, and had a DNF.

A good race overall, but it's a shame that a few idiots affected the flow of the race (and possibly affected the results).
 

Rudi Riet

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A good race overall, but it's a shame that a few idiots affected the flow of the race (and possibly affected the results).

I'm going to wait and see if I hear more about who they were representing. My guess is that it was climate activists, but who knows?

Yes, the disruption was a long one but it's nothing markedly different than if an injured racer needs to be evacuated. The athletes know how to deal with this. The only really big change was the lighting with more clouds rolling in.

Gotta hand it to the Gurgl race committee: they held a great competition and with snow-covered mountains surrounding the place it looked good, as well. Amazing what a difference a few weeks can make (Gurgl is a couple valleys south of the Rettenbachgletscher at Sölden - they're both part of the Ötztal ski center).
 

Ivan

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A quote from HK (who wasn’t affected): “For most of the athletes, this is their everything. At least four racers got their race ruined today, and that is injustice in my eyes.”

 

Teppaz

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As was pointed out, the delay wasn’t any longer than the evacuation of an injured racer so I think HK’s frustration is talking.

The point of a protest is to disrupt and bring attention to a cause, so in that sense the climate activists succeeded. To my mind they acted in a safe manner, ie did not do it while a racer was on the course. Several WC racers have been vocal about holding FiS more accountable in terms of climate action and responsibility.
 

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