Swiss skiers Mauro Caviezel and Denise Feierabend beat out Olympic champions Matthias Mayer and Tina Maze at this year’s edition of the Red Bull SKiLLS race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Sunday (March 31) to be declared the “masters of all slopes.” Swiss skiers have won the event for three years running, and Caviezel’s younger brother, Gino, won in 2012.
“Now this is one cool way to end the racing season,” remarked all-rounder Caviezel, a member of the Swiss Ski B squad who also won the super G title at his country’s national championships just 10 days earlier.
Caviezel revealed a potentially startling confession even before the race began, but it ultimately played in his favor at the event which features super G, slalom, downhill, and giant slalom gates all set in a single run.
“I’ll be using women’s skis,” Caviezel confessed before the start. “In the slalom, it sure was an advantage, but on the bare ice of the super G, men’s skis would definitely have provided more steadiness,” he purported after his win.
Gilles Roulin, who had qualified for the finals as the second-best challenger, ultimately finished in second place, while Swiss GS champion Thomas Tumler was third. World Cup regulars such as Mayer, Patrick Kueng, Didier Defago and Christof Innerhofer had difficulties with the challenging course and could not find their way to the podium. Innerhofer was fourth, Defago fifth, and Canadian Manny Osborne-Paradis sixth, while Mayer and Fritz Dopfer failed to finish.
In the women’s race, Wendy Holdener finished second and two-time Olympic champion Maze finished third behind winner Feierabend.
“That was a tough one,” Feierabend remarked after skiing the tricky course down the Silvano Beltrametti World Cup slope. “You’re already quite [tired] after the slalom, but you still have to make it through a downhill part and many giant slalom poles – that’s pretty heavy.”
Although Maze didn’t emerge victorious, she still acknowledged that the ambiance of the race and the 2,500 fan turnout was a success.
“Sure, that’s what I’m here for!” Maze exclaimed.
Release and video courtesy of Red Bull