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What is super combined?

What is super combined?{mosimage}The super combined is a new format that had its debut last season in Wengen. With a shortened downhill and just one run of slalom, both taking place in the same day, it is a more condensed version of the traditional combined events, which take place over two days of regular slalom and downhill races.

A super combi as it is sometimes called stands alone as its own race, with its own day on the calendar and it’s own set of World Cup points. Besides Val d’Isere, there are two other super combis scheduled for the men’s circuit this year, at Wengen (Jan. 13) and Chamonix (Feb. 3).

The women’s World Cup has its first super combi this year at St. Moritz on Jan. 22 and Hafjell, Norway, on March 4. This second women’s super combi is unique since it will combine slalom with super G, rather than downhill.

Soon the FIS hopes to give the race its own points-system. Next year, the FIS would even like to give a World Cup discipline-title trophy to the top racer in combined using the total World Cup points gained in super combis and regular combined races, such as Kitzbuehel.

By introducing this event, the FIS hopes to encourage more nations to invest in hosting downhill events and developing downhill talent. The key, officials say, is that the FIS will be flexible about the vertical-drop restrictions in the speed-event portion of super combi races, which should allow any nation to host such an event.

‘There is an incentive for teams to be more focused on it since there will be more points to be had, and it will for sure increase the depth in those events’ FIS secretary general Sarah Lewis told Ski Racing magazine in September. (Subscribe to the magazine here.)

Because of the elevated status of combined with discipline titles and so many World Cup points on the line national teams are already tailoring their programs to develop contenders in the combined. The U.S. Ski Team is banking on Ted Ligety and Resi Stiegler to grow into combined stars, along with Lindsey Kildow, Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso. This year, the Austrian team moved slalom ace Mario Matt into a training group that allowed him more speed training.

What do you think?


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