Europa Cup Athletes Earn World Cup Spots
The European Cup concluded mid-March with the finals in Soldeu-El Tarter, where the World Cup Finals will be held next season. As with every season, the top three of each discipline as well as the overall winner qualify for the World Cup tour. Here’s what happened, and who you should watch for next season.
After six downhill races, the winning trio was Ariane Raedler of Austria, Nina Ortlieb of Austria, and Lisa Hoernblad of Sweden. With three wins in Crans-Montana and in Soldeu-El Tarter, Raedler dominated the discipline. The 23-year-old skier also started in her first World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen this season.
The Swede was able to end the season at the very top of the super-G rankings despite racing on both the World and European Cup Tours. With one win and three podiums out of six races, Hoernblad scored 16 more points than Ortlieb, who finished second of the season ranking. Nadine Fest of Austria finished in third.
Hoernblad also won the season title in alpine combined. Only two races were held in Innerkrems and Kvitfjell, one won by Hoernblad, the other by Franziska Gritsch of Austria, who finished in second for the season. With two third places, Chiara Mair of Austria was able to squeeze into the top three.
The nine giant slalom races this season couldn’t break the tie between Norwegian skiers Thea Louise Stjernesund and Kristine Gjelsten Haugen, who lead the standings with 446 points each. Austrian Katharina Liensberger, who also raced on the World Cup tour and grabbed not less than five top 10 finishes in slalom, finished in third place of the European Cup giant slalom standings.
In slalom, nine races were held this season and Aline Danioth of Switzerland emerged victorious without a win, but four podium results and strong performances throughout the season. Two wins and three podiums were not enough for Marina Wallner of Germany to win the standings, but she finished second. Haugen rounded the top three in slalom.
With these results, the overall winner on the ladies’ side went to Nina Ortlieb of Austria, who has guaranteed World Cup starts across all disciplines.
The downhill title was very fiercly fought for this season with six winners out of seven races, and only one of the winners made it into the top three of the season ranking: Christopher Neumayer of Austria snagged the season title, 13 points ahead of Italy’s Werner Heel and 23 points ahead of Urs Kryenbuehel of Switzerland.
In the super-G, it was a similar situation with six winners in six races. Christoph Krenn of Austria, who participated in some World Cups and scored his first points this season, finished at the top of the Europa Cup rankings thanks to his win on the Reiteralm and solid performances throughout the season. Two Swiss young guns complete the podium: Gian Luca Barandun is second and Stefan Rogentin.
The two alpine combined races in Saalbach and Sarntal had two different winners, Johannes Strolz of Austria and Marco Pfiffner of Liechtenstein, who finish tied for second place in the season rankings. However, Austrian Daniel Danklmaier won the season title with a second and a third place results.
Another Austrian was able to win the European Cup standings in the giant slalom. With a win at the Finals in Soldeu, and a very consistent season of top 10 finishes, Dominik Raschner of Austria won the season ranking in that discipline. Five-time junior World Champion Marco Odermatt of Switzerland was second and Strolz was third.
Croatian slalom whiz Matej Vidovic claimed two wins and three podiums this season in the 10 slalom races held on the European Cup, and was able to grab the season standings. Despite his three wins and four podiums, Marc Rochat of Switzerland could not match the Croatian’s consistency and finished second in the slalom standings. Third place went to Strolz.
Overall, the most constant and strongest male athlete on the European Cup tour was Strolz. The athlete, who specializes in the tech disciplines, was able to podium in the slalom, giant slalom and alpine combined rankings. With the overall win, he claimed starting positions in all the disciplines on the World Cup Tour next season.
Complete standings can be found here.
Release courtesy of FIS