There were unsurprising winners but one of the best British performances in years. The Levi World Cup slalom races had plenty for us to talk about! Here are a few highlights from Finland:
Rocket Ryding got the world’s attention
Great Britain’s very own Dave Ryding had a fantastic start to his season. After the first run, the Pendle skier was lying in fourth place and only four hundredths off Felix Neureuther in third. A solid second run meant he finished an impressive sixth place, which was a personal best for the Englishman. Ryding’s ranking will improve and his confidence will be sky high going into the rest of the season. Very much watch this space!
Watch his blistering runs below, a true inspiration for the young talent in the UK to look up to!
Shiffrin is still the queen of slalom!
US ski team’s Mikaela Shiffrin won the first World Cup ladies slalom in Levi comfortably. The 21 year-old showed she’s still got the finesse and pace, despite missing much of last season due to injury. Shiffrin beat Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener by 0.67 seconds with Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in third.
A commanding win for Hirscher
Marcel Hirscher cut through the fog and courses with power. The Austrian won by 1.30 seconds ahead of team mate Micheal Matt with Manfred Moelgg of Italy in third. Hirscher nearly didn’t start due to an ear infection but decided he was fit enough to compete. Scary to think what a 100% fit Hirscher could produce this season in slalom!
Off slope friction with Kristoffersen
The defending World Cup slalom champion did not start in Levi due to a dispute with his national governing body. Henrik Kristoffersen is in a stand off with the Norweigan ski federation over his helmet sponsorship. Kristoffersen wants to wear a Red Bull helmet sponsor but Norweigan team rules are that their athletes have to wear the team sponsor Telenor.
(Photo Credit: Redbull Content Pool)
Rising slalom talent!
In the female race, 18 year-old Melanie Meillard of Switzerland came from bib 40 to finish sixth place after both runs. The Swiss skier was just over a second off a podium and looks to be one of the rising stars in slalom. In the male race, 22 year-old Kristoffer Jakobsen came from bib 66 to finish 12th place. He was the second best placed Swede and will certainly push on with a better starting place!
What was your standout moment of the Levi World Cup? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! Check out the Wellsnowsports store for the latest racing ski products!