We’re only halfway through the FIS World Cup Final, but a series of firsts has highlighted the speed races, including first-ever discipline wins for Dominik Paris and Mikaela Shiffrin.
Italy’s Paris had never won a seasonal title and was in the running in both the men’s Downhill and Super-G. He certainly made an emphatic case, winning both races: the Downhill by 0.34 over Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud and the Super-G by 0.15 over Swiss Mauro Caviezel.
However, defending World Cup champ Beat Feuz (SUI) finished sixth in the Downhill and that was enough to win the seasonal Crystal Globe by 540-520 over Paris.
But Paris was already the leader in the Super-G, so a win there would give him the title. And he left no doubt with a clear victory that gave him 430 points to 346 for runner-up Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT).
Paris had a career year in 2018-19, with seven wins – he now has 16 in his career – and 10 medals on the circuit. At just 29, he’s in his prime and is going to be a contender for years to come.
The women’s speed program started with a shock in the Downhill, as Mirjam Puchner, 26, of Austria, won the race. It was only her second World Cup medal – and World Cup win – the last coming in March of 2016, and return to the podium after a 2017 injury.
The seasonal Downhill title was taken by Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer, the leader coming into the race and her first seasonal title. She finished with 468 points to 372 for teammate Stephanie Venier.
The Super-G was a test for American superstar Shiffrin, who was trying to win a seasonal Globe in a speed event, vs. her domination of the Slalom and Giant Slalom. She had a 300-268 lead over Tina Weirather (LIE) coming into the race, but when Wierther couldn’t finish as the seventh starter, Shiffrin’s task got considerably easier.
Starting 13th, Shiffrin skied consistently and gained speed toward the finish and ended up fourth, more than enough to seal her first seasonal title in the event.
“It was super, super fun to ski,” Shiffrin said. “There were a lot of blind rolls and spots where you wanted to be tactical, but still like always in super-G, you have to go crazy. So I had some moments where I was thinking ‘whoa, maybe I lost it there!’ I was trying to go full-gas, but it was super fun and the conditions were perfect.”
Shiffrin, who just turned 24, finished with 350 points to 303 for Schmidhofer (who tied with Shiffrin for fourth in the race), with Weirather holding on to third at 267.
The Giant Slaloms and Slaloms will be held on the weekend and Shiffrin plans to ski in both; she has the Slalom title clinched and leads in the Giant Slalom, essentially needing only to finish to win the title. Summaries so far:
FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Final
Soldeu (AND) ~ 13-17 March 2019
(Full results here)
Downhill: 1. Dominik Paris (ITA), 1:26.80; 2. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), 1:27:14; 3. Otmar Striedinger (AUT), 1:27:21; 4. Mauro Caviezel (SUI), 1:27.27; 5. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), 1:27.28. Also: 10. Travis Ganong (USA), 1:27.57; … 16. Steven Nyman (USA), 1:28.15; … 21. Bryce Bennett (USA), 1:28.91.
Downhill Final Standings: 1. Beat Feuz (SUI), 540; 2. Dominik Paris (ITA), 520; 3. 339, Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), 339; 4. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), 284; 5. Mauro Caviezel (SUI), 282. Also in the top 25: 7. Bryce Bennett (USA), 236; … 16. Steven Nyman (USA), 148; … 20. Travis Ganong (USA), 88.
Super-G: 1. Paris (ITA), 1:20.42; 2. Caviezel (SUI), 1:20.57; 3. Kriechmayr (AUT), 1:20.86; 4. Jansrud (NOR), 1:21.00; 5. Christof Innerhofer (ITA), 1:21.12. Also: 13. Ganong (USA), 1:21.93; … 16. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA), 1:22.24; … 19. River Radamus (USA), 1:23.16.
Super-G Final Standings: 1. Dominik Paris (ITA), 430; 2. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), 346; 3. Mauro Caviezel (SUI), 324; 4. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), 316; 5. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), 299. Also in the top 25: 16. Travis Ganong (USA), 115; … 23. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA), 47.
Downhill: 1. Mirjam Puchner (AUT), 1:32.91; 2. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER), 1:32.94; 3. Corinne Suter (SUI), 1:32.99; 4. Nadia Fanchini (ITA), 1:33.13; 5. Tamara Tippler (AUT), 1:33.15.
Downhill Final Standings: 1. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT), 468; 2. Stephanie Venier (AUT), 372; 3. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT), 354; 4. Ilka Stuhec (SLO), 343; 5. Kira Weidle (GER), 307. Also in the top 25: 25. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 25.
Super-G: 1. Rebensburg (GER), 1:23.91; 2. Tippler (AUT), 1;24.06; 3. Federica Brignone (ITA), 1:24.25; 4. tie, Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) and Schmidhofer (AUT), 1:24.35.
Super-G Final Standings: 1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 350; 2. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT), 303; 3. Tina Weirather (LIE), 268; 4. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER), 257; 5. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR), 247.