The Alpine Combined is the least-appreciated and least-held event on the Alpine World Cup calendar, but it is still part of the Alpine World Championships. Friday’s competition showcased that winning this event requires consistency more than anything else.
Swiss Wendy Holdener, the 2017 World Combined Champion, repeated her victory with two quality runs. She finished fifth in the Downhill run, an event in which she has never won a World Cup medal. The leader was Ramona Siebenhofer, an excellent speed racer, but not a strong technical skier.
When the Slalom came, Holdener – an excellent technical skier – was ready to pounce, and produced the third-fastest run of the session, which was enough to put her in first place. She edged ahead of Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, who had the eighth-fastest Downhill, but turned in the second-fastest Slalom, and ended up with the silver medal.
Holdener still had to wait for Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel to go, and after the third-fastest Downhill, she had a real chance to win. But her Slalom was “only” the sixth-fastest of the day and she had to settle for the bronze medal.
The fastest Slalom belonged to unheralded Canadian Roni Remme and that moved her up from 28th after the Downhill to fifth overall. Siebenhofer finished fourth and had a very creditable Slalom – eighth-fastest – but not enough to medal.
It’s Holdener’s fourth career World Championships medal, and she will be a contender in the Slalom as well. It was the first Worlds medal for Mowinckel and the second for Vlhova.
American Lindsey Vonn had skipped the Downhill training after her crash in the Super-G, but cleverly jumped into the Combined and just skied the Downill, finishing eighth.
The Worlds continue with the Men’s Downhill on Saturday. Look for results here. Summaries:
FIS Alpine World Championships
Are (SWE) ~ 5-17 February 2019
(Full results here)
Men’s Super-G: 1. Dominik Paris (ITA), 1:24.20; 2. tie, Johan Clarey (FRA) and Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT), 1:24.29; 4. Christof Innerhofer (ITA), 1:24.55; 5. Adrien Theaux (FRA), 1:24.57; 6. Josef Ferstl (GER), 1:24.59; 7. Brice Roger (FRA), 1:24.61; 8. tie, Mattia Casse (ITA), Steven Nyman (USA) and Adrian Sejersted (NOR), 1:24.70. Also in the top 25: 11. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA), 1:24.73; … 23. Bryce Bennett (USA), 1:25.82.
Women’s Super-G: 1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 1:04.89; 2. Sofia Goggia (ITA), 1:04.91; 3. Corinne Suter (SUI), 1:04.94; 4. Viktor Rebensburg (GER), 1:04.96; 5. Nadia Fanchini (ITA), 1:05.03; 6. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR), 1:05.05; 7. Francesca Marsaglia (ITA), 1:05.13; 8. Ilka Stuhec (SLO), 1:05.15; 9. Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI), 1:05.37; 10. Federica Brignone (ITA), 1:05.43. Also in the top 25: 22. Alice Merryweather (USA), 1:07.22.
Women’s Combined: 1. Wendy Holdener (SUI), 2:02:13 (5th in Downhill + 3rd in Slalom); 2. Petra Vlhova (SVK), 2:02.16 (8+2); 3. Mowinckel (NOR), 2:02.58 (3+6); 4. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT), 2:02.62 (1+8); 5. Roni Remme (CAN), 2:02.26 (28+1); 6. Brignone (ITA), 2:03.52 (6+10); 7. Kasja Vickhoff Lie (NOR), 2:03.64 (15+5); 8. Franziska Gritsch (AUT), 2:03.82 (29+4). Also: 18. Merryweather (USA), 2:06.63 (10+21).