19-20 January 2019
Olympia delle Tofane - Cortina d'Ampezzo

Elena Fanchini wins the downhill, and Cortina is clothed in blue

Three years after Daniela Merighetti an Italian is back to success in a competition of the Women's World Cup, always on the Tofane Olympic track - On the podium also the Canadian Yurkiw and Rebensburg from Germany - It had to be the great day of Lindsey Vonn and Tina Maze, instead the American was only tenth and the Slovenian even thirteenth - Tomorrow the rematch at 11.30


Date: 16/01/2015 from 17.00
Place: Cortina d'Ampezzo

At noon, the anthem of Italy fills the valley and brings joy to the Ampezzo valley while the bells of the church of Saint Filippo and Saint Giacomo ring to celebrate. Elena Fanchini is the winner of the downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo, three years after Dada Merighetti. It was January 14, 2012 and since that day, before today, no blue-girl was able to get on the top step of the podium in a women's race of the World Cup. Lucky Cortina? Definitely yes and also known. Because the good Lord so did it: beautiful, indeed beautiful, and unique in the world. But even good, let's face it, to beautifully organize ski races of twenty-three years now. Whatever the weather is. And in any winter. This morning, for example, she woke up with low clouds covering completely the Tofane as a gray coat that left only discovered Col Druscè and woods around. In fact, at the finish of Rumerlo also sleet and only timidly, occasionally, some sunshine illuminated Rumerlo and the finish area.

But visibility was still very low at the top of the track, so the FIS jury correctly decided that the departure of the race was to be lowered from the 2320 meters of Punta Anna to the 2100  meters of the Duca d'Aosta hut. Even further downstream of the start of the next Sunday super-G, excluding the Schuss of Pomedes (the steepest part of the track, but not the more selective of the Olympia delle Tofane track, where downhill races are won or lost in the Grand Curvone or after the diagonal or the Pale of Rumerlo).

By Grand Curvone to the Pale of Rumerlo, but also in the lower part, Elena Fanchini was superb. Almost perfect. And, of course, the fastest of all. Her skis where almost always flat. Gleaning was addressed to a minimum as the track, beautifully prepared, on a hard and compact snow suggested. Bright, alert, confident, precise. Yes, even lucky, because after his race, her bib was number 14, probably the visibility was a bit worse for the others. Although Vonn with 16 and Fenninger with 17 got out not long after. However good, indeed, very good. In fact, yesterday, in the training of the descent she was fourth, after Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso and Tina Maze. And, by her own admission, she had racked up a number of small errors in line along the entire path. Good sign, we wrote, without adding anything and keeping fingers crossed.

Only Larisa Yurkiw was smarter than the eldest sister Fanchini in the last twenty seconds of the race, but then not much: just nine hundrendths, not enough to precede Elena at the Rumerlo finish. The twenty-six years old Canadian from Ontario closed its extraordinary descent with the second fastest time and a gap of just four meters in a race of almost two kilometers. That of the first career podium of Yurkiw is a good story to tell, considering that a year ago, in fact, the Canadian federation decided not to invest further in the speed races and smashed the women's downhill team. But the girl, of Ukrainian origin, that right on the Olympic track Tofane last January had injured his knee, did not give up and has run alone, finding sponsors to play the World Cup races in Europe with the Austrian coach Kurt Mayr. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars invested well, you might say. Starting from today, and may be hoping that his federation will now repent and change mind before the next World Championships in Vail.

Tenth Vonn. And even thirteenth Maze. But tomorrow is another day and we'll see. "I hope a lot better than today," grumbled the beautiful Slovenian, with morale in the heels. Almost unapproachable. The fault of her sensational results, the worst of the season in a speed race, was given to the fog and not for truly to the track "it was beautiful as always." The American from Vail has instead refused to take risks. Understandable, after two operations on his right knee that in practice kept her away from racing for almost a season and half. "I went to the starting gate already convinced that I could not win today. And in fact, from the top to the end I have accumulated an error of line after another”, she just said taking the escape route from the beautiful scene of the race, where tomorrow at 11.30, snow and rain permitting, it will be a day of revenge, still in downhill, for the two leading ladies of this fascinating World Cup.



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