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

Mowinckel and Suter triumph at the first two training sessions on Olympia

Stuhec and Vonn check out the course. The Italians finish close to the leaders

 

Date: 17/01/2019 from 1200
Place: Cortina d'Ampezzo

(by Max Vergani)

Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway and Corinne Suter of Switzerland both notched up a win on the opening day of the long World Cup weekend in Cortina. The first two timed training runs signalled the beginning of the competition on an Olympia that was shrouded in cloud and light snowfall.

The two training sessions were different: the first one was held on the complete course, while the second one began at the start of the super G due to the worsening weather. But both sessions clearly showed who the favourites are: Mowinckel completed the long course in 1'37"70, 6 hundredths ahead of the promising Austrian Tamara Tippler, and the young French athlete Romane Miradoli, who was 39 hundredths off the pace even though she missed a gate. In fifth place was the German Kira Weidle, whose performance improved consistently in the first part of the season, followed by the Austrian Nicole Schmidhofer. Corinne Suter from Switzerland, winner of the shorter training run, was seventh. Ninth and tenth places went to two of the favourites: Ilka Stuhec, who appeared to be checking out the course, and Lindsey Vonn, the public’s darling in Cortina who was making her return to the World Cup.

The top Italian athletes were Nadia Fanchini lying in 13th place, followed by Francesca Marsaglia, 21st, Federica Brignone, 24th and Marta Bassino, 28th. All the other Italians came in after thirtieth place, including the much-anticipated Nicol Delago who collected her first career podium in Val Gardena. Delago actually climbed to 14th place in the second training session, as did Nadia Fanchini, ending ninth. Both have room for improvement if they are to perform well in the competition. After Corinne Suter, who posted the fastest time on the shortened run, were the Austrian Cornelia Huetter, the first race for her after an injury, and Ilka Stuhec who is touted as one of the favourites. Lindsey Vonn did not compete in the second training run, as she is cutting back on the number of her races to ensure she is on top form.

The first downhill will be held on Friday, with the departure scheduled for 12.00, and will make up the race which was cancelled last week in St. Anton, Austria. Some snow is forecast up to Thursday evening then the weather is expected to look up for Friday morning, ensuring better race conditions.

The athletes expressed their enthusiasm for the new finish area, which has been dubbed the "Rumerlo terrace", and the new hospitality facilities on and off the slopes. A large turn-out is expected.

Saturday and Sunday’s races will be broadcast for all to see on Rai 2 in Italy.

 

Quotes:

Ilka Stuhec: "I’m not totally happy with my runs but they were only training sessions. The course is beautiful, there’s still a bit of snow here and there but I’ve got a good feeling and I’m sure it’ll be a great competition tomorrow".

Lindsey Vonn: "It was fantastic to be back at the starting gate, although I was a bit nervous, I had butterflies in my stomach. I made a couple of mistakes, but all things considered I’m quite positive".

Nicol Delago: "I performed better in the second training run and I want to work on this in preparation for the race. I’m still focusing on my performance and on giving everything I have in each race".

Nadia Fanchini: "If you ski the right lines, the slope is brilliant. The snow is quite easy and there aren’t any particular problems: you can push yourself. The modifications to the course haven’t really changed the run, I didn’t notice any great differences".

Federica Brignone: "Some sections are really lovely and quite easy. The snow is still a bit soft, but it will probably be better tomorrow. I felt great out there but I hadn’t done a downhill for over a month, so I made some mistakes. It’s all completely different, the finish area is fantastic because you get to arrive in an area packed with spectators".

  
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