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

Ramona Siebenhofer is the new queen of Olympia

 

Date: 18/01/2019 from 1500
Place: Cortina d'Ampezzo

(by Max Vergani)

 

Olympia has crowned its first queen, Ramona Siebenhofer, who collects her first World Cup career win. It was an important first for the 27-year-old Austrian. Her performance in Val Gardena had hinted at great things, coming first in both the timed training sessions, but Olympia gave her the boost she needed to clinch her victory, coming in 40 hundredths ahead of the champion Ilka Stuhec and 46 ahead of fellow Austrian Stephanie Venier. Corinne Suter from Switzerland missed the top three by just a hundredth of a second, while Francesca Marsaglia, fourth at the third intermediate timing point, looked as if she might make it onto the podium. She missed it but her result today was a great outcome, considering she had missed the whole of last season due to an injury.

The first downhill in Cortina, the rescheduled race originally set to take place in St. Anton, started lower down the course at the super G starting gate due to snow during the night and concluded with mixed feelings for Italy: Francesca Marsaglia’s sixth place was a triumph, because it is her best result ever in the discipline and was a repeat performance of her position in this season’s super G in Val Gardena and in two other super G races (Meribel 2015 and Zauchensee 2016). Nicol Delago did not finish, which was a real shame: true to form, the skier from Val Gardena took risks and at the second intermediate was in the lead with a two-hundredths advantage over Ramona Siebenhofer. Then she lost control and stopped.

Marsaglia, from Rome, had kept a low profile in the training run, where the fastest Italian was Nadia Fanchini: Fanchini left no doubts as to her good form, finishing thirteenth, 99 hundredths off the pace and in front of Lindsey Vonn, the US champion who, in her first competition of the season, made a mistake right at the beginning which cost her time and positions, coming in fifteenth.

There will be another downhill in Cortina, the scheduled race, on Saturday 19 January, with the first athlete leaving the starting gate at 10.30 am. The World Cup rankings remain the same with Shiffrin, who did not compete today (she will be back for Sunday’s super G), the front runner with 1394 points against Petra Vlhova’s 898 and Wendy Holdener’s 593. The downhill rankings, on the other hand, have taken a different turn, with Ramona Siebenhofer now in control with 420 points, overtaking her team mate Schmidhofer and Ilka Stuhec (second by just two lengths).

 

Quotes:

 

Ramona Siebenhofer: "When I saw the green light, I was overcome with emotion and I’m so proud. Maybe I could have gone a bit faster, but I was quite nervous so I’m happy with the result. I love Cortina and I’m delighted that the World Championships will be held here in two years".

 

Ilka Stuhec: "It’s a great feeling to be on the podium here in Cortina. I’m happy with how it turned out. The slope was in good condition and I think the staff did a great job. The finish area is a lot better this year and I think the work for the World Championships in 2021 will bring other improvements to an already beautiful course".

 

Francesca Marsaglia: "I’ve come close to the podium in two races now, I try not to think about it but do my best on the day and see what happens. I hope to take another little step forward over the next few days. I felt great on the downhill, in training too, maybe more so than in the super G. I was happy to come to Cortina and with the start lowered, I told myself to give it all I had because I knew we would all be really close. I’m happy, I transmit a fluidity to my skis that I haven’t felt in a long time and which maybe I never had. I can feel it and my results show it, I’m quicker in the flat sections too, I’m using different materials and I felt more confident on the long turns. The boot-ski combination is helping me. What would I like to see over the next few days? Another little step forward".

 

Nicol Delago: "I’m a bit disappointed because when you cross the finish line and see that you were actually ahead and then you went out, you can’t help but feel disappointed. But I’m trying to stay positive, what happened happened and I can’t do anything about it. I think it would have been hard for me to stay on the course, when it happened I had no option, I had lost my balance, my line and my control. I’m sorry, even though I really enjoyed myself out there. My sister’s victory in the European Cup gave me a boost. I tried to floor it, that’s why I made that mistake. Today I took risks because the course was short, I wanted to do well, I kept my lines tight, I went a bit wide, I felt the pressure after the turn, I went on the edges of my skis and I just couldn’t stay in. But I love the slope, I really wanted to ski well, I’ll try again".

  
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