Norway & Italy Celebrate After First World Cup Race of the Season
17th October 2020
Last modified on May 14th, 2021
It had been long anticipated and well planned – the opening of the racing season. New names made the podium, but it was very different with no spectators & Covid-19 restrictions in place.
In the men’s race on Sunday the 20-year-old Norwegian, Lucas Braathen, took top spot on the podium.
It was his first World Cup win, achieved after only 23 races from his debut.
He beat the Swiss racer, Marco Odermatt, by 0.06 seconds.
Swiss team-mate Gino Caviezel, who was in the lead in the first run, completed the podium with a solid second run.
It was hit first World Cup podium.
Defending Sölden champion Alexis Pinturault from France finished fourth and Giant Slalom globe winner Henrik Kristoffersen from Norway came fifth.
The next generation is here.
This was the first time on the podium for Caviezel and Braathen, while Odermatt has had four top-three finishes in his Word Cup career.
“Soelden’s podium is a completely new podium! Remember these faces because you will see them often during the next season,” said a statement from the organisers.
And the Brits?
On Saturday in the women’s event 24-year old Marta Bassino pushed her fellow Italian and last year’s overall winner, Federica Brignone, into second place.
The opening race of the season on Saturday saw misty conditions, but plentiful snow on the Rettenbach glacier.
The three-time World Cup overall champion, Mikaela Shiffrin, was not competing after injuring her back.
GB’s Alex Tilly came 27th.
The World Cup then moves to Lech/Zurs in Austria for the men’s and women’s parallel events on November 13th – 14th.
Three Russian skiers were unable to compete in Sunday’s GS race after two team coaches tested positive for covid-19.
Three Russian skiers were Ivan Kuznetsov , Alexander Andrienko and Pavel Trikhichev.
The coaches are now in isolation.
The Alpine Race Season Ahead
It will be a season like no other as Covid-19 continues to spread, with restrictions in place and tighter ones may follow.
Alpine ski races in the USA and Canada have already been cancelled, All North American alpine ski races axed due to Covid-19
Competition will only take place in Europe, except for a planned Olympic test event in Yanqing, China in February 20221.
Question marks hang over the World Cup circuit.
And what about the World Championships in Cortina in Italy from February 8th – 21st?
This weekend in Soelden it is a quiet affair with the race moved forward a week from its traditional slot when there are local and national holidays.
Around 15,000 spectators usually pack the slopes and the bars.
There are four separate ‘bubbles” for those involved:
- Invited guests.
Extensive testing will take place and there are plans in place for action if positive tests are recorded.
The impact though of positive tests could be enormous with races cancelled, athletes in quarantine and qualifications for other events, notably the World Championships, thrown into doubt.
Spectators could be banned from every event across the whole season.
The Swiss Ski Federation has already announced fans will be banned from all its races in the entire winter.
We reported the news on Saturday 17th October in our rolling Covid-19 blog:
The International Ski Federation has set extensive guidelines, and much will be up to local organisers as they comply with differing rules and regulations in each country.
As we said, it will be a season like no other.
But it remains fabulous to see the ski season starting and racers back on the slopes.