Another year has passed and, here we are at the end of October, which marks the start of the new FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. The 2018/19 season will mark the 53rd consecutive year of the FIS World Cup, starting in October in Sölden and concluding mid-March 2019 in Solden.
The annual FIS Alpine Ski World Cup sees its first race of the season on 27th of October in Sölden, a municipality in Ötztal valley of Tyrol, Austria, more specifically on a Rettenback glacier, where, as per tradition women open the season with a giant slalom race. This track has seen the first race of the World Cup season ever since 1998, and rightfully so. Every World Cup should start on a proper track, and what better place to do so than the Rettenback glacier. Due to the nature of the track being positioned on a glacier, It seems like the track is different each year, and it is, but not because the organizers made it so. Rettenback glacier has been moving each year (especially in the lower part) which means the slope is steeper and steeper each passing year. So it’s not a surprise this track has been known as one of the season’s most difficult tracks. This is also the only race where we see both, men and women skiing on the exact same track. The following season has a lot to offer, and it just might be one of the most interesting ones to watch, as we will have a chance to see many athletes who have a chance to break all-time world records.
Lindsey Vonn, a very well known athlete is close to getting her name in the history books. This American Skier is with her 82 World Cup wins only 4 short of catching the long-held record of 86 World Cup wins by Ingemark Stenmark. After announcing this is her last season, no matter her results, this will be her last chance of carving her name in the history. Looking at how she performed last season, with 5 wins, she should be ready for this historical accomplishment, especially after having an injury-free preparation for the World Cup. She is ready, the motivation is there, now we only need to wait and see if 2018/19 will mark the last season of the “Greatest of All Time”.
Marcel Hirscher, another name that just might get into “hall of fame”. The Austrian Skier already has an all-time world record of seven consecutive Overall World Cup wins under his belt and has a good chance to extend the record to 8 this season. He is without the doubt the best skier in the last decade. As defending champion in overall, giant slalom and slalom standings, in addition to being the Olympic champion in alpine combined and giant slalom, he will be the one that will make other competitors chances of winning slimmer.
Mikaela Shiffrin, one of the rising stars in alpine skiing, in fact, a “rising star” is an understatement. This 23-year-old American skier has already won 43 World Cup races in 6 years. If we compare that to Lindsey Vonn, she has won 32 World Cup races in her first 6 years. The 43 wins also put her in 5th place on the all-time leaderboard, so it’s fair to say, we are looking at the next best women athlete in alpine skiing. This year, she will have a chance of winning her 3rd consecutive Overall globe, which was achieved by only 3 women in the history. In addition, she could also become the 2nd woman to win Crystal Globe in slalom for the 6th time since Vreni Schneider.
We will see many exceptional athletes battling for the title this season, however, the mentioned 3 stands out due to being close to achieving historical results. Still, that does not mean, they will have an easy job achieving wins. With names like Sofia Goggia, Ilka Stuhec, Tina Weirather, Lara Gut, Anna Veith, Viktoria Rebensburg, Tessa Worley, Frida Hansdotter.. all racing this season, this should be an interesting season to watch. On men’s side, Beat Feuz, Aksel Lund Svindal, Kjetil Jansrud, Matthias Mayer, Henrik Kristoffersen will all try and stop Marcel Hirscher from achieving the 8th Overall World Cup title.
The 2018/19 Alpine Skiing World Cup season will be one with all-time records ready to be broken and athletes more than capable of doing so. In addition, this will the last time we will be able to watch one of the best skiers in history, Lindsey Vonn. If you combine all that, you have a season you shouldn’t miss.
FIS Ski World Cup 2017/18 – Women
Looking at last year’s Women’s World Cup, there were 38 races in total, with 7 of them being canceled. The first race if the season was as in tradition, held in Sölden on 28th of October 2017 where athletes measured them against each other in Giant Slalom and ended on March 17th in Åre with Slalom race, with the race on 18th of March being canceled due to high wind. Looking at rankings at the end of the season, Overall and Slalom titles both belonged to Michaela Shiffrin, Sofia Goggia ended 1st in Downhill, just 3 points ahead of Lindsey Vonn, Super G was won by Tina Weirather, Giant Slalom title went to Viktoria Rebensburg, whereas Wendy Holdener was crowned the champion of Alpine Combined.
Last season’s outright predictions: Lara Gut to win World Cup Super G (4.00 Bet365) and Sofia Goggia to win World Cup Downhill (4.98 Pinnacle)
FIS Ski World Cup 2017/18 – Men
Men competed in 36 races, with only 2 being canceled; 29th October in Sölden (Giant Slalom) due to high wind and 18th March in Åre (Slalom) for the same reason. The first race of the season happened on 12th of November 2017 in Levi, where athletes competed in Slalom and ended on 17th of March in Åre with Giant Slalom Race. Looking at rankings at the end of the season, Marcel Hirscher was crowned an Overall, Slalom and Giant Slalom champion. Downhill title belonged to Beat Feuz, Super G title to Kjetil Jansrud and Combined title to Peter Fill.
Last season’s outright predictions: Kjetil Jansrud to win Super G overall & to beat Aksel Lund Svindal in Super G overall (3.07 and 1.625 on Pinnacle) and Peter Fill to win Downhill overall (4.88 Pinnacle)