After the first race of the season for being was canceled due to bad weather in Sölden, we saw the official first race in Levi, where Marcel Hirscher celebrated his first win of the season and 3rd win in Levi, which is currently an all-time record.
For the 2nd and 3rd race of the season, men will travel across Atlantic to Canada, more specifically Lake Louise, where we will see 2 races; Downhill on 24th November and Super G on 25th of November.
Going back to the race in Levi, Marcel Hirscher picked up where he left last season and skied his way to his 1st win of the season, +00.09s ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen and a whole +1:41 ahead of Andre Myhrer.
Marcel Hirscher once again proved everyone, why he is considered the best skier in the world with a perfect start of the season. Henrik Kristoffersen was on the other hand once again behind Hirscher, and it seems like the story from the last season continues. With his 2nd place, he is currently 6th many in history to finish on the podium 10 times in a row. It’s a record with a bitter taste to it, however, a 2nd place, with only 0.09 of a second behind Hirscher is an excellent result and we will be hoping Kristoffersen will continue with great performances.
The upcoming races will, as mentioned take place in Lake Louise, Canada with spectacular scenery and ski slopes that it offers.
The Lake Louise Ski Resort (previously known as Lake Louise Ski Arena) is the largest ski area in Canada, located in Banff National Park, which is Canada’s oldest national park, established in 1885. The resort itself is situated in the southern part of Slate Range, which is approximately 2600m (5,400ft) above sea level. This venue has been a regular FIS Alpine Ski World Cup stop since 1993 and it holds the first World Cup Downhill and Super-G races of the season. The slope in its own is one of the best that FIS season has to offer, with over 800m vertical drop from the start to the finish line, where we can see skiers reaching speeds up to 130 km/h. The resort was also awarded a title of Canada’s Best Ski Resort for the fifth time in the past 6 years, in addition, it was recognized as one of the top 3 Worlds Best Ski Resorts alongside Kitzbüehl and Val Thorens.
Going back to 2017/18 season in Lake Louise, the first race for men was a Downhill race, on 25th of November 2017. In that event, we saw Beat Feuz finishing 1st, with +0.09 of a second ahead of Matthias Mayer and +0.32 ahead of Aksel Lund. In the Super-G event, that took place on 26th of November, Kjetil Jansurd was 0.28s faster than the 2nd placed Max Franz and 0.32s faster than Hannes Reichelt.
On 22nd of November, when men had their downhill training in Lake Louise we saw an accident when Manuel Osborne-Pardis crashed into the fishnet and suffered a leg injury (tibia-fibula fracture), which saw him being transported to Banff Mineral Springs Hospital and later to Calgary for Surgery. That means Manuel, also known as “Manny” will be sidelined for the rest of the season. But that crash did not only end his season but also ended another’s players career. Erik Guay, 37-year-old Canadian skier, who has achieved 5 wins in his career, stood on the podium 24 times and won 2 gold and 1 silver medal in World Championship decided to retire as soon as he saw “Manny” crash. He explained that he has seen many crashes before but none fazed him as much as this one.
The second of three downhill training took place under light snowfall which did not cause too many problems at the time. We saw last year’s winner Feuz Beat finishing 1st in training with the fastest time (1:45.90). Paris Dominik was second (+1.17) and Kroell Johannes third (+1.32). The time that Beat Feuz managed to put up is surprisingly good. Yes, the track became faster when he skied, but that does not explain him finishing over a second before 2nd placed skier! Paris Dominik can be happy with his performance in the training and will be hoping to repeat his success from 2013 when he won the Downhill race in Lake Louise. The 3rd placed skier, Johannes Kroell surprised us all with his performance. His best finish last year was 15th place in Downhill, but the fact that he managed to finish 11th in the first training and 3rd in the second is spectacular. The 3rd training had to be canceled due to snowfall and poor visibility, which meant the training was for safety reasons. The canceled run is not that big of an issue for the racers, as they had 2 good training runs.
Last years Downhill champion Beat Feuz and 5th overall is hoping to achieve his 6th successive downhill podium finish. With finishing 1st in Downhill standings last year, he has achieved his first crystal globe in his career and will be hoping to do so again this season. He is the only man to win 3 downhill races in the last World Cup. He won in Lake Louise, Wengen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. If he wins here again this season, he will become the first man to win back to back downhill races after Eberharter. With the fastest run in the last training, he was over a second faster than 2nd placed Paris Dominik (+1.17).
Aksel Lund Svindal, finished behind Feuz last year in Downhill standings. He won DH races in Beaver Creek and Val Gardena. In addition, he won a gold medal in the Olympic games, in front of Kjetil Jansrud (2nd) and Beat Feuz (3rd). In his career, he has won 11 crystal globes but has not won one since 2014 (Super-G and Downhill). As for his downhill event performances, he has won 14 downhill races in his career, which is one shy of reaching the 5th place of all-time downhill wins among men. Much like Feuz, Svindal has finished on the podium in 8 out of 11 downhill races in the World Cup. The 3 exceptions are 2 4th place finishes and an 8th place finish. He is currently holding a record of 8 World Cup wins at Lake Louise, which is the most among men. With a win here he would set a new record of 3 Downhill race wins Lake Louise. In the last training run, Aksel Lund Svindal finished 50th, +4.15s behind Feuz.
Austrian athletes failed to win the downhill crystal globe since 2012 when it was Klaus Kröll who won it. In the last downhill race, last season in Are, Matthias Mayer and Vincent Kriechmayr shared the 1st place. In Lake Louise, Mayer will have a chance to be the first Austrian man to win back-to-back World Cup races in downhill since Hannes Reichelt in 2015 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Kvitfjell).
His performance here last year saw Mayer finishing 2nd behind Feuz (+0.09). In the last training run, Mayer finished 27th, +3.04s behind Feuz.
Kjetil Jansrud, 3rd best Norwegian downhill racer, with a total of 8 downhill wins, is only 4 wins behind Aksel Lund Svindal (12) and 2 behind Lasse Kjus (10). Looking at all event wins, he is 2nd out of Norwegian men with 21 wins in the World Cup. Looking at last year, he failed to win a World Cup downhill race. He was crowned a champion of Super-G but finished at 7th place in Downhill event. Still, the 4th place in Overall standings is a good result and we will be hoping for him to improve that this year. In the training run, Jansrud finished 14th. +2.40s behind Feuz.
|Market||Prediction||Pinnacle Odds||Bet 365 Odds||Stake||Won / Lost|
|Outright||Beat Feuz||2.07||2.00||2 Units||Lost|