Here we are, back again after a short Christmas break, women athletes are travelling to Austria, where they will compete in a Giant Slalom race at Semmering on 28th December and in Slalom race on 29th December.
First let’s take a look at the most recent event, which took place in Courchevel, where ladies competed in Giant Slalom on 21st December and Giant Slalom on 22nd December. In the Giant Slalom event, we saw Mikaela Shiffrin overcoming a 0.08s deficit in her 2nd run when she had to battle against the snowstorm which reduced visibility and basically made the whole run much tougher than the skiers would hope, however that did not stop Shiffrin from winning her 6th race in the World Cup this season, which was also her 1st GIant Slalom win in 2018/19 season. The German skier, Viktoria Rebensburg finished the Giant Slalom race second, 0.14s behind Mikaela Shiffrin, which was her 2nd podium finish of the season. At third place, we saw Tessa Worley who competed despite her injury in Lake Louise Super-G where she tore meniscus tear, however she still ended 3rd 0.33s behind Shiffrin which is an impressive result.
In the event that followed (Slalom), it was once again Mikaela Shiffrin who won, which marked her 50th career World Cup victory in her 8 seasons. In the Slalom race, Mikaela ended the race 0.29s in front of Petra Vlhova and 0.37s in front of Frida Hansdotter. As she stated some luck maybe played a part in her win as she did make some mistakes in the top part of the slope. The most impressive performance was without the doubt Frida Hansdotter 2nd run, which saw her climbing to 3rd place after finishing 5th in the first run.
It seems like Mikaela Shiffrin decision to skip the races in Val Gardena paid off with 2 wins in Courchevel. With a win in Slalom race, Mikaela Shiffrin won the 5th consecutive race she attended and 7th this season. This also puts her well above all other athletes in the overall standings, with 889 points and Petra Vlhova win 388 at 2nd place.
As mentioned, the next 2 races will take place at Semmering, Austria. Semmering is a town which is as you might expect well known for its skiing, and has hosted Alpine skiing World Cup events several times in its history, most recently in 2016, when it was used due to the rescheduled event in Val d’Isere.
In 2016 Semmering saw 2 Giant Slalom events and a Slalom race from 27-29 December. On 27th of December, it was Mikaela Shiffrin who won the first Giant Slalom race, followed by Tessa Worley and Manuela Mölgg. In the second Giant Slalom race, it was against Mikaela Shiffrin who celebrated her win, followed by Tessa Worley and Viktoria Rebensburg at the 3rd place. As you might have guessed it, Mikaela Shiffrin also won the Slalom event in Semmering. At the second place, we saw Veronika Velez-Zuzulova, followed by Wendy Holdener at 3rd. Will we see Mikaela Shiffrin continuing with her dominant performance in the technical events or will luck be on the side of another athlete who will step up and defeat her? Let’s take a look at favourites to win and our predictions.
Mikaela Shiffrin can become the first skier (male and female) to win 15 world cup races in a single calendar year. As of now, she shares the record of 14 wins with Marcel Hirscher, who could have set up the new record in Madonna di Campiglio, but he made a mistake which cost him the win, but more on that in our Men’s Downhill preview. With her 50th win in Courchevel, she is now joint-seventh in all-time wins alongside Alberto Tomba. She is still 4 wins behind Herman Maier who has 54 wins in his career, but if she can continue with her performances I can safely say she will reach his record this season. In addition, she has now 7 GIant Slalom wins with her name on it, which makes her 2nd most successful U.S. GIant Slalom skier, behind Tamara McKinney who has 9. As previously mentioned, Shiffrin has won both Giant Slalom races the last time they were held at Semmering in 2016/17 season. A win here would mean she would become the first skier to win 4 events at Semmering, as of now she is sharing a record of 3 wins with Marlies Schild. Odds offered are relatively high, considering her form and performances at Semmering as well as Giant Slalom races. Pinnacle currently offers odds of 2.81 which we believe offers good value to back Shiffrin to win.
Tessa Worley has got 13 Giant Slalom wins in her career, which is just 1 shy of achieving 3rd place in all-time Giant Slalom wins among women. Among French women skiers, she is 3rd in World Cup wins in all disciplines, only trailing Carole Merle (22) and Perrine Pelen (15). With a win here, she would win 3 Giant Slalom races in one calendar year, which she already achieved in 2010. Looking at her performances at Semmering, Tessa Worley already has 4 podium finishes two 2nd places in 2016/17, which means only Marlies Schild has more podium finishes in Semmering (5) than her. Odds offered on her are currently 5.13 to win, but with Mikaela Shiffrin in the for she is in, we do not believe Tessa Worley will be able to win here. A podium finish is far more likely, but due to low odds, we won’t be betting on that.
In her career, Viktoria Rebensburg has won 14 World Cup Giant Slalom races, which ranks her 3rd among women in all-time standings. Among German skiers, she is 2nd in the number of wins in a single discipline, only trailing Katja Seizinger who won 16 downhill and 16 Super-G events. Looking at her performances in Giant Slalom, she has finished in the top 4 in the 9 out of last 12 Giant Slalom races in the World Cup. A podium finish for Viktoria Rebensburg is expected, but due to low odds we don’t see any value in it, so we will avoid betting on it.
Federica Brignone has won 5 Giant Slalom races in the World Cup and is currently leading the Giant Slalom standings, 20 points in front of Mikaela Shiffrin. She has finished 2nd in the opening race of the season in Sölden and won the race in Killington, however, missed the podium in Courchevel, where she finished 0.45s behind Shiffrin and 0.12s behind Tessa Worley. Among Italian women, she is 3rd in Giant Slalom races, trailing Denise Karbon (6) and Deborah Compagnoni (13). In Austrian races, Brignone holds a total of 3 World Cup wins and 8 podium finishes which makes Austrian ski slopes her most successful venues. Much like Tessa Worley and Viktoria Rebensburg, she is a strong contender for a podium finish here, but the odds are just too low for us to consider this bet.
|Market||Prediction||Pinnacle Odds||Bet 365 Odds||Stake||Won / Lost|
|Outright||Aksel Lund Svindal||2.81||3.00||1 Unit||Lost|
|H2H (Schild v Drev)||Bernadette Schild||1.86||1.83||1 Unit||Won|