Women’s Giant Slalom – Sölden 2018

Women’s Giant Slalom – Sölden 2018

Looking at last year’s Women’s World Cup, there were 38 races in total, with 7 of them being canceled. The first race of 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.

This year’s FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup will start with Women’s Giant Slalom on 27th of October 2018 at the traditional slope in Sölden, which was the venue which saw the opening race of the World Cup ever since 2000. This well-known slope is located on Rettenback glacier in Sölden, a municipality in Ötztal valley of Tyrol, Austria. The Rettenback glacier itself has an interesting fact. It moves. Yes, just like many glaciers, Rettenback glacier is moving, mostly in the lower part of it, which translates in the slope is steeper and steeper each passing year. Another interesting fact about the slope itself is that this is the only race where both men and women race on the exact same slope. The Sölden race is extremely demanding for both men and women, so only the best athletes manage to perform well in this opening race of the season.

Let’s take a look at bookmakers’ favorites at Women’s Giant Slalom race in Sölden.

Athlete Pinnacle Odds Bet365 Odds Pinnacle Odds (vs the Field) Bet365 Odds – Top 3  Top 3 Prediction (yes/no)
Viktoria Rebensburg 3.210 3.00 1.358 1.50 Yes, but no value
Mikaela Shiffrin 3.720 3.50 1.284 1.66 Yes, but no value
Tessa Worley 8.400 7.00 1.076 2.20 Yes
Ragnhild Mowinckel 8.400 7.00 1.076 2.25 No, overhyped odds

With 3 Giant Slalom globes under her belt from seasons 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2017/18, Viktoria Rebensburg is a serious contender when it comes to Giant Slalom races. Her first World Cup win in her career was won in Sölden, so this slope has a special meaning to her. Looking at last season, Viktoria won on this venue just 0.14s in front of Tessa Worley. With another win, she would join Tina Maze with 3 World Cup wins in Austrian ski resort. In addition, a win here would mean she would become the first woman to win the Giant Slalom in Sölden back-to-back. Viktoria Rebensburg performance on this slope saw her finishing on the podium 4 times, which is just 1 shy of achieving women’s record held by Kathrin Zettel (5 podium finishes).  She is priced around 3.00 which is to low for me to recommend a bet on favorite this early in the new season. She can definitely win and if she would be priced around 4.00 – 5.00, she would be a better bet than Shiffrin.

With the 2nd place finish here last season and a crystal globe in Giant Slalom from 2016/17 season, Tessa Worley also falls into the category of favorites on this venue. If she manages to win here, she would go into history as the first French woman to win a World Cup race in Sölden. She has proven before that she is a serious competitor when it comes to Giant Slalom. A win here will not only start off her 2018/19 season the best possible way, but it would also be a historic win for her country. Odds of 8.40 on Pinnacle to win are more than generous and too good to pass.

Looking at last season standings, Mikaela Shiffrin ended 3rd in Giant Slalom (481), behind Tessa Worley (490) and Viktoria Rebensburg (582). With 43 World Cup wins, she is the 5th most successful woman skier, with only 23 years of age. Out of the 43 wins, 6 came from Giant Slalom races, which puts her at 2nd place amongst U.S. women, just 3 wins behind the record leading McKinney. As an interesting fact; Mikaela Shiffrin’s 1st Giant Slalom win in her career came from the opening race in Sölden. There is no denying Mikaela Shiffrin is one of the best woman alpine skiers in the world and although she has not won the Giant Slalom champion title yet, she is more than capable of winning the opening race of 18/19 season in Sölden.

Ragnhild Mowinckel won the last giant slalom race on the World Cup, in Ofterschwang in March. She can become the first Norwegian woman to win back-to-back giant slalom races on the World Cup. Andrine Flemmen is the only Norwegian woman to have won multiple World Cup giant slalom races (3). The last woman to win the last giant slalom race of the season and the first of the next season was Anna Veith in 2014.

Although not as successful as previously mentioned athletes, Federica Brignone has had good performances in Giant Slalom. In 2017/18 season she finished 5th Giant Slalom ranking. Looking further back, she finished 4th two times, in 2016/17 and 2015/16 season. Although she only won once in Sölden in 2015/16 season, we expect her to start off the season well and she has a decent chance to finish the race on the podium. As an interesting fact; only Deborah Compagnoni (13) and Denise Karbon (6) won more giant slalom races on the World Cup among Italian women than Federica Brignone (4).

Last 5 Giant Slalom Winners
Date Race Winner
29 December 2017 Lienz Federica Brignone
6 January 2018 Kranjska Gora Mikaela Shiffrin
23 January 2018 Kronplatz Viktoria Rebensburg
27 January 2018 Lenzerheide Tessa Worley
9 March 2018 Ofterschwang Ragnhild Mowinckel

The last five ladies’ giant slalom races on the World Cup have been won by five different women; Federica Brignone, Mikaela Shiffrin, Viktoria Rebensburg, Tessa Worley and Ragnhild Mowinckel. The last time there were six different ladies’ giant slalom winners in a row was from March to December 2013. You can make a solid case for almost all of these athletes to win, but I would stay away from betting on Mowickel, she is massively overpriced and not as strong as the other four. As for Brignone, I would not bet on her to win outright, as she was injured during the offseason, but 5.00 for a podium finish is enough for me to recommend a bet on her.

Market Prediction Odds Stake Won / Lost
Outright Mikaela Shiffrin 3.86 Pinnacle 1 Unit Lost
Outright Tessa Worley 8.40 Pinnacle 1 Unit Won
Podium Finish Federica Brignone 5.00 Bet365 1 Unit Won
H2H (Ragnhild Mowinckel vs Tessa Worley) Tessa Worley 1.87 Pinnacle 2 Units Won
H2H (Lara Gut v Meta Hrovat) Lara Gut 2.06 Pinnacle 2 Units Won

Considering this is the first race in the new season, there are no reasons for Lara Gut to be priced over 2.00 to beat Meta Hrovat. Lara won two times here before her injury, while Meta’s result at this race was 28th place last season (last place). Sure, Lara had some problems last season after the injury, but she should be fresh and ready for the new season and is far more experienced that Meta. The same goes for Ragnhild Mowinckel vs Tessa Worley with the latter priced around 1.87 on Pinnacle, while the 1.66 odds on Bet365 would be fairer. All these H2H odds are based on last seasons performance and the form doesn’t always transfer to the new season!