Courchevel / Méribel World Cup Finals Preview
After the last races in Kranjska Gora and Are, the World Cup now moves onto the Season Finals in Courchevel / Méribel in the beautiful French Alps.
One year before the World Championships take place, from 6 to 19 February 2023, these two French ski resorts will jointly hold the Men's and Women's Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals.
Since 1993 the International Ski Federation has hosted a World Cup Final at the end of each season in March. During a week, Men's and Women's races are held in four disciplines: Downhill, Super-G, Slalom, and Giant Slalom. Also, a Mixed Team Parallel is held. Only a limited number of racers are invited to ski at the Finals, including the top 25 in the World Cup standings in each discipline, plus the current junior World Champions in each discipline, with World Cup points only awarded to the top 15 finishers in each race.
For five days, the 150 best skiers in the world will be competing in Méribel, which will host the technical events, and Courchevel, which will host the speed events.
While this is a chance to rediscover Méribel’s Olympic Roc de Fer piste (which hosted the 2015 World Cup Finals), Courchevel will unveil a brand new piste: L’Eclipse.
Its dimensions already make it one of the most impressive and demanding pistes on the world circuit, alongside the Streif in Kitzbühel and the Stelvio in Bormio.
This extreme and challenging piste features technically difficult jumps and alternating zones of light and shade. Running almost straight down the mountain and offering exceptional panoramic views, L’Eclipse is unique in character. The forthcoming World Cup Downhill on this piste is already shaping up to be a key event of the season.
Along with the Women's Overall Crystal Globe, there are three disciplines that are yet to be decided as well: Men's and Women's Downhill, Women's Giant Slalom, and Men's Slalom.
Marco Odermatt has practically secured the Men's title after this weekend's races at Kranjska Gora. Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is the only one who can potentially catch the Swiss leader but looks unrealistic thinking he can achieve the feat.
On the Women's side, Mikaela Shiffrin leads Petra Vlhova in the Overall standings by just 56 points.
The four male skiers still in the race for this season's Downhill Crystal Globe are Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (570 points), Beat Feuz (547), Matthias Mayer (486), and Dominik Paris (482).
Kilde has already secured this season's Super-G crystal globe. and he could become the ninth man to win both speed globes in a single season, and the first since Kjetil Jansrud in the 2014-2015 season.
Beat Feuz is looking for his fifth successive Downhill Crystal Globe. The only other skier to collect five Downhill globes is Franz Klammer, but the Austrian did not achieve this in successive seasons (1974-1975 to 1977-1978, and in 1982-1983).
Sofia Goggia (482 points) and Corinne Suter (407) are the ones still in the race to win this season's Downhill Crystal Globe.
Goggia previously won the downhill globe in 2017-2018 and 2020-2021. The 29-year-old Italian could become the first woman since Lindsey Vonn (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) to
claim the Downhill crystal globe in successive seasons. She could join Vonn (8), Annemarie Moser-Pröll (7), Renate Götschl (5), Katja Seizinger (4) and Michela Figini (4) at the exclusive group of women who has win the Downhill title more than twice.
Corinne Suter could claim her second crystal globe in the Downhill, after 2019-2020.
She can become the fourth woman to hold the Olympic title (2022), World title (2021), and Crystal Globe in the Downhill at the same time, after Olga Pall (1968), Michela Figini (1984-1985), and Lindsey Vonn (2009-2010).
In the fight for the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe, Sara Hector leads the discipline standings with 522 points, 5 over Tessa Worley. Mikaela Shiffrin is third with 471. Even Petra Vlhova (431) still has chances to win the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe.
Henrik Kristoffersen is leading the Slalom World Cup standings with 371 points, 48 points ahead of his teammate Lucas Braathen. Linus Strasser is third with 307 points, Manuel Feller fourth with 301, and Daniel Yule is fifth with 283.
After winning the Slalom title in 2015-2016 and 2019-2020, Kristoffersen could become the seventh man to win the slalom crystal globe more than twice.
This season there have been eight different winners in nine races (Clément Noël, Sebastian Foss-Solevåg, Johannes Strolz, Lucas Braathen, Dave Ryding, Linus Strasser, Henrik Kristoffersen (2), and Atle Lie McGrath), and the 27 podium places have been divided by 16 different athletes (only multiple podiums by Kristoffer Jakobsen, Lucas Braathen, Manuel Feller, Linus Strasser, Henrik Kristoffersen, Dave Ryding, Clement Noel, and Atle Lie McGrath), matching a record set in 1985-1986.
Only in 1985-1986 (9) and 1999-2000 (9), there were more different men's slalom winners in the World Cup.
16 March 2022
10:00 CET: Men's Downhill
11:30 CET: Women's Downhill
17 March 2022
10:00 CET: Women's Super-G
11:30 CET: Men's Super-G
18 March 2022
12:00 CET: Team Parallel Event
19 March 2022
09:00 CET: Men's Giant Slalom
10:30 CET: Women's Slalom
20 March 2022
09:00 CET: Women's Giant Slalom
10:30 CET: Men's Slalom