Women's Val d'Isere Speed Weekend Preview
The world's fastest Women will gather in Val d'Isère (France) this week for the first speed events. Two Downhills and Super-G races are scheduled to take place in the French resort of Val d’Isère. As scheduled, the races will take place on 18th, 19th and 20th December 2020.
Val d'Isère is a high altitude village located in the Savoie, recognizable by its charming Chalet architecture. In 1936, the Rogoney, the resort's first drag lift at the bottom of Solaise came into operation.
Val d'Isere offers skiers one of the most incredible Ski Paradises in the Alps: the Espace Killy, the Val d'Isere and Tignes combined skiing area, named in honor of Jean-Claude Killy, all-time French best skier who won 3 gold medals in the 1968 Olympic games. A playground for every skier that stretches from 1550 to 3450m, with 300km of prepared pistes and two glaciers (Pissaillas Glacier in Val d'Isere and the Grande Motte in Tignes) as well as some magnificent and easily accessible off-piste opportunities.
The resort hosts every year Men's and Women's races of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. The men's Downhill, Super-G, and Giant Slalom of the 1992 Albertville Olympic Winter Games were held on the Face de Bellevarde. The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2009 were also held in Val d'Isère.
This winter "The Critérium de la Première Neige à Val d'Isère" celebrates its 65th anniversary. The first edition of the event took place in 1955. The Criterium was formally adopted by the FIS in December 1968, and since then the event is a key stop on the Alpine Skiing World Cup calendar.
Last season Corinne Suter won the Downhill and Super-G crystal globes. She became the first woman to win both speed globes in one season since Lindsey Vonn in 2014-2015.
Suter finished in the top-six in each of the six World Cup Super-G events last season. Her only (career) Super-G win came in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in February 9, 2020.
In Downhill she finished on the podium four times (three in second place and one at the top in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee).
Anna Veith and Lindsey Vonn are the winners of the last Women speed races held in Val d'Isère in 2017 in the Oreiller-Killy course (also called the O.-K. slope).
In December 2017 the Ladies' Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour rescheduled in Val d'Isère two canceled races in St. Moritz.
Speed Queen Lindsey Vonn was then in the midst of an 11-month winning drought.
Skiing from a lowered start due to additional snowfall on the race slope, Vonn set the leading pace to claim her 78th career World Cup victory. Sofia Goggia followed closely in second place at 0.31 seconds back. Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel snagged her career-first podium in third with 0.39 seconds off the lead.
Calling it the best day of her career, Olympic champion, World champion, and 2014 and 2015 World Cup overall globe winner Anna Veith of Austria won on December 17th, 2017 the super-G in Val d'Isere, France. It was her first victory in nearly three years after sustaining a serious knee injury just before the start of the 2015/16 season training for the Soelden 2015 Giant Slalom.
Despite a hard crash in Saturday's race that resulted in a hand injury, Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein claimed her fourth podium of the season in second place, 0.48 seconds shy of Veith's pace. Italy's Sofia Goggia finished a close third at 0.51 seconds from the lead.
Back in 2016, a plethoric Ilka Stuhec claimed in Val d'Isère her third World Cup victory of the season in Downhill. She already won both previous Downhills of the season in Lake Louise.
After winning the day before the Alpine Combined the Slovenian wins the Val d'Isère Downhill with a winning time of 1:31.93 seconds. Following Stuhec in second place (+0.28 sec) was Cornelia Hütter. Sofia Goggia (+0.32 sec) from Italy finished in third place.
On Sunday, December 18th, 2016, Lara Gut-Behrami won the second Super-G race of the season in Val d'Isère. Tina Weirather came in second +0.13 behind and Elena Curtoni took third +1.21 seconds out.
After two DNFs in a row, Lara Gut had the most to leave on the slope and did so with an impressive – although imperfect – run to seal the retribution victory ahead of Liechtenstein's skier.
Lara Gut won the Super-G crystal globe twice, in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016. Only four women have won this globe at least three times: Katja Seizinger (5), Lindsey Vonn (5), Carole Merle (4), and Renate Götschl (3).
The program in Val d'Isere will be the following:
Downhill, Friday, December 18th. 10.30 (CET)
Downhill, Saturday, December 19th. 10.30 (CET)
Super-G, Sunday, December 20th. 11:00 (CET)
Start Elevation: 2580m (Downhill) 2408m (Super-G)
Finish Elevation: 1,810 m
Vertical Drop: 770m (Downhill) 598m (Super-G)
Distance: 3000m (Downhill) 2142m (Super-G)
Average slope: 32 %
Max. slope: 52 %
Min. slope: 12 %