Courchevel stages slalom races

20th December 2010, by Chris Gill

Slopes above 1850, site for the first World Cup slalom in 31 years

Slopes above 1850, site for the first World Cup slalom in 31 years

Courchevel has been at the heart of International racing action today, Tuesday 21 December, with the FIS World Cup Women’s Slalom events taking place in the French resort for the first time in 31 years.

The steep slopes of the Emile Allais stadium course above Courchevel 1850 were prepared some time ago, ready for the event, which has been a big opening feature for the Three Valley’s resort. And it was Austria’s Marlies Schild who took the slalom victory – her second slalom win of the season so far.

Schild clocked up a combined time of 34.95 seconds, storming through the second run to pip Finn Tanja Poutiainen to podium gold. Third place went to Slovenian all-rounder Tina Maze, trailing with a huge 1.98 second margin behind the leaders.

Schild’s victory was helped by poor performances by Lindsey Vonn and Olympic champion Maria Riesch, who both failed to complete the first run. Skiing with a shoulder injury from here practice run, Schild commented: ‘At the moment it hurts, but I was skiing really hard on the limit on the flat part. I always try to make speed, get faster. It was a good performance though. ‘

The Courchevel 1850 course is challenging, starting at 2,015 metres, following the Loze red run and descending to just above the Croisette area of the resort. The winner’s ceremony will take place later today, after the partying (a live band in action, we’re told). Weather conditions were fair for the race, much warmer than last week’s big freeze – at minus 4 degrees to plus 5 degrees. Snow is forecast for Thursday, though.

The women now get a break for Christmas, before competing in the giant slalom and slalom races in Semmering, Austria on 28 December.

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