By Hank McKee
The men face two super G’s (one the make-up from Kitzbuehel) and a GS at Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Super G has had the most trouble keeping up with the schedule and these races represent the fourth and fifth of eight scheduled races. It is the seventh of nine slated GS’s.
The women head to Bansko, where the men just left, for a downhill and super G, the final races in the disciplines until World Cup Finals next month.
Top 10 placings in super G (three races)
Theaux (3), Viletta (1)
Previously at site: The last man to win a super G at Crans-Montana was Marc Girardelli in 1986. Not applicable.
Top 10 in GS in six races
Also worth note: Raich’s second at Adelboden, Dopfer’s third at Beaver Creek and particularly Marcel Mathis’ third at Bansko.
Previously at site: Alberto Tomba won the last men’s GS at Crans-Montana. Not applicable.
Our take: Super G – Though Mr. Svindal has just two podiums this season they have both come in SG, and he does account for 13 top 10 placings this season. He hasn’t been much in the headlines, but he is an elite ski racer. Feuz is in a battle for the World Cup overall title and will be looking to make up ground in a favored discipline and the Canadian boys have been in fire lately.
GS – Numbers say it is Hirscher’s game to win, the home-boy in me says Ligety. Blardone has three podium finishes and Reichelt has been consistently top five if he finishes. Got to like Marcel Mathis after the stunning showing last week he is definitely feeling his oats.
Top 10 placings in DH (7 races)
Women’s super G top 10 finishes in five races
Previously at site: In downhill in 2010 it was Vonn by a hundredth over Johanna Schnarf. Marianne (Kaufmann) Abderhalden was third, Marusa Ferk was fourth and Viktoria Rebensburg fifth. In 2008 Vonn won handily over the retired Renate Goetschl with Nadia Fanchini in third, Julia Mancuso fourth and Maria (Hoefl-)Riesch fifth.
In super G in 2010 it was Dominique Gisin (injured) over Vonn with Mancuso third. Nadia Styger and Ingrid Jacquemod, neither of who is with us this season, were fourth and fifth.
Our take: downhill – six podiums and a fourth in seven races says it all, and Vonn is focused on stacking up the wins so a let down isn’t likely. The field of top female downhillers is really quite small so there’s room to pop them all into your picks and still have room for a favorite up and comer, say like Ferk.
super G – this should be a tightly contested race as the SG title is wide open – technically there are still 10 women in contention and Vonn, Fenninger, Mancuso and Suter are within a 100pts on top. Vonn and Mancuso both have a good record on the hill
Hank McKee is the senior editor and statistician for Ski Racing (www.skiracing.com) where he has worked for 30 years. He has worked with NBC at three Olympics providing racing data. His column McThoughts can be found sporadically at Ski Racing.