Race Weekend Recap — US Cross Country Skier Jessie Diggins Wins Gold

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Birds of Prey
An American Bald Eagle on full display in the finish area of the aptly named course’ Birds of Prey’ in Beaver Creek, CO, picture: Sue Gorman

It was a busy weekend with plenty of familiar faces and some new ones. Here is the recap for the hectic FIS weekend from Friday, December 2, to Sunday, December 4, 2022, sorted by discipline.

Men’s FIS Alpine World Cup in Beaver Creek, CO

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won the Men’s event in Beaver Creek on Saturday and Sunday. The Norwegian beat rival Marco Odermatt in the Downhill on Saturday and the Super-G on Sunday. The Swiss Odermatt remains ranked first in the overall World Cup standings, but Kilde managed to close the lead to just 40 points. Third place in the Downhill went to James Crawford. The Canadian had been strong in training, and it was great to see the 25-year-old win his only second career podium on Saturday. Bronze on Sunday’s Super-G went to the usually more technical skier Alexis Pinturault from France. The Downhill event on Friday had to be canceled due to strong winds and snowfall. The best-performing American was Ryan Cochran-Siegle on Saturday, who came in 7th place, and crowd-favorite River Radamus on Sunday, who came in 16th place. The Men’s FIS Alpine World Cup heads to Val d’Isere, France, next week for the technical events, Giant Slalom and Slalom.

Winner Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (center), framed by Marco Odermatt (left) and James Crawford (right), who came second and third, respectively, picture: Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Instagram Page

Women’s FIS Alpine World Cup in Lake Louise, Canada

On Friday, December 2, 2022, the Women’s Downhill in Lake Louise, Canada, saw the ‘Queen of Speed,’ Sofia Goggia, defend her crown, claiming her 18th World Cup victory. The 30-year-old Italian won a mere 0.04 seconds ahead of Switzerland’s Corine Suter, who beat Austria’s Cornelia Hütter by just 0.02 seconds. On Saturday, Sofia Goggia came back for the double whammy. She took home victory in the second Downhill event, leaving Austria’s Nina Ortlieb and Corinne Suter with Silver and Bronze, respectively. Everyone wondered if Sofia Goggia could repeat her treble victory from 2021, but Switzerland’s Corinne Suter beat Goggia to the punch and won Sunday’s Super-G event. Austria’s Cornelia Hütter took Silver after taking a break from racing on Saturday due to a headache with visual disturbances, which she has been struggling with since a severe concussion she had suffered in a crash in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, earlier this year. The underdog, Ragnhild Mowinckel from Norway, took home Bronze. Conditions were extremely cold, with temperatures at -18°F (-28°C) for most of the weekend. Many competitors used face tape to ward off frostbite. Despite not competing this weekend, Mikaela Shiffrin remains in first place in the overall World Cup. Goggia is now in second place, and Suter is in equal third with teammate Wendy Holdener.

FIS World Cup Lake Louise
From left to right: Nina Ortlieb, Sofia Goggia, and Corinne Suter, picture: SwissSkiTeam Instagram

Men & Women’s FIS Moguls World Cup in Ruka, Finland

The first mogul event of the FIS World Cup calendar in Ruka felt a bit like Deja Vu, with favorites Jakara Anthony from Australia winning the women’s event and Mikael Kingsbury from Canada winning the men’s event. Second place in the women’s event went to Frances Perrine Laffont and third to Japans Anri Kawamura. Second place in the men’s went to Hiroshima, and Matt Graham from Australia took home third, a great come-back to the podium for the Australian who struggled with a broken collarbone in the Olympics. Olympic Gold medallist Walter Wallberg from Sweden did not compete due to a fractured wrist earlier this season in training, which still gave him some trouble. The mogul World Cup series moves to Idre Fjäll in Sweden next week.

Mikael Kingsbury
Last year’s overall moguls World Cup winners were back in the yellow leader bibs, Mikael Kingsbury and Jakara Anthony at Ruka, picture: Jakara Anthony Instagram Page

Men & Women’s FIS Aerials World Cup in Ruka, Finland

The following day, on Sunday, December 4, 2022, Ruka hosted the Men’s & Women’s Aerials. Danielle Scott from Australia came home with Gold with her back double full-full. Marion Thenault of Canada came second, and Zhanbota Aldabergenova from Kazakstan third. In the men’s Aerials, Switzerland’s Pirmin Werner won Gold, while Silver went to his teammate Noe Roth. Bronze went to Canada’s Lewis Irving. The US Team was very strong, with Kaila Kuhn in fourth place, Winter Vinecki in sixth place in the women’s competition, Christopher Lillis in 5th place, and Justin Schoenefeld in 8th. Aerials won’t be on the agenda until mid-January, when the series moves to Le Relais, Canada.

Men & Women’s FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup, Les Deux Alpes, France

The first event of the Snowboard Cross series was delayed from Saturday, December 3, 2022, to Sunday, December 4, 2022, as heavy winds and snowfall moved in after Friday’s qualifiers, which had taken place in beautiful sunshine. While the sun did not return on Sunday, the weather improved enough to enable racing. Gold winner Josie Baff attributed the poor visibility to being similar to competing in her home country Australia. It is the first World Cup Gold for the 19-year-old Australian. Silver went to Chloe Trespeuch and Bronze to Lea Casta, both from France. Germany’s Martin Noerl took home Gold in the men’s competition, Italy’s Omar Visintin won Silver, and Bronze went to Canada’s Eliot Grondin. US Snowboarders Faye Gulini and Jake Vedder came 7th in the small final.

Men’s & Women’s FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway

Meanwhile, in Norway, the cross-country skiers competed on Friday, December 2, in the 10km Skate event. Jessie Diggins from the US took home Gold, while Silver went to Germany’s Katharina Hennig and Norway’s Heidi Weng took home Bronze in the Women’s event. The Men’s event was tightly held in the Norwegian hand, with all three podium spots going to teammates Iver Tildheim Andersen, Didrik Toenseth, and Hans Christer Hollund, taking Gold, Silver, and Bronze, respectively. On Saturday, December 3, the sprint event took place. Sweden’s Emma Ribom and Maja Dahlqvist took home Gold and Silver, while Bronze went to Norway’s Tiril Udnes Weng, narrowly beating Jessie Diggins, who was a mere second behind her. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo from Norway won Gold in the men’s sprint, while Silver went to Italy’s Federico Pellegrino and Bronze to Even Northug from Norway. The final cross-country event was Sunday’s 20km Classic event, where the Swedes were more dominant, with Frida Karlsson and Ebba Andersson taking home Gold and Bronze, while Silver went to Norway’s Tirl Udness Weng. Jessie Diggins came in with a solid 9th place. The Norwegians again held the Men’s 20km classic podium, with Paal Goldberg, Sjur Roethe, and Martin Loewstroem Nyenget taking home Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

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