Watching the general classification of the Women’s Downhill World Cup is more than enjoyable.
After two wins at the weekend in Finland and Thursday’s “laurel” in Lech, our ski star Petra Vlhová is on top with a 185 point lead over the Swiss Michelle Gisin, who did not start in Austria.
Twenty-five-year-old Liptáček was as exhausted as possible after the only individual parallel races in this World Cup season calendar. The Slovakian star has time to regain strength until next weekend when he goes two super-G in St. Moritz.
Our ski star Petra Vlhová also managed an unpopular discipline in Lech, taking her third consecutive World Championship victory.
After two triumphs in the slaloms in Levi, Petra Vlhová said she was not very happy with the parallel giant slalom in Lech, as she suffered from this discipline during the premiere of last season. She finished 18th in Sestriere. However, parallel races have become part of the World Cup, mainly because they provide spectators with shows.
“I look forward to the fans liking them, but I won’t because it’s a tough competition,” Petra Vlhová stated after the race for RTVS. “I’m devastated. They last an hour and a half and I have to be focused on every ride the whole time. As you can see, it was very balanced. Minimal hesitation and I would already be in the bed of a hotel room.”
While in slalom and giant slalom skiers do two rides and have a “shift”, a race day with parallel races is much more challenging. “In the morning we had a qualifying session that was not difficult. It was two runs, then I rested. It wasn’t difficult until the evening, when the racer had to concentrate on every stage and I finished up to eight.
It’s not common to have to be focused for an hour and a half. We normally have two rides so I’ll focus for about four minutes. I don’t know what I have my energy for in Lech, but I am very tired, “ exhausted, Petra Vlhová reported to foreign journalists.
Petra Vlhová (right) is looking forward to defeating American Paula Moltzan (left).
Coach Livio Magoni’s race finished third in qualifying in the sum of two stages. Of the sixteen participants who also qualified for the evening final, put her “spin” Adriana Jelinková, a Dutch with Czech roots, in the eighth finals. Although Petra Vlhová had to make up for her lack of retaliation, she went on.
There was also a quarter-final fight with the big crystal ball defender Federico Brignone and a semi-final against the Swede Sara Hector, which she defeated by an excellent passage of the last gates by just one hundredth of a second! Only in the final, against the surprise of the races of Paula Moltzan, Petra Vlhová first tried a faster blue track. She also took advantage of the 21-hundredth lead in retaliation, where the over-motivated American made a mistake and didn’t regularly reach the finish line.
“The blue side was faster than the red side, especially at the bottom. As if the gates were turned less, so whoever went there gained more speed to the finish line,” Petra Vlhová provided an interesting observation for TASR.
Every ride I tried to focus on myself, on the technique and to get to the finish as fast as possible.
THE NEW RULES ARE FAIR
The skiers found out that the blue track is faster during qualifying. ‘We just noticed then. In the eight-finals, quarter-finals and semi-finals, I realized I was going to be the first on the red track, but I didn’t focus on which of the two lines was faster or slower. I always focused only on the ride that awaited me. I went step by step.
When I was in the finals it was like I was breathing a little. I calmed down because parallel races are challenging even when you’re constantly on the move. You get to the start and within a minute you are still there, still out of breath from the previous ride and a quick climb up the hill. It’s all very fast, but I’m glad I won, “ stated the holder of a small globe for last season’s parallel races.
Last winter, the rules of parallel giant slalom were different. The top 32 drivers advanced from qualifying and competed for promotion in two races in the 16th quarter, but then only decided one lap. More skiers didn’t like this, so the International Ski Federation made a change. Only the 16 best qualify for the final evening leg after the new, who then measure their strength in two races.
‘We just noticed then. Now it is a real race. Last year it was not fair for everyone with one ride. Even now the red track was slower than the blue so it’s normal for us to switch and progress will be determined by the rides on both tracks. “
Slovak skier Petra Vlhová and Italian Federica Brignoneová.
THE FANS HAVE THE ENOUGH AND DISCUSSED
Parallel races also differ from other traditional disciplines in that their opponents fight side by side on the track. Knowing that you have your opponent next to you can distract you from concentration. How is Petra Vlhová doing in this direction?
“Of course I perceive it, but I have to focus on myself and not who is next to me, and go with him. It’s difficult because you see your opponent peripherally. I’ve tried to keep each ride on myself, the technique and to be at the finish as soon as possible. “
Slovak fans also got a little out of the Sportswoman’s concentration in 2019, which could also be heard live. Although they did not reach the target area immediately due to the coronavirus pandemic, they found a spot on the track.
“To be honest, I’m very glad they were here. But on the other hand I heard screaming right up to the start and had to focus on the sound of the starting device. It was difficult, but I’m glad they were here. . ‘
I am positive about three wins in six days, but I am not looking too far ahead. I’m just thinking about the upcoming races. I now look forward to resting.
DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY WILL TRAIN
Petra Vlhová has a great season. After all, in all four previous races she has always been on the top step, or at least on the “crate”. She finished third in the huge slalom in Sölden, then took two slalom wins in Levi and another triumph in Lech on Thursday. She also achieved all three in six days!
“I think it’s positive, but I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m just thinking about the upcoming races. I’m looking forward to resting now and moving on. So far it’s going well and I will try to be there during the race. race to put everything in to keep it going.
Petra Vlhová has free competition until next weekend. The closest women in the calendar have races in St. Moritz, where two super-G’s are scheduled. “It might be good to tune in to the sliding disciplines. We don’t know where to train yet. Ski areas are closed due to the corona virus in Italy. I hope the speed races will go well for me too. Before St. some training with Moritz and we’ll see. I’m going there with a good feeling, “ added the leader of the overall World Cup standings.
MAGONI: HOW TO RIDE FORM 1 ON A LANE
The format of parallel races has changed since last season. Discipline is no longer divided into slalom and giant slalom, and skiers are only allowed to use the equipment intended for the “giant”.
It’s a change that didn’t inspire Livio Magoni, the coach either: “Before the race, Petra tried out a special model of skis and boots and also designed a special type of poles for parallel giant slalom, which no one openly likes. , frankly, makes no sense, “ the Italian coach wrote to reporters before Thursday’s race.
The veteran expert has long been one of the great critics of this competitive format. “Parallel discipline was born as an alternative to the four traditional competitions, so that downhill skiing gets right into the places like some other winter sports, and thus closer to the people. Instead, you have to find the right track in these parallel ‘giants’ and there are many other problems in every way and direction. Among them, for example, is that it is dangerous for athletes, which we have seen in the past. added the 57-year-old coach.