As the Winter Games NZ Alpine Skiing moved into the final day of racing, Coronet Peak continued to deliver a world class piste for the second day of FIS Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) Slalom racing.
In a change from usual running order, the men ran before the women but it didn’t prevent over half of the 76 strong men’s field finishing.
The fast running, open course set made the most of snow conditions on the Hurdle course with the piste holding superbly as the temperatures rose throughout the day signifying the preparation and efforts made by the Coronet Peak race crews.
The final day of racing saw a tight battle in the men’s field with the top ten separated by less than one second and a mere 0.36 seconds separating the podium.
Fabio Grstein (Austria) reversed a fourth fastest first run to blitz the field and take the win.
“My feeling was not too good today, but the time was ok for the win. The snow was pretty good considering the warm temperatures and it was a better day for me than yesterday,” said Grstein.
Grstein’s Austrian team mate Johannes Strolz and Armand Marchand (Belgium) repeated their second and third positions of yesterday continuing their run of good slalom form.
“I had two good races” Strolz commented. “I really wanted to win but I had some issues on the steeper part of the course and Fabio and Armand had strong performances today.
Marchand’s satisfaction was evident with his two slalom podiums summing up the day’s racing up as, “I was really impressed with the snow, it was a perfect slope today. Starting from the bib number one this morning (versus bib 43 yesterday) set me up for a good first run.
Like the men, the women’s field was challenged by the course set and terrain with a high number of non-finishers.
In a repeat from yesterday, Great Britain’s Alex Tilley proved that a change of equipment may be the key to unlocking her talent in the slalom discipline as she won both the first and second runs of the day to take the top step of the slalom podium for the second day in a row.
“I went out there to find the limit and stick to it with the fast course set today. I let it hang out a little bit and I guess it paid off. It’s big for me to have two wins in slalom after two years of DNFs,” said Tilley.
Joint ANC yellow bib holder Josephine Forni (France) skied two consistent runs for second place with Carole Bissig of Switzerland repeating her third place position of yesterday.
“Yesterday was great but I struggled just before the finish line and didn’t finish. I was a little bit frustrated with my skiing today and not finding the speed I know I have,” said Forni who is also a regular starter on the World Cup circuit.
New Zealand’s top ranked women’s slalom skier Piera Hudson was awarded the ANC yellow bib for Slalom while Josephine Forni (France) was awarded the overall ANC yellow bib for Slalom.
Today’s slalom racing concluded the Winter Games NZ Alpine Skiing events Presented by Coronet Peak.
Colbey Derwin (32nd) and Katie Crawford (15th) and were the highest placed New Zealanders.
The complete Winter Games NZ schedule can be viewed at https://www.wintergamesnz.kiwi/sports/
Full results from the Alpine Ski Racing Giant Slalom events can be found at https://vola-publish.com/snowsportsnz/