Featured World Cup Slalom Opener - Levi, Finland November 17th & 18th

Discussion in 'Racing and Competition' started by 4ster, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    Less than 10 days away!

    https://www.skiracing.com/stories/levi-world-cup-passes-snow-control


    Levi World Cup Passes Snow Control
    Despite the very warm months leading into autumn, Levi, Finland, is ready for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup 2018-19.

    Less than ten days to go for the Levi World Cup. Although the race hill has had the white cover of snow already for weeks now, the race needed official approval from the FIS. Today, FIS gave the green light indicating that the amount of snow is good and the race is on.

    Last spring, 40,000 cubic meters of snow were stored and the snow mass was leveled successfully in October. At the moment, the slope consists of 80% of stored snow and 20% of manmade snow from this season. Last weekend the race organizers injected the Levi Black slope and the night temperatures that are below zero guarantee that the slope stays icy for the slalom races on the 17th and 18th.

    “The slope Levi Black has been closed from training, since we want to secure its’ condition as good as possible for the race,” explained Levi World Cup Chief of Race, Petri Tuomikoski. “Even though the race hill is in principle ready for the race, we monitor the conditions daily.”

    Levi mountain management can be very proud. Pulling off a World Cup is only possible because of all the effort they put in. Snow-farming over the past years, maximum investments in snowmaking capacity, and passion for the sport are all necessary.

    The Ladies slalom on Saturday, November 17th, marks the twelfth Levi World Cup with the opening run at 11:15am local time. On Sunday the 18th, the men open their season with the first race in Levi due to the cancellation of the Soelden World Cup two weeks ago due to heavy snow fall.

    Release courtesy of FIS.
     
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  2. Thread Starter
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    4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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  4. ZionPow

    ZionPow Getting off the lift Skier

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    Both races are being aired live on Olympic Network and rebroadcast on NBCSN.
     
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    4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    I just renegotiated with my Dish provider for the Olympic channel which should also get us the app. Last season I would usually watch the first run on the app and then catch second run on the TV. Should be covered for the world cup season except for a few of the Austrian races which will only be shown on the NBC gold snow pass streaming app.

    Except for the roller that leads onto the pitch about a third of the way down the course, Levi seems pretty straightforward and not particularly steep.
    Will Vlhova be able to take confidence from last seasons win to defend?
    Will Shiffrin be ready to take some risk, punch it and lead by a margin?
    How about Holdener coming off a strong & consistent season last year?
    Hansdotter, Schild?
    Is Felix back on track to defend?
    After missing last year's podium will Hirscher want to dominate?
    Kristoffersen? Meillard, Haugen?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018


  6. Jack skis

    Jack skis Ex 207cm VR17 Skier Skier

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    4ster you didn't mention the US Mens SL racers, Oh wait, there aren't any. At least not on the US Ski Team.
     
  7. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    There will be American men racing, some USST, some independents, all in USST uniforms and with a group of USST coaches and support. Will be that way all season.
    Will be interesting to see how it works.

    May be an independent or two for the women as well.

    Realistically, the only threat for the podium is MS. A second run by any of the other men or women would be a plus. Resi is coming off an injury and surgery. Have not heard if she will start.

    We’ll see!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  8. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister--Big Sky Team Gathermeister

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    Yes! Gotta remember to set the DVR... :)
     
  9. Blue Streak

    Blue Streak Behind the Epic Curtain Skier

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    Sound like subscribing to NBC Sports Gold was a waste of money.:(
     
  10. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister--Big Sky Team Gathermeister

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    Depends on whether or not you want to watch live, and if you have the Olympic channel. A bunch of the races will be shown on delay on NBCSN/Olympic channel. And some late the night after the race - as late as 11 PM.

    Here's the full schedule :

    https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2018/10/23/alpine-skiing-season-tv-schedule/
     
  11. Thread Starter
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    4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    No but I probably should’ve mentioned Great Britain’s Dave Ryding.
     
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  12. HardDaysNight

    HardDaysNight Getting off the lift Skier

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    Three years ago Rearick announced that establishing the US as a force in men’s slalom was a top priority. There is now not a single American man in the top 30 in slalom. Based on this track record of success, Rearick has moved on to become the USST’s Head Alpine Men's Development Coach. Not a promotion of course, but typical of this ineffective and unhinged organization.
     
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  13. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    I KNOW a number of the guys who have pushed through the starting gate of WC SL’s in the last 3-4 years {and of course for decades before}. In fact I think I know all of them.

    It’s hard to come up with enough adjectives to describe how disappointing our SL results have been. Some of our men were near the top of the heap based on age group rankings, and it’s just...awful to see how they did not progress.

    I was pretty horrified to see Sasha end up in his present job. I am not close to convinced that Marjan is right for the young women. And, Ian Lochhead may be a good guy but he had ZERO success as our men’s WC SL coach. None. It was also embarrassing to see more independent guys than USST members skiing in most WC SL’s.

    Yes, I would say we sure cratered. But abandoning the thing? Hard for me to reconcile that.

    My point was that we still have WC starts, which will be filled by USST decisions. The athletes, be they USST members or independents will be in USST colors. They will be represented by USST coaches. At the actual WC races it won’t look that much different.

    And we’ll see who rises through the ranks, and how the USST handles it down the road. Back to s tech team. Or are we going to have both SL and GS specialists? Remains to be seen.

    Whoever is at Levi for the men, and whoever the coaches with them are, best of luck. It’s Azlong trip even when things are going well. Maybe we’ll see some bright spots.

    On the women’s side, we are largely a team of one. Of course she is the best of her generation and to most, the best ever. So that makes things a bit better!

    Going to be a long season, I’m afraid.

    I agree the organization has many challenges. We’ll see what kind of progress is made. I hope some. I’m watching for it well below the WC level....
     
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  14. Average Joe

    Average Joe Putting on skis Skier

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    When your funding criteria eliminates your developing athletes before they reach the top 30......
     
  15. Blue Streak

    Blue Streak Behind the Epic Curtain Skier

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    Whatever.
    $79
    That’s the price of a cheeseburger
    So great to have your POV! Really appreciate the insight. Thanks.
    :golfclap:
     
  16. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    BYW, I’m not for a second suggesting that anybody, Sasha on down didn’t work as hard as they possibly could. Particularly, Ian, the SL coach. I know that he put everything into it, but one guy can’t swing the ship around. Not a single knock on effort. Nor among the athletes and their effort.

    A lot of change needs to take place, and we’ll see how the changes are going to work out. Takes time to evaluate it. What concerns some {many} is that so many of the same faces are still there. May be in different boxes on the org chart, but still a lot of USST veterans. That has been thought be really good. People with a lot of experience in turning around organizations might say that you need to clean house, a bit more.

    I have my fingers tightly crossed. I see some signs of already selecting the very small handful of chosen ones. Maybe less than a handful. Like trying to target our next medalists very early on. I hope I’m wrong. I also am watching to see just “what the D team is” and how they manage that. Project based, etc.

    Lots to accomplish. But none of us should get worked up over any of the results of the early season WC’s. Maybe not any of the WC’s this season, though I hope for a few breakthroughs. RCS might be one. A healthy Ligety could do well. Speed women. LV and MS. We’ll see.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018 at 11:06 AM
  17. HardDaysNight

    HardDaysNight Getting off the lift Skier

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    Yes, that’s not helpful. I do, however, think there’s more at work here. I’m sure I’ll be lambasted for saying so but the coaching staff and development programs really aren’t up to WC standards. Compared with top tier skiing nations they are absurdly feeble. For whatever reasons, capable coaches, such as Dyksterhouse, move on as soon as they can leaving gaps that the organization fills with people who have credentials that, to be charitable, are very modest. Months and much money are spent doing studies and surveys that reveal insights which any competent coach could tell them for free. It’s not all about money, it never is.
     
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  18. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    There is so much to evaluate, redesign, and go to work fixing that I think it's almost overwhelming. I agree. Some of it is probably staffing. That's not just a USST issue, we have a serious coaching shortage, of good coaches, that it starting to hit us hard. Fact is that we don't see alpine ski coaching as a serious profession, and as a result we don't pay coaches close to a reasonable wage. It's compounded by parents bitching left and right about how much everything costs. I might suggest leaving the U12's home more often in the summer and fall and putting a bit more budgetary emphasis on paying to retain the best, and increasing fees. Also gets compounded by the best programs being often in the most expensive ski resort towns in the country. Expensive for everybody, but IME. parents don't see the issues for coaches. Bad equation.

    But....back on topic about the USST performance. I was on the hill watching a younger USST training group at work a year ago. Standing with two European coaches, who have a whole lot of experience. BTW, we were watching women. One made this comment: "The American women have always trained so well, and skied relatively fast in training. Then on race day, they ski slowly, make errors, and and don't deliver the mail. The Europeans, particularly the Austrians, are the opposite. They know that race day is when it matters. If they don't race well. they will be sitting on the sidelines, replaced by another further down the ladder the next race day. They are deep. It seems, always, like the Americans know how to ski, but somehow do not learn how to compete and race."

    That has stuck with me since that day. I think it is spot on. We need to fix that. I can't tell you how many hundred of times I have heard a USST coach say that "he {she} is as fast as anybody on tour. Incredibly fast in training. We just need to pull it together on race day."

    Have heard that attributed to dozens of athletes, over dozens of years. Yet, we still recycle our coaches for the most part from the same system. Many former athletes who grew up plowing the same field, the same way.

    I'm optimistic, but to be honest, I am not sure why. Dykster is one of the top 3 coaches in the world, IMO. Best in North America, methinks. He sure worked some magic with MS.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  19. Ross Biff

    Ross Biff Booting up Skier

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    This whole " trains well but races not so well" is an interesting issue. Is it an issue of not dealing with the pressure of a big event as opposed to having nothing to lose when training? Is training fun but racing not so much? I' m interested in any insiders or those close to the sharp end that have any ideas on this.
     
  20. Thread Starter
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    4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    Winning is almost always fun!
    2681F0A3-C889-484C-894F-F6D078E4C717.jpeg
    Some hate training but love to race. Others, like Shiffrin are able to make the correlation between training and racing. It has been reported that she loves to train and do drills but she seems too suffer from nerves and pressure before the races. Someone like Bode Miller was more about exceptional performance than actual results. In essence, I think it is different for everyone and a good coach will recognize what works best to motivate each individual.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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