Marco Odermatt’s virtual to-do list
Marco Odermatt has more success under his belt. He followed up his first victory in a World Cup downhill with a second straight after in the Bernese Oberland, and he picked up two ‘animal companions’ in Kitzbühel.
World Cup tradition dictates that the speed races in Wengen and Kitzbühel follow Adelboden. It was the same this year, and it was the same for Marco Odermatt too. The giant slalom in Adelboden was Odermatt’s ninth World Cup race of the season and his fifth victory. After the Kitzbühel weekend, the man from Nidwalden has now completed 14 World Cup races, notching up seven victories and a further six podium places.
But he’s taking it one step at a time. The downhill world champion has been repeatedly asked about the fact that he has 11 downhill podium finishes in the World Cup, but still no victory. He took care of this on 11 January (Thursday) when he won on the shortened course on the Lauberhorn. “I wanted this first victory. It's great that I got it here. I went flat out and took lots of risks at the Brüggli-S, and everything fell into place,” he said. This makes Odermatt the only Swiss skier to have won both the giant slalom in Adelboden and the downhill in Wengen. The others to have done so are Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR), Hermann Maier (AUT), Marc Girardelli (LUX) and Karl Schranz (AUT). The only skiers to have achieved this double in the same year are Odermatt (2024), Hermann Maier (1998) and Marc Girardelli (1989).
But Odermatt has been open about the fact that the “real” Lauberhorn downhill on Saturday was more important to him. Odi also won this race, and he did so impressively. “I couldn't have raced any better,” he said in interviews. He even referred to it as a “dream run.” And with good reason. “I was at the limit everywhere, and I had enough power to push through everything. Once I finished, I knew that this time would be hard to beat.” And Odermatt was completely right as his competition praised him unreservedly and puzzled over how to beat the man from Nidwalden. If Odermatt’s race plan works out, it’s difficult for the challengers to compete. The 26-year-old was able to implement his plan on the Lauberhorn, he handled the key sections perfectly, he was quickest at the Brüggli-S, and he was able to continue this to the finish line. What’s more, he had the ideal equipment on his feet.
These two victories made Odermatt the favorite heading into Kitzbühel, and he was after victory there too. He spoke to some media outlets about a to-do list, which now had the Lauberhorn victory ticked off, but winning in Kitzbühel remained on the list. Even if this list exists only virtually and not on paper, there is still stuff to be ticked off. Olympic gold medal: check; World Championship: check; Lauberhorn victory: check. But the Kitzbühel victory is still missing from Marco Odermatt’s collection because there were a couple of faster skiers in both downhill races on the Streif. Nevertheless, the Nidwalden native took home two of the coveted Gams trophies (in the shape of the local chamois), lots of World Cup points and the motivation for victory in 2025.
Alexis Monney was another of our athletes who raced convincingly in Kitzbühel, showing that Stöckli equipment works not only for Marco Odermatt. Monney finished 8th in the traditional Hahnenkamm downhill, and the man from Fribourg spoke to www.blick.ch about his equipment: “Even if another supplier offered me a €20 million contract, I'd stay at Stöckli because I love working with this company.”
Victory for Jonas Lenherr in Canada
There is also cause for celebration in ski cross. Nakiska (Canada) hosted two races each for the men and women at the weekend. Jonas Lenherr, who races on the green Stöckli rockets, celebrated his fifth World Cup victory on Sunday. “It was a really great race today, even though I didn't get the best start. I had great equipment on my feet, and I finally found a good line to attack on,” said the man from eastern Switzerland. There were also great results in Nakiska for the Canadian Marielle Thompson (2nd and 5th), Talina Gantenbein (5th and 11th), India Sherret (6th and 6th) and Margaux Dumont (11th and 12th), so they will be hopeful ahead of the races in St. Moritz next week.
Thank you, Vivianne Härri
Last week, Vivianne Härri, the 24-year-old skier from Obwalden, announced the end of her ski racing career. After 22 World Cup races and 63 Europa Cup races, she has lost the fire for racing, although she remains a keen skier. The Stöckli team would like to thank Vivianne for her successful collaboration. We wish her lots of success in her tourism management studies and happiness in her next professional chapter.