Mixed emotions, premieres, the chase to catch-up, and Viktoria Rebensburg’s podium finish
The last racing weekend of the year resulted in another podium finish for the Stöckli crew thanks to Viktoria Rebensburg. However, Marco Odermatt, Aline Danioth and Andrea Ellenberger can also rejoice over a successful finish to the year.
Save what can be saved. This was the motto that likely sums up the second run of the giant slalom in Semmering (AUT) for Viktoria Rebensburg. After finishing 10th in the first run, it was clear to the giant slalom Olympic medalist from 2010 that she would have to lay it all on the line for the second run and risk everything. “In the second run I had nothing more to lose, I only could attack. I am happy that I could still turn it around,” Rebensburg said about her terrific run that lifted the German in the end to her third podium finish of the season. In an earlier response about the bungled first run, Rebensburg said she was thrown out of balance on an undulation and that she was nearly taken out of the running for the sought-after top finish.
The skier from central Switzerland, Andrea Ellenberger, experienced something fantastic in this race. The 25-year-old, who has had a number of health issues in the last few years that have held her back and as a result she has not made the cut for the Swiss Ski Team, picked up her first World Cup points with her 22nd finish in Austria. After the first run Andrea Ellenberger – start number 54 for the race – ended up in 24th place. A result that she herself hadn’t expected after the run. “The joy was therefore that much larger and the relief to have finally done it in a second run in the World Cup.” She has already tried this eight times and eight times she has failed – recently, just narrowly. For the first second run on a higher level, she decided not to worry about World Cup points – apparently, with success because Ellenberger was in fact able to make her first points deposit in a World Cup account. “It really did me so good to have finally reached this goal. It’s also great to be able to show every person who helped me and believed in me that it was worth it.”
Aline Danioth ultimately provided her best World Cup finish to date on Saturday in the slalom in Semmering. The skier from Uri improved her finish in the second run to 15th and thus ended any chance of a relaxed New Year’s Eve: With this achievement, Danioth was able to qualify to participate in the City Event in Oslo on New Year’s Day.
There was also a good reason for celebration – and relief – for Marco Odermatt. The Junior World Champion raced to an 8th-place finish on Saturday in the Super-G in Bormio. “I tried to attack with all I had and to tune out any awe since there had been a few falls,” said the skier from Buochs in an interview with Swiss TV. “Up top and in the final stretch were probably some of my best. When it goes well, you don’t feel the fatigue in your legs so much.” On the other hand, there were no points for Stefan Rogentin or Dustin Cook. The Stöckli duo both missed the 30th-place cutoff by just 9 hundredths of a second.
On the previous day in the downhill, Marco Odermatt also took 31st. Afterward, the racer from Buochs said how the Stelvio piste is one of the most difficult he has yet to see in his ski career. “The slope demanded every bit of respect I had along with a little bit of trepidation,” the 21-year-old said in all honesty. Odermatt was not alone in this. Together with the steep topography, the icy and extremely rough piste ensured that even the most experienced World Cup downhill racers mentioned needing healthy respect for Stelvio. Meaning the achievement of Odermatt, a Bormio newcomer – especially in the Super-G – was all the more impressive.