Viktoria Rebensburg closes out the Speed Season with a victory
The last downhill and Super G of the season are now done. For Stöckli, the close of the World Cup final with a win and a second place was a joyous one. Even if Viktoria Rebensburg first had to do some soul-searching.
The 2018-19 World Cup season for the speed racers is now one for the books, and Viktoria Rebensburg provided a happy conclusion at the World Cup final in Soldeu (Andorra). On Wednesday, March 13, the 29-year-old German missed her first downhill win by three hundredths of a second, and she admitted she found that very difficult at first. Then fate treated her better 24 hours later, and Viktoria Rebensburg was able to celebrate the last Super G as a beaming winner. After winning the World Championship silver in the giant slalom in Are, she was able to finish up all three of her World Cup races – one giant slalom, one Super G, and one downhill – on the podium. “That’s what you are on the hunt for from the beginning to the end of the season. That you have a ‘flow’ and can fall under the spell of success. That seemed to work pretty well for me,” she said about her present condition, which she will look to prove one more time in the final giant slalom.
Head of racing, Beni Matti is also quite satisfied with the speed season. “Ilka Stuhec returned strongly after her bad knee injury, again became downhill champion and again won two World Cup races.” What is unfortunate is that the Slovenian again hurt herself after a crash in Crans Montana and thus had to end her season early. Still, Stuhec will be able to avoid another operation and can treat the ligament injury of her left knee conservatively. “Viktoria Rebensburg has shown how fast she can be in the speed disciplines. That pleases me especially because Viki actually had put her focus on the giant slalom. Jasmine Flury and Michaela Wenig are also close to having absolute top results – and that is motivating for the summer and for next winter.”
Among the men, Matti is first of all relieved that Marco Odermatt was able to save himself from a critical situation in the Super G in Soldeau on Thursday, March 14, and just came away with a fright: “Marco has made a big step and hugely surpassed the ambitious goal with his 20th place in the overall Super G rankings.” Of course, it was bad luck that Urs Kryenbühl injured himself in Beaver Creek before the important phase of the speed season, he added. “Even more pleasing was that he has found his way back. And Stefan Rogentin is at the top of the Super G rankings for the Europa Cup with two races to go before the conclusion. He is fighting for a fixed starting position in the World Cup.” In general, Matti is relieved that the transition to the new binding for the men in the speed arena has worked out well. “There was a certain risk in that. We customized the new bindings to the skiers, and that worked out really very well. The racers made friends with the new gear.” The strategy adopted was the right one, Matti added, and in looking back on Winter 2018-19 that was also important.