Saturday the gate of the World Cup with the classic overture in Soelden was finally reopened, which is celebrating 20 years in the circus.
After more than six months of waiting, Saturday and Sunday morning fans ran in front of screens ready to experience the emotions that only this sport can offer.
Even the sun had a benign smile on the start of the World Cup , ensuring excellent visibility, even though the temperatures, a few degrees above 0° C , have meant that the snow got a bit marked.
Dominates the women’s race a wild Lara Gut, confirming the improvement in giant seen last year with the podium finish at the finals in Lenzerheide.
The Swiss confronts with his usual determination the two runs, showing, however, to be able to modulate the aggressiveness of her skiing, without impress too much on the snow and being able to take away speed, especially in the final flat, making good of her skills as a sprinter and by creating a vacuum behind her.
Second by eighty hundreds a solid Kathrin Zettel, that opens, like last year, the season at the best, even with an error on the steep part, letting her ski go without correcting too harshly, taking advantage of her vast experience.
Third by a second and twenty-eight is Viktoria Rebensburg, that, as Zettel, precise in the initial section, not sweep the final stretch of the steepest part, but is able to maintain the speed accumulated for the final flat.
Good is the race for Tina Weirather and Mikaela Shiffrin, fifth and sixth respectively. The first shows an unusual talent among the tighter gates, §respect§ to her favorite disciplines; the second shows her clean lines, light and precise, to which we have become accustomed to also in giant slalom, establishing she is no more a promise, but a reality in this discipline.
Disappointing however the winner of the overall and giant World Cup Tina Maze and world champion Tessa Worley, clumsy and insecure in the technical gesture, respectively eighteenth and twenty-first .
Scored the fastest time in the run, in the second one, Nadia Fanchini that, after an unconvincing first run, shows the brilliant skiing she is capable of and concludes fourteenth. Nineteenth is Denise Karbon, returning from the double ankle fracture, after a good first run, she holds a little too much on the steep and finds hard to take out speed in the final design. Positive signs can be also seen from Federica Brignone, who returns to competition after almost a year. She skis a good first round, with the tenth time, but a little strain in the second, especially the ending .
Do not qualify for the second run instead Manuela Moelgg , Sabrina Fanchini , Lisa Agerer , Sofia Goggia and Giulia Gianesini .
In the men dominates, as always, Ted Ligety, despite the second run, drawn by the coach of the Italians Theolier , was designed to break the rhythm that is so pleasing to the champion from Utah.
Ligety, like last year, shows he is unbeatable on these new skis he criticized so much, drawing lines impossible for others and taking out a lot of speed with every turn.
Second by to seventy-nine hundreds is the French star Alexis Pinturault , with a style so pleasant to see, always precise, that echoes the formal perfection of Benni Raich and Ivica Kostelic
Third by a second and two hundreds is the holder of the World Cup Marcel Hirscher, with a style less precise than the other two, especially on the steepest part, but thanks to his power to weight ratio, it is equally effective .
Fourth, tied with Steve Missilier, is Aksel Svindal, who thanks to his great qualities as a sprinter makes good use of the final stretch and already in this first race earns valuable points in the perspective of the overall World Cup.
Great was the return of the American ace Bode Miller, after a year and a half absence from competitions. He concludes nineteenth, but shows, especially in the first run, the brilliance of his skiing, casually elegant, we had become accustomed to in the golden moments of his career.
Not good at all the Italians, the first of who is Massimiliano Blardone, seventeenth, that attacks , perhaps with too much vehemence, the compacted snow, but not iced, of Soelden . Twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth are Manfred Moelgg and Florian Eisath , while out in the first run goes Davide Simoncelli. Do not classify instead for the second run Roberto Nani, Luca De Aliprandini, Giovanni Borsotti and Cristian Deville.
Now, as every year, after the illusion of a beginning, after the excitement of Soelden, fans will have to wait until November 16 before we see, with the slalom in Levi, the gate re-open .