24 Dec Women’s Giant Slalom World Cup Courchevel 2015
We’ve all seen ski racing on the TV – the competitors in their slinky suits, the cowbells, the flags, the dramatic tumbles, the giant purple cows… The Women’s Giant Slalom World Cup came to Courchevel this week and it was every bit as atmospheric as it seems on the telly!
Standing with the crowds on the ‘Stade’ piste in Courchevel 1850, we watched as these amazing athletes hurled themselves round the poles at impressive speeds, holding edges with incredible power on the icy course (they flood the snow with water overnight to make it extra challenging!)
The atmosphere in the crowds is electric, especially when the home team come into view on the course. The flags wave frantically and the cowbells go crazy, then as the racers tuck to cross the line, it’s all eyes on the screen to see the time, if it’s green (ie. faster than the previous no. 1) then those cowbells are deafening!
The favourites Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) and Anna Fenninger (AUT) were injured, so there was potential for a new name to take to the podium on this race. After successes in the downhill and combined in Val d’Isere, Lara Gut (SUI) must have been hoping to take the top spot but in the end it was Austrian Eva Maria Brem who got the fastest time, beating Nina Loeseth (NOR) and Lara Gut (SUI) with a finish time of 2:01:72.
Britain’s very own Alex Tilley raced in the morning run and crossed the line in a good time and it looks like she’ll go on to have a good season, having done well in Soelden already this year.
Away from the course, there were air displays by a particularly crazy aerobatic pilot and music from an eccentrically-costumed and very talented team of drummers. Courchevel really goes to town with the celebrations!
We’d highly recommend coinciding your next ski trip to watch some ski racing if you can, you never know, you might pick up a few tips! Courchevel regularly hosts the Audi FIS Women’s World Cup GS, so get in touch if you’d like to book your trip during the World Cup next year.