Snowy World Cup week in Lenzerheide
After three instead of five days of racing, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Final 2021 in Lenzerheide came to an end on Sunday evening. These were intense days, which were particularly marked by the heavy snowfall at the beginning of the race week. Without training sessions and downhill and super-G races, the final started with the team event only on Friday. As confirmation of an excellent season, Switzerland took victory in the Nations Cup.
Snow, more snow and more snow
These were intense days in Lenzerheide. The massive snowfall at the start of the race week of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Final 2021 presented the organizers with a major challenge. Night after night, the Silvano Beltrametti slope was watered and newly prepared. Seven snow groomers and around 250 volunteers were on duty every day from three o'clock in the morning for the World Cup course. But it was no use: the weather did not cooperate and threw a spanner in the works both for the training sessions on Monday and Tuesday and for the downhill and super-G races. Even though some negative criticism was heard in the middle of the race week, the World Cup course was largely praised and the intensive work of the countless volunteers was particularly appreciated. The FIS race directors Peter Gerdol (women) and Markus Waldner (men) even spoke of one of the best slalom and giant slalom courses of the season at the daily Team Captains Meetings. The FIS race directors said that the maximum had been made of the given conditions.
After the cancellations on Wednesday and Thursday, the team event was scheduled for Friday, the first day of racing in Lenzerheide. While the competition was already over for Switzerland in the quarter-finals, Norway won the race. On Saturday, two race winners were celebrated who are also crystal ball winners in the corresponding discipline: Frenchman Alexis Pinturault took the day's and overall victory in the Giant Slalom and Austria's Katharina Liensberger did the same in the Slalom. On Sunday, New Zealand's Alice Robinson triumphed in the giant slalom and Italy's Marta Bassino took victory in the overall giant slalom. The men's slalom was won by Austria's Manuel Feller, the winner in the slalom classification was Marco Schwarz. The overall World Cup victory went to Alexis Pinturault of France in the men's event and to Petra Vlhová of Slovakia in the women's event. In the national ranking, Switzerland is ahead of Austria and Italy.
Large-scale test strategy proves its worth
A total of 932 tests were carried out during the operational test, which was organized in cooperation with the canton of Graubünden. Around 1000 tests had to be organized and presented by the teams and media representatives themselves before the event began. Due to the extraordinary testing effort, eleven positive Corona cases were identified at an early stage, and it was possible to react immediately. Among them are the two known cases from the Swiss team: Wendy Holdener and her coach, who were already in isolation before the start of the race. Eight of the eleven positive Corona tests were carried out on asymptomatic persons. The large-scale testing strategy of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Final can therefore be considered extremely successful.