This weekend was another busy one in the FIS World Cup calendar with the women racing in Alternmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, and the men racing in Adelboden, Switzerland. The weekend started off as expected with Lindsey Vonn taking the Saturday's downhill and last week's men's winner Ivica Kostlelic following up with success in Sunday's slalom.
After a convincing win on Saturday the crowds had gathered in Alternmarkt-Zauchensee expecting Vonn to continue her great form with a Super-G victory. As the crowd had expected Vonn had again taken a commanding lead once all the main competitors had run, only to be astonished by Swiss 19 year old, Laura Gut, who pulled out a blistering run, finishing the day with a 0.53 second win over the experienced American.
Gut, one of Switzerland's finest prospects, enjoyed a surprising win having recently recovered from injury and suspension. Having missed the 2010 Winter Olympics with a hip injury, the talented youngster looks set to continue on from her 2009 performances that included 2 silver medals in Val d'Isere and becoming the youngest ever World Cup Race winner in St. Moritz.
The men's race in Adelboden is widely regarded as one of the main technical and most difficult races of the winter. Also after a week of abnormally warm weather the race organisers had endured a real task in preparing the race track, and tough the pistes were relatively soft the course itself was as icy and taxing on the racers as always.
The weekend had started with all eyes on US skier, Ted Ligety, who was going for his fourth consecutive GS win this season. In keeping with this season's drama a fifth straight win wasn't meant to be, after missing a gate in his first run. He was swiftly followed out of the race by US legend Bode Miller and British hopeful Noel Baxter. The dramatic day finished with Frenchman, Cyprien Richard, and Norwegian skier, Aksel Lund Svindal, tied for first place and Sunday's winner Ivica Kostlelic in a respectful fifth place.
The season may be young, but it has taken some great twists and turns and will make for an exciting journey until spring.
Written by Charlie Hamilton-Beaufort.