My Fantasy Ski Racer Picks: (12/11/15)
Are Women’s GS
Are Women’s SL
4. Fanchini, N
Are, Sweden GS Hill.
I raced this hill a LONG time ago in a Downhill. It was the final 40 seconds and felt like a bobsled track. A bit of a natural bowl with lots of natural, fun terrain. The women are used to this hill, but every year the terrain challenges the rookies and veterans alike. This year they have injected the snow to bullet-proof consistency with an added challenge – death cookies. The reports are that the machines did not leave a super-smooth surface.
GS: Who’s In & WHY:
Shiffrin. The crash three gates from winning in Aspen proved to motivate her in the SLs. She will come out swinging on a hill where she has a lot of confidence. Talking to her coach Dyksterhouse, they have been doing double sessions (SG & Tech) for the last three months to make sure they don’t lose the SL/GS speed while adding the SG. Mikaela still has the GS speed to win.
Brignone. 1st and 3rd in the first two races and continues to train hard and fast. Two top fives on this hill last year. She will push Shiffrin, but come up short. Great rivalry developing between these two.
Gut. Lara trained with Shiffrin this past week and although behind Shif, she was skiing with confidence and snap. With Gut, more than others, good results breed better results.
Italians. Behind Brignone, I am putting Fanchini and Bassino in as well. Nadia loves this hill as she can push the line and push the limits on speed. Marta had a 6th here last year.
Vlhova. Strong and skis with abandon. Great combo for this hill – even though stronger in slalom, she will rock it in GS.
GS: Who’s Out and WHY:
Weirather. A step back after Soelden in Aspen and Lake Louise. Hmmmm. This hill is great for her, but she is a streak skier and she is not on one.
Vonn. I think this is a great hill for her. And, the rumor is she is skiing great GS. BUT, too many strong GS women to fit Vonn in the top ten.
Swedes. Hector is in my top ten, but I do not have Hansdotter or MPH. Hansdotter will be there in the SL only. MPH struggling mentally with confidence.
SL: Who’s In & WHY:
Shiffrin. Enough said.
Zuzu. She looked so strong and fast in Aspen and would have been behind Shiffrin both races had she not fallen.
Hansdotter. Too fast and consistent to not be on the podium, especially at home.
Vhlova. As I said with Zuzu, strength matters and this young woman is strong and goes full throttle every run. If she finishes, she’s fast.
Gagnon. Too fast and a lot of confidence coming in off of some Wins on Nor-Am level. Will crush the flatter hill in Are. I think Mielzynski is fast, but crashes.
Holdener. Thrash or crash – this time she thrashes fast and furious.
Stiegler. Resi keeps on trucking and likes this hill and terrain. Can let it go crazy. Can’t wait to see that smile.
Baud. From downtown to top ten. Bonus points.
SL: Who’s Out & WHY:
MPH. Maria will LOVE being back in Are where she won last year, but she is struggling with confidence and the others in the field are not.
Noens. Inconsistent here in Are with two top tens, but also six times top 15 or worse.
Loeseth. Never top ten here although she has ability to pop in here.