My Fantasy Ski Racer Picks: (10/22/15)*
- N. Fanchini
Who’s IN and WHY:
Shiffrin. Mikaela has a goal this year to win the GS Globe and has worked specifically this off-season to correct her weaknesses in the discipline. She and her team recognized two areas to improve: her transition and her ability to handle terrain. She has made great strides in both areas. She told me, “I had several GS focuses. But all geared towards linking my turns together smoothly and with more power. I worked on staying more forward and being in a more aggressive position at the gate and taking a more aggressive line.”
Brignone. Although the Italian Women did not get great weather or training this off-season they did the best with what they had. Brignone is fired up to continue what she started last year with four top 5s. Her focus is a World Cup win this year. She states, “In preparation, I tried to get used to more speed, so I insisted so much on the supergiant (SG).”
Brem. With Fenninger out and Zettel retired, Brem is now the leader of the Austrians in GS. If she continues her upward trajectory without succumbing to the pressure of being number 1, she will continue to land on the podium.
Rebensburg. Victoria unfortunately is on a Team of one, but often trains with other teams. However, she has another year figuring out the Stocklis and her explosion into speed only helps her GS. She says of this year, “Especially during the overseas training course in Chile I was able to very effectively train. I feel fit, I’m healthy and ready for the opener in Soelden. With the race on Rettenbachferner I associate a lot of positive memories. The slope suits me and I’m eager to see where I stand in an international comparison. As always, it is important to find the right setup for the glacier race. The first year after my change of material on Stöckli we were able to gather a lot of valuable experience, which is why I am confident that I stand with the optimal material at the start.”
Italian Women. They came on strong last year skiing with no reservations or holding back at all. That is why I have Fanchini, Bassino and Marsaglie also in my top ten. “Forza Italia!”
Gut. After going backwards last year, I think Lara is FIRED UP. We know she has the technique and speed, she just needs to get her head in the right place. A year of struggling will do that for you. And Gut has proven she can win here. She also has added Chris Krause as Ski technician and Patrice Morisod as Coach – two of the best. She will be close with her ranking, but she is my FSR BONUS pick (if she is out of top 21).
Who’s OUT and WHY:
Fenninger. She blew out her knee on Wednesday training up on the glacier. Total bummer for her, the Austrian Team, and for the entire FIS World Cup.
Anemone Marmottan (Fra),
Maze. Tina is taking a year off so don’t put her in your top ten until next season.
Mowinckel and Loeseth. If snow is on the softer side they can pop in there, but they may need another month to get up to speed.
Canadians. Heard through the grapevine that they may need some more training before they are completely ready. I love the way Prefountaine skis, but at Soelden she struggles. I am looking for this Team to come into form in December.
MPH. Hmmmmm. Word on the street is that Maria is struggling mentally to get fired up.
*Like everyone else, I reserve the right to change my picks up until Race Time.
Universal Sports Network is covering Soelden’s second run LIVE at 4:30am MST from our studios in Denver. Steve Porino is Play-by-Play and I will be the Analyst.