After some rumors, Mikaela Shiffrin could return to the World Cup race, after more than 10 months, in Levi, Finland, on the weekend of 21-22 November, for the Special Slalom. Shiffrin will try to come back to very high levels from a physical and technical point of view, despite the fact that she has lost several months of summer training also due to an injury.
Two times Olympic champion said that it is always and in any case difficult for her to think of skiing as before and that sometimes she even struggles to get out of bed, after the untimely death of her father, but she herself has made it clear that at the moment the retirement is not contemplated, precisely because it is contrary to the will of his father.
Mikaela had already talked about the possibility of returning to competitions in November, but now his participation in Levi's slalom seems to have become a certainty. Alpine skiing is ready to re-embrace one of its queens exactly 10 months after the last triumph, on January 26 in Bansko, Bulgaria.
In Lapland, the American champion has already won 4 triumphs, the last one just a year ago. Shiffrin had already talked about the possibility of returning to competitions in November, but now her participation in Levi's slalom seems to have become a certainty.
Alpine skiing is ready to re-embrace one of its queens exactly 10 months after the last triumph, on January 26 in Bansko, Bulgaria.
What happened in Soelden
Lucas Braathen won the men's giant from Soelden, the first stage of the World Cup.
Fifth after the first heat, he signed the second fastest time in the second and finished in 2'14 "41. In second place the Swiss Marco Odermatt, while third at 46/100 is the other Swiss Gino Caviezel, who leading in the middle of the race and on the first podium in the World Cup.
Down from the podium the caliphs of the specialty and of the circuit, the French Alexis Pinturault, fourth at 49/100, and the Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, fifth at 56/100. Another favorite for the overall World Cup, the winner of the past edition Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, had gone out in the first heat.
On a polished Rettenbach, with the sun, low temperatures and a very icy surface on the wall, a top-level race is staged. Braathen, a twenty-year-old half Norwegian and half Brazilian - his second surname is Pinheiro - comes up and has a bright future in skiing for some time now.
His essential skiing allowed him to limit errors as much as possible and to recover after a first heat in which he had been more cautious. "I wanted a podium, I knew I should take advantage of the right opportunity. But guys ...
winning the first race of the season is incredible. I saw that I was fifth, I thought the easiest thing it would have been satisfied with this position but I was here for the podium. So I tried to stay focused on the technical aspects, to get down to everything, "he said Soelden: Marta Bassino won, Federica Brignone was second: the women's giant from Soelden exalts the Italians.
They competed without the crowd due to the restrictions related to Covid-19. There was no Mikaela Shiffrin, but Petra Vlhova completes the podium and ennobles him with an extraordinary comeback in the second heat, still paying 1 "14 from the Piedmontese.
Marta is in her second career victory after the Killington giant in 2019, where she also preceded the future winner of the World Cup. It is the fourteenth women's double for the blue in the World Cup, the sixth in the giant.
Despite the bad visibility in the upper part, he does not miss a footing, tames the terrible Rettenbach wall without almost raising snow, at the finish line from 58/100 to Federica, 92/100 to the Norwegian Holtmann and more than a second to all the others.
In the second, made more difficult by a few steps, she still manages to defend herself on the wall and maintain the advantage even in the final stretch, which is flatter and therefore less suited to her characteristics, where Federica had pushed more.
Bassino said: "I am very happy. In the first heat I had found good sensations, everything was very natural for me. In the second it was tougher, especially on the wall, but I tried to push as hard as possible. I was confident, but transferring this confidence into the race gives me an awareness that it will be useful for the season.
I will try to keep the level high. I dedicate the victory to the people who love me but also to the people of my land, in Limone Piemonte and other areas affected by the flood."