For some, the winter 22/23 ski season is starting already and it’s time to get involved! You will find fantastic skiing on TV this weekend as The Alpine Ski World Cup kicks off their 22/23 season in Sölden, Austria with the opening Giant Slalom (GS) race of the season. The Alpine Ski World Cup is in it’s 57th year and will feature some of the best athletes in the world in over 90 races this season. Our eyes will be particularly focused on the Brits racing this weekend including Alex Tilley in the Women’s race this Saturday 22nd October, and Charlie Raposo in the men’s race on Sunday 23rd October.
As one of the most renowned resorts in Europe, Sölden is a true winter sports paradise. The ski area attracts countless visitors searching for the ultimate mountain experience with the best slopes and world-class après-ski every season. Sölden’s glacier offers a unique Autumn snow experience where you can ski on the wide, snow-covered slopes of the Rettenbach & Tiefenbach Glaciers which are linked by a spectacular ski tunnel. You will find 34.5km of slopes to cover between both sides of these connected glaciers. Going away in the pre-winter months also offers a quieter resort so you are able to cruise the beautiful pistes peacefully, away from the hustle and bustle of peak week crowds!
So what exactly is Giant Slalom (GS)?
Alpine skiing has four different primary disciplines- downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom. Downhill is the fastest of all the events and involves making the most direct route down the slope and has the greatest vertical drop. Slalom is thought to be the most technical of the disciplines and involves making quick changes in direction whilst weaving between individual spring-loaded poles. Giant Slalom or GS is somewhere in between these two disciplines, it involves the technicality of the quick changes in direction required in slalom skiing but at greater speeds due to the greater distance between the gates. You may recognise the distinctive blue and red flagged gates that the skiers must weave between.
Who are we most excited to see compete?
Alex is one of two Brits we will see race in Sölden this weekend. She grew up in Scotland and started ski racing at her local club, Gordons, at the age of 8. Alex achieved a brilliant 13th place last season in the Sölden World Cup, an equal personal best World Cup result for her. She has shown her capabilities on a number of occasions against the biggest names in the sport and we can’t wait to see what this season has in store for her.
Charlie is our second Brit competing this weekend. He is starting this season having made an exciting move to the new Van Deer Red Bull Sports skis, backed by former World Cup and Olympic Champion Marcel Hirsher. Charlie scored back to back top 30 results in World Cup GS last season with a highly commendable 27th and 16th place in Kranjska Gora. We look forward to seeing him compete in Sölden this weekend and will be cheering him on every step of the way.
Swiss star Marco Odermatt dominated the men’s giant slalom tour in 2022 and returns to Sölden as the clear favourite. Odermatt, Olympic and World Cup champion, won five out of the eight giant slalom events last season and was on the podium for the other three.
Shriffrin, who won this race last season, is looking to add to her total of 74 career World Cup victories. At the age of 27, Shiffrin has now won this race twice and finished on the podium four other times. Her current tally is 74 world cup wins, a dozen shy of Ingemar Stenmark’s record of most world cup wins (86) and eight back from Lindsey Vonn’s women’s record (82).
Book your trip to Sölden with Maison Sport!
We have some of our fantastic independent instructors on hand if you are interested in taking a trip to Sölden this year. If you’d like to book any lessons in Sölden just click here, put your preferred dates in, choose your lesson and then pick one of our amazing instructors. If you aren’t going to be watching from the sidelines, to be in on the Alpine Ski World Cup action this weekend, make sure to tune into Eurosport 1. The schedule will be as follows:
Women’s Giant Slalom: Saturday 22nd October, 1st Run at 9:00, 2nd Run at 12:05 (UK time)
Men’s Giant Slalom: Sunday 23rd October, 1st Run at 9:00, 2nd Run at 12:00 (UK time)
Maison Sport are wishing all the skiers competing the best of luck in the opening race of the season! We hope this blog has inspired you to consider visiting the beautiful resort of Sölden and trying out glacier skiing.
The Independent Instructors on Maison Sport are Waiting for You!
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