Megeve set to host Audi ski cross World Cup finals
Megeve, FR – The final week of the 2014/15 FIS Freestyle World Cup season will roll from Thursday’s Tignes halfpipe finals to nearby Megeve for back-to-back Audi ski cross World Cup races to finish off the ski cross season.
Originally scheduled as a one day, one race World Cup final, the organizers in Megeve stepped up and agreed to host a second event in place of the cancelled Squaw Valley, US stop, making for a revised schedule that will see a full day of qualifications and finals for the Squaw Valley make-up event on Friday, and the true Audi ski cross World Cup final closing out the season on Saturday.
On both the ladies’ and men’s sides of the ski cross tour there are some big-time battles playing out at the top, with Anna Holmlund (SWE) and Fanny Smith (SUI) duking it out for the ladies’ crystal globe, and Jean-Frederic Chapuis (FRA) and Victor Oehling Norberg (SWE) locked in a titanic battle on the men’s side.
With six podiums and two wins on the season, Holmlund sits 108 points clear of Smith heading into Megeve. However, that gap would likely be much closer had Smith not been disqualified for dangerous contact at the most recent competition in Tegernsee, Germany.
While that decision has certainly hurt Smith’s chances at claiming her second career crystal globe, the 22-year old has been, on average, the top competitor in ski cross over the past four seasons, and has shown true grit in claiming four podiums and three wins in 2014/15. While she will need two remarkable performances in Megeve combined with some luck to claim top spot this season, you can bet the top Swiss athlete will do everything she can to put herself in a position for the title.
Further down the list, though not out, are a pair of French skiers, as Alizee Baron and Ophelie David remain, mathematically, in the hunt for the globe.
For the men, Chapuis sits 92 points ahead of Oehling Norberg and is riding high after three consecutive victories. With Chapuis’ streak coming immediately on the heels of a three-victory run for Oehling Norberg, and with victories in six of the nine races so far this season taken by those top two athletes, it’s safe to say that the race for the men’s globe has come down to the two most deserving competitors.
With Oehling Norberg known as perhaps the best starter on the World Cup tour and Chapuis renowned as the strongest through the turns, it will be must-see viewing to find out how the revamped Megeve course plays into each athlete’s strengths – especially if the two end up racing in the same heats.
No matter what, Oehling Norberg, like Fanny Smith in the ladies’ field, will need a pair of excellent performances, as well as some poor results from Chapuis on home soil, if he is to take his second consecutive globe. However, we all know that if there’s one FIS event where the incredible and unexpected can happen consistently, it is on the Audi ski cross World Cup tour.
So stay tuned this weekend, because it shouldn’t disappoint.