It’s not yet halloween, there are still leaves on the trees, PSL season is in full swing, ski racing is the furthest thing from most people’s minds but for some reason the World Cup season is kicking off for the 19th consecutive October in Sölden, Austria. It’s been two years since the men last raced down the Rettenbach Glacier as last year’s race was cancelled due to Marcel Hirscher’s ankle injury. There is a lot of snow
in the forecast this year and even with a healthy #MH89 there is a chance this season’s opener could be cancelled as well. Assuming it doesn’t snow too hard there are some exciting things to look forward to as the 2018/19 Men’s World Cup season kicks off.
Marcel Hirscher: Marcel The Shell has been dominant in GS over the past four seasons, including last year’s mind blowing 7 wins in 8 races (including the olympics). With all of that success, out of Hirscher’s 30 WC/WSC/OWG GS wins, only one has come in October. That win was 4 years ago. Will he pick up where he left off last year? We’ll have to wait and see. But yeah, I’m gonna say yeah he will.
Ted Ligety: Mr. GS found his way back on to the podium in Garmisch last year, along with the second fastest first run in Beaver Creek. He’s healthier this year and has won more times than anyone in Sölden. Can he regain his form and start the season off on the right track?
Alexis Pinturault: Alexis was the last to win on the Rettenbach Glacier in 2016. He’s also had some dominant stretches over the past few years, including four wins in a row in 2016. Could this be the year he stays hot for an entire season and takes home the GS globe?
Henrik Kristoffersen: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Henrik finished second in 5 of the 7 World Cup GS races last year. It’s been three and a half years since his last GS win. Is he due to finally step up on to the top of the podium tomorrow?
Return of the Germans: Felix Neureuther and teammate Stefan Luitz are both returning from torn ACLs. Felix has had a lot of success in past Sölden GS’s, while Luitz has not.
This year’s race is featuring seven Americans. Hopefully the second run will feature seven Americans as well. Here are our starters.
Ted Ligety: The GOAT of Sölden. The 34 year old from Park City has been healthy and fast this offseason. Look for him to start out the season strong.
Tommy Ford: Tommy had a breakthrough season last year, blasting into the top 20 in the World and showing some serious speed with three top 10s. The 29 year old from Bend, Oregon has had an awesome prep period and will be one to watch tomorrow.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle: Ryan is an honorary member of Redneck Racing and can be seen wearing our bib during training sessions. The 26 year old from Starksboro, VT ended last year on a heater, finishing 11th in the Olympics with the 3rd fastest second run and one upped that in Kranjska Gora where he finished 10th, again posting the 3rd fastest second run. Word from the USST is that he’s been crushing training. Look for big things from Ryan first run as he’s lowered his WC start list ranking to 22.
Brian Mclaughlin: B Mac crushed the Nor Am GS circuit last year to earn a World Cup spot for the entire 2018/19 season. Brian is now ranked 31 in the world in GS and will have a great start position all season. His WC debut in Beaver Creek last year was awesome, after a rough first split he crushed the bottom to narrowly miss qualifying. Look for the 25 year old from Topsfield, MA to build on that tomorrow.
River Radamus: Everyone’s favorite youth Olympian dominated the NorAm circuit last year earning himself a start in every World Cup race, in every discipline. He showed some serious speed from the back of the pack in his World Cup debut in Beaver Creek last year, and has been showing speed in training all summer. His unreal angles and cool guy haircut make the 20 year old from Edwards, CO a fan favorite.
Nick Krause: Krause sauce is one of the nastiest skiers you’ll ever see but has had some tough luck with injuries over the past few years. Now healthy, look for the winner of four Nor-Ams to make his mark on the World Cup this season. The 25 year old from Northboro, MA has been ripping all summer.
Luke Winters: An all arounder and future star on the US Team, Luke is ranked in the top 176 in the World in all five disciplines. He is the World Junior Bronze Medalist in Super G and won a Nor Am slalom at Stowe last year. The 21 year old from Gresham, OR is making his World Cup debut, but don’t be surprised if the throws it in there.
We at Redneck Racing feel the most underrated part of a World Cup race is the first run battle for 30th. Here are our racers to watch outside the 30.
Over/Under. Let us know if you’re taking the over or under in the comments.
Hirscher wins by one second.
Four Americans qualify for second run.
Kristoffersen throws two hissyfits.
One run is completed with no weather problems.
Six Austrian fans pass out in their own vomit.
Whatever the outcome, we are psyched the season is underway!