Tough Conditions Reign in Madonna di Campiglio
Soft snow and big ruts made for tough conditions at the annual Madonna di Campiglio FIS World Cup night slalom in Italy, with no U.S. skiers making a second run.
Under the lights and springlike snow, Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway powered through the ruts and bumps to attack from 12th place first run to take the overall win. His teammate Sebastian Foss-Solevaag was second and hometown boy Alex Vinatzer of Italy of third.
The soft conditions made it difficult for the U.S. men, who all started between bibs 45-55. Neither Luke Winters, Ben Ritchie nor Jett Seymour finished first run. Only three men that wore bibs with numbers higher than 30 made a second run.
While the Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team men didn’t make the cut in Italy, their coach Ryan Wilson still has confidence in their progression and future on the World Cup circuit. “The guys have the speed and athletic ability,” he said. “We will be successful ultimately. These guys are young; they ski technically well. We have some work to do, but the guys will continue to be better technical skiers. They’re young and they have a bright future ahead of them.”
And Ryan is serious about the U.S. men being young. The team is the youngest on the circuit with all of the American men under 23 years old. So while the slalom team isn’t seeing the results quite yet, Ryan plans on it happening in the future through diligent work and training. “Quite frankly, they’re young and they don’t pull it out often in World Cup races yet,” he said. “But we’re getting more experience and we’re definitely still focused on being strong technical skiers with the goal of being ultimately consistent enough to be in the hunt in four to seven years.”
The men’s tech team now has a nice break to celebrate the Christmas holiday before heading to Zagreb, Croatia for another night slalom after the new year.