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Three Alpine Athletes Win Big in World Pro Ski Tour

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
April, 4 2024
George Steffey wins the giant slalom in the World Pro Ski Tour. (World Pro Ski Tour)

Release courtesy of World Pro Ski Tour

2024 World Pro Ski Tour TAOS World Championships, presented by New Mexico True Results

Super Slalom World Championships, presented by and CB Sports – March 29, 2024

After exciting qualifying rounds and Ski TAOS’ Kachina Basin, the men faced off starting in a round of 32 and the women qualified to a field of 16 based on entry numbers. Regardless of competition size, men and women receive equal prize money and race on the same course at all World Pro Ski Tour races. Here's how it all panned out:


Joining the WPST TAOS World Championships were regular WPST competitors including U.S. Ski Team veteran, Michael Ankeny (USA); Current Tour leader, Christian Soevik (NOR); German national team veteran, Roman Frost (GER); 2023 Tour Overall Champion, Simon Breitfuss-Kammerlander (AUT); six-time All-American, Filip Forejtek (CZE) and more. These athletes set up to face off the likes of 2023 WPST World Champion, Reto Schmidiger (SUI); 2023 FIS Parallel World Champion, Alex Schmid (GER);  U.S. Ski Team and TAOS athlete River Radamus (USA); World Cup tech specialist, Sam Maes (AUT); Austrian World Cupper, Raphael Hauser (AUT) and more. 

Round of 32 surprises included a fast elimination of 2023 Tour Champion, Simon Breitfuss-Kammerlander who qualified poorly, while Germany's Adrian Meisen upset number nine-seeded George Steffey (USA). Racing progressed smoothly into the round of sixteen, where upsets included Haaser taking advantage of a quick mistake by the number 1 seeded Filip Forejtek and Haaser then went on to ski into the quarterfinals. No other big surprises through this round.

Headed into quarters, racing was intense and the pace aggressive. While dominant on the Tour all season, Soevik met his match in Haaser and was eliminated, while Schmidiger proved his mastery of the TAOS course once again and easily defeated his Czech opponent, Jan Zabystran (CZE). Frost, also a solid WPST athlete this season, faced Sam Maes, who edged him out. Finally, longtime Tour regular Ankeny challenged Schmid, but was unable to get past the reigning FIS World Champion gold medalist even with an advantage after the first run.

Semi-finals offered an all-international field with Haaser out skiing Schmidiger, who was showing signs of fatigue. Maes met Schmid with aggression and skied into the finals.

With a small final between Schmidiger and Schmid, Schmidiger came out victorious after Schmid got tangled up and was unable to recover. In the finals Maes and Haaser each attacked the course, but Maes had a dominant start and built his lead the entire way down.

1) Sam Maes (BEL)
2) Raphael Haaser (AUT)
3) Reto Schmidiger (SUI)
4) Alex Schmid (GER)


The women's field held another deeply stacked group of talent, including: WPST regulars like 2023 Tour Champion and Overall World Champion, Erin Mielzynski (CAN); 2022 Tour Champion, Tuva Norbye (NOR); 2024 WPST Aspen winner, Sara Rask (SWE); All-American Kaitlyn Harsch (USA) and more. These ladies met 2022 Overall TAOS World Champion, Paula Moltzan (USA); 2023 Giant Slalom TAOS World Champion, Tricia Mangan (USA); and other racers coming directly off the World Cup. teammates Tuva and Harsch saw one another in their first matchup, with Tuva coming away with the win. Tuva then had to meet yet another teammate, Mielzynski in the Round of 8. Mielzynski has proven dominant against Tuva all season, but today, Tuva skied with a purpose and clearly came away with the win. 

Meanwhile, Tuva's younger sister Kaja also joined in the race action - Kaja has raced on the WPST before, but not recently - and progressed along the bracket to face Moltzan in the semi-finals. Both Norbye sisters skied with speed and precision to progress along in their brackets, with Tuva advancing against Mangan, however Kaja was unable to outski Motzan and made it into the small final against Mangan. Mangan won the first heat, but Kaja regained her momentum and skied into third place.

In the big final, Tuva challenged Moltzan in the first run, but ultimately Moltzan found more speed in the second run on the blue course and earned the top spot in the TAOS World Championships super slalom for the third year in a row.

1) Paula Moltzan (USA)
2) Tuva Norbye (NOR)
3) Kaja Norbye (NOR)
4) Tricia Mangan (USA)

Giant Slalom World Championships, presented by Mazda – March 30, 2024

Saturday brought a bluebird and calm day Kachina Basin at Ski TAOS with a deeply talented field of pro athletes coming together for another day of World Championships racing, this time with a giant slalom course set.


After yesterday's super slalom, a giant slalom set brought a totally new game, with the men's round of 32 progressing as planned, but the round of 16 brought some major surprises. New faces to progress on during the day included the upset of yesterday's 2024 Super Slalom World Champion, Sam Maes (BEL) by George Steffey (USA). Tour leader, Christian Soevik (NOR), was taken down by rival WPST skier, Filip Foretjek (CZE) who has had difficulty up against Soevik all season. Alex Puente Tasias (ESP), who just joined the Tour in Bear Valley, upset Alex Schmid (GER), the reigning FIS Parallel World Champion. 

Exciting action and sometimes wild skiing continued into the quarterfinals with the giant slalom definitely bringing more speed and riskier lines by the athletes. Steffey proved he liked the GS format much better than yesterday's slalom and quickly eliminated Foretjek. Tour veteran and longtime US Ski Team athlete Michael Ankeny has proven throught the season that he can still compete agains the younger athletes now racing pro, but he was unable to shake off Alex Puente Tsias, who found an extra gear in his skiing today and progressed to the semi finals. The next surprise of the round came between U.S. Ski Teammates Radamus (USA) and Patrick Kenney (USA). Kenney held an advantage on the first run but was on the slower of the two courses in his second run; he dropped the hammer after the road and skied into the semis with a clear win. Last but not least, Jan Zabystran (CZE) met yesterday's second place finisher, Raphael Haaser (AUT) and Zabystran proved dominant in both runs.

During the semifinal round, George Steffey proved he could not be stopped on this course, saying, "as more of a GS guy, I favored today's setup and took every advantage." Steffey took care of Puente Tasias and sped into the finals. Zabystran continued his building pace against Kenney and earned the other spot in the finals. 

In the small final, Puente Tasias was showing fatigue and was unable to shake off Kenney, and the American skiied into a third place. Steffey and Zabystran kept it exciting through the first run, but Zabystran got too straight into the second and let Steffey ski safely into victory and to take home a $20,000 big check. 

1) George Steffey (USA)
2) Jan Zabystran (CZE)
3) Patrick Kenney (USA)
4) Alex Puente Tasias (ESP)


The women decided to change things up with the giant slalom as well, with more speed and straighter lines in places where they could take greater advantage of the flat sections. Yesterday’s super slalom World Champion, Paula Moltzan (USA) was upset in round of 8 quarterfinals by Fabiana Dorigo (GER), a Tour rookie and first time pro racer here at TAOS. 2023 Tour Champion Erin Mielzynski (CAN) was similarly upset when faced by Tricia Mangan (USA). Kaja Norbye (NOR) showed she was another athlete who could thrive in both tech disciplines with swift progress agains Evelina Fredricsson (SWE). Finally, Nora Brand (GER) defeated Tuva Norbye (NOR), preventing her from meeting her sister in the next round.

Release courtesy of World Pro Ski Tour 

In the semi finals, Mangan's speed kept coming while Dorigo was showing signs of fatigue and Mangan progressed to the final. Kaja Norbye was similarly able to outski Brand. This left an all German small final between Dorigo and Brand, and big final between Mangan and Norbye.

The small final went quickly with Dorigo holding Brand and skiing into third place. Mangan showed a more conservative approach to the course than her wild skiing of years past and defeated Kaja Norbye with a clear victory in both runs.

"This has been the most amazing event and I have had so much fun; the World Pro Ski Tour, TAOS and all of the sponsors have done an incredible job on this event and it all still feels surreal," said Mangan of her win.

1) Tricia Mangan (USA)
2) Kaja Norbye (NOR)
3) Fabiana Dorigo (GER)
4) Nora Brand (GER)


With points accumulation over the race weekend, Tricia Mangan was a clear WPST 2024 TAOS World Champion, presented by New Mexico True and she held both her $20,000 prize and $25,000 bonus high. so much variety in the men's field between the two race days culminated in a three-way tie for the $25,000 men's title and bonus, shared by Jan Zabystran, Sam Maes and Raphael Haaser.