France win Alpine Team World Championship

ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND Ð FEBRUARY 14: Mathieu Faivre of France, Adeline Baud Mugnier of France, Alexis Pinturault of France, Tessa Worley of France, Nastasia Noens of France win the gold medal during the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships Nation Team Event on February 14, 2017 in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom)

France became World Alpine Team Champions after they defeated Slovakia in the final in St.Moritz. Sweden beat Switzerland in front of their home fans to take bronze. 16 Nations competed in the Alpine Team Event.

The Alpine Team Event was a dual small GS. Each team had four racers with two female and male skiers. Each head-to-head race won, gained a point for the winning team. A draw was decided on combined time. The top 16 nations from the World Cup competed in the event with Argentina and Belgium putting in teams. Britain declined the opportunity as the schedule did not fit with the athletes plans.

After the first round of 16, Austria, Sweden, Norway, France, Switzerland, Canada, Slovakia and Italy all made it through to the Quarter Finals. The main surprise in the first round was that Marcel Hirscher got beaten by Belgium racer Dries Van den Broecke, but Austria still went through.

The first quarter final was between Sweden and Austria. The first run between Maria Pietilae Holmner and Stephanie Brunner remarkably ended in a draw, making it 1-1. The Swedes powered through though with victories from Andre Myhrer and Frida Hansdotter. Sweden went through to the semi finals.

It was France vs Norway in the second quarter final. After two legs it was 1-1 between the nations. The French went on to win through  victories from Tessa Worley and Alexis Pinturault. They would face Sweden in the semi final.

The third quarter final was between Canada and Switzerland. The home crowd were going wild for the Swiss skiers. It was a very tight race to call between the two nations with both winning two races. In the end, the Swiss went through to the semi final on combined time.

The last quarter final was Italy vs Slovakia. Slovakia were dominant in the first three legs with three wins and went through to face Switzerland before the last leg had started. Guiliano Razzoli won the last race for the Italians, but it was too late and the Slovaks were through.

The first semi final was an extremely tight race between France and Sweden. The Swedes had a 2-1 lead before the last leg. The last leg was between Myhrer and Pinturault but Myhrer unfortunately fell over at the top. France went through to the final on combined time.

It was another nail biting semi final in St Moritz between Slovakia and Switzerland. Despite the huge encouragement from the home fans, Slovakia were winning 2-1 before the last leg. Luca Aerna beat Adam Zampa to make it 2-2, but it wasn’t enough for the Swiss to get to the final. Slovakia went through to the final on combined time. Slovakia were the dark horses of the event.

In the third place play off, Sweden dominated Switzerland by winning the first legs comfortably. Luca Aerni gave the Swiss some consolation to make it 3-1, but the Swedes grabbed bronze in the World Championship Alpine Team Event.

The Slovaks had a flying start in the final with a win for Petra Vlhova. Pinturault brought it back to 1-1 after two legs. Veronika Velez Zuzulova powered through the third leg to make it 2-1 to Slovakia with one last race to go. Mathieu Faivre was the hero for France as he had a flying run to make it 2-2 and the gold medal for France on combined time. France were crowned World Alpine Team Event champions.

Member of the winning team, Pinturault explained the unpredictability of the tournament: “There is no real rankings for this event so it’s hard to tell who is fast. Today we fought hard and won!”

Tessa Worley recalled how close each race was: “It was really close. Against Russia we had a good start to the competition. After that we were always tied and it depended on the timing. It was always about fast runs to win with the timing. We were just so happy to qualify for each round.”

The Alpine Combined was a great spectacle to watch and the scoring system made it easy for fans to follow on the big screen.

Results

1 France

2 Slovakia

3 Sweden

4 Switzerland

FIS Results: https://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=AL&raceid=86890

Peter Davies