The women’s alpine ski season finally begins in Levi

Barring an unexpected weather phenomenon in recent hours, the Women’s World Cup will finally be able to start on Saturday in Levi, where two slaloms are scheduled this weekend. And it was time. The traditional inaugural giant in Sölden had to be canceled on October 22 due to excessive snowfall on the Austrian glacier. Then the two unprecedented descents between Zermatt (Switzerland) and Cervinia (Italy) could not take place on November 5 and 6, this time due to the lack of snow at the foot of the Matterhorn. Same problem a week later in Lech (Austria), where the parallel giant had also fallen by the wayside.

It is therefore with a month’s delay that the circuit will finally be able to set off in Lapland, where temperatures have fluctuated from – 22 to – 10 ° C in recent days. On the Levi’s Black track, Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova will obviously be the main contenders between the tight stakes, they who have won a total of nine times in the Finnish station. Like most of the best specialists, the American and the Slovak rehearsed their ranges for several days on site.

The slalom remains the weak point of the Bleues

French side, Nastasia NoensMarie Lamure and Chiara Pogneaux will be at the start with more measured ambitions, in a discipline which has remained the French weak point for several seasons. “We did an eight-day internship at Storklinten in Sweden before arriving in Levisays Rudi Soulard, who will train the slalom women this season in the World Cup as well as in the European Cup, the lower level. Nastasia decided in the offseason to continue her career, with the optics of the Worlds at home in February. I feel she is in good spirits, she enjoys being part of a slalom group again, her teammates are younger than her, it also rejuvenates her a little and it gives her a form of freshness. »

At 34, Noens remained in effect for several winters almost solo on the circuit. Since this summer, the Niçoise has been preparing with the European Cup group, made up in particular of Lamure (21) and Pogneaux (20), the latter making her World Cup debut today. “Physically, I have never felt so well, I wanted to still be at the start of the races, even after seventeen years of high levelrecalls Noens. I want to take things differently than in the past, with less pressure. I was alone in slalom last year. Training with the giantists was good on a human level but sportingly, it didn’t make me progress. I need confrontation in the sessions, and my teammates are young, full of energy and desire. » And for his final season, the goal is as clear as it is lofty: “Get back on a World Cup podium. »

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