Riders in this news : Marie MARCHAND-ARVIER
After a long and frustrating period of disappointing results and health problems, France’s Marie Marchand-Arvier managed to find back her way to the podium in a World Cup race, finishing 2nd in the second downhill race at Lake Louise, Canada, accomplishing her best performance in that event in her career.
Only USA’s Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn was faster that the 26-year-old racer from Les Contamines who has finished twice 3rd in downhill and once 2nd in Super-G in past World Cup seasons. Austria’s downhill World Champion Lisi Goergl came in 3rd.
It has been a while that Marchand-Arvier achieved such a top performance – last season she only finished once among the top-10, at Cortina d’Ampezzo, in Italy. After capturing a promising silver medal in Super-G at Val d’Isère in February 2009, Marie, also nicknamed ‘MMA’ by her friends and fans, was aiming for her first win in the speed events yet then she suffered a bad crash in downhill a few months later while training on ‘La Daille’ course in the French resort.
She needed some time to fully recover physically and mentally from that spill which had affected her confidence and her determination, but now she seems ready to fight back. In Lake Louise, she show much mental strength in battling for a good result in the second downhill after finishing far behind in the first one which has been strongly influenced by disturbing gusts of wind.
Staying on an aggressive line, Marie established a new best time after crossing the finish line. She remained for a long time in the leader’s booth until the arrival of Vonn. Marchand-Arvier was very pleased by her strong performance which paid her back for all the intense work done last summer and in past years to get back her best shape.
“I was very motivated this morning, I was keen to achieve a good start at Lake Louise after our excellent summer training and I really went for it from top to bottom,” she told the press afterwards. “I have been really disappointing by my result yesterday because of that bad wind, but I was able to immediately turn the page and focus on today’s race,” added Marie Marchand-Arvier who has been suffering from her back since the second training run.
“After the first downhill, I spent much time looking at the video of the other racers and I saw that Lindsey Vonn had taken a very aggressive line. It has been a strong inspiration for me so I tried to take more risks this time and I’m very glad it paid off. This downhill included a few gliding sections and some tough turns in the middle part, so you need to take chances in the technically difficult parts. It’s just great that I was able to fulfill my plan and get that great result. It’s a very encouraging way to start the downhill season – and I’m very happy too finding back my spot in the first seed. It’s a good feeling too.”
The determined French racer is now looking forward to confirm her form in the coming Super-G races and get ready for the next downhill race in Austria in January.
Riders in this news : Maria PIETILAE HOLMNER
A years after celebrating her first World Cup win at Aspen, Sweden’s Maria Pietilae Holmner achieved another strong perfornance on the demanding slalom slope at Aspen, Co, finishing 2nd behind Austria’s slalom expert Marlies Schild. It’s the third top-3 result for the 25-year-old athlete from Umea in a World Cup slalom.
Last winter she was also a superb 3rd in the FIS World Championships slalom at Garmisch-Partenkirchen and finished the slalom World Cup standings in 4th place. “I’m really happy with my skiing and my result today, I felt strong in training but you never how strong you are prior the first race, now I know that I’m again ready to fight for podium finishes,” the Rossignol star said after the race. “This is certainly one of the most difficult slalom courses on the tour, there is a lot of terrain and it gives me a lot of confidence to see that I was able to fight for another win here this year,” added the winner of the City Event at Munich last January.
“The conditions were good even though very challenging with that hard packed snow which requires much energy and great skis too. The second run was particularly difficult and everybody was very tired – also because of the altitude. My main goal this season is to get among the top-3 in the final slalom standings,” also commented Maria who also aims to improve her giant slalom. Four years ago she won the silver medal in that specialty at the 2007 FIS Worlds at Are, in front of her fans.
Before the World Cup races in Val d’Isère this week-end, the Rossignol Group wants to present you one of the greatest guy who works with the racers during the whole year in the shadow. Let’s have a look on the presentation of Loïc Brun, the serviceman of Julien Lizeroux and Jean-Baptiste Grange !
A little chat with Ted Ligety this afternoon in the ski-room Rossignol after training in Slalom.
The American is for sure ready for the Super Combined scheduled on Monday. A steep and technical piste that he likes a lot and on which he will be able to play with all his weapons!
A good 5th place for the skier from Val Thorens who skied very well today in the Downhill.
“It’s so great”… Here are the words (in french) from Adrien who was so satisfied to sign his career best result here in front of his public (29.000 spectators).
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