Ivica Kostelič’s wish to reach the world cup finals in Lenzerheide, having won the prized Crytsal Globe, finally came true in Kvitfjell. He is, now, so far ahead of his competitors that the prospect of any of them finishing close is next to nothing. Besides, if one must be honest, then it is fair to say that not did offer a challenge one this season. Svindal was out of tune, while Janka fell ill and Cuche didn’t compete in 2 disciplines. This turn of events eventually allowed the Croat to deservedly achieve one of his sporting goals. These results should not make the competition any less interesting though, as many more questions are still left unanswered.
The Downhill (M): Two veterans, who have led the discipline for the past 6 years, will be fighting it for the small Crystall Globes. Before Kvitfjell, Didier Cuche came as favourite to dispose of Michael Walchhofer, however the Austrian managed a win ensued by a third place that catapulted him in top position in the rankings. Before the last competition, Cuche had a 14 points lead over the Swiss, with Klaus Kroell still in with a theoretical chance to win a globe. However, the track in Lenzerheide should suit Cuche best.
SUPER G (M): With his victory in Kvitfjell Didier Cuche made a big step towards an overall win in the discipline. Second came the Austrian Streitberger, and in third place came Ivica Kostelič who was already lagging 68 points behind. Cuche is so much in control that finishing anywhere amongst the first eight will guarantee him an overall victory in the discipline.
Giant Slalom: With already three wins this season, the American Ted Ligety is well ahead his closest competitor. The world champion holds a 77 points lead over the Norwegian Svindal, who is yet to hit top form. Provided that Ligety finishes in the top eleven, he will successfully defend last year’s title owned by himself. In an incredible twist of faith, the French skier Cyprien Richard could still be in with a chance to grab gold.
The best 2 slalom competitors dropped out of the Kranjska Gora championship. This leaves Lenzerheide to decide who the overall slalom will champion. Kostelič is 36 points ahead of the Frenchman Jean Baptiste Grange, who is currently in top form. The French skier can still win it, only if the Croat falls in a heap of trouble. The Swede will also be hoping for mistake from the first two as he will be fighting for a top finish place.
SUPERKOMBINACIJA (M): Ivica Kostelič has already won the small crystal globe.
As for the women, the situation is theopposite. The winners in individual disciplines are almost all already decided, but the battle to decide the winner in the team discipline promises to be a tough one . Friends Maria Riesch and Lindsey Vonn will be fighting it out. The German has a 23 points advantage with 4 competitions left, although the American skier appears to be mentally stronger. In the end, small will decide the faith of the race.
Downhill (W): Lindsey Vonn is already Crystal Globe winner.
SUPER G (Z): Lindsey Vonn is also already a Crystal Globe winner in this discipline.
GS (F): Young Victoria Rebensburg is presently in the best position to win the discipline.
And just as for Ligety, the German skier finds herself 77 points ahead of second placed French Tessa Worley. In order to win, the latter will be hoping for a top finish in the final competition or a second place, with Rebensburg making a mistake.
SLALOM (W): Marlies Schield already the winner of the Crystal Globe.
SUPERG (W): Lindsey Vonn is already the winner of the Crystal Globe.
Original text by Urban Lavrenčič translated from the Slovene by Christian Ngalikpima.