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Imagination. It's a powerful force. Looking beyond what is towards what
could be. It's the reason a small, sleepy mountain village transforms
once every year into a place where the world's best ski racers meet.
Absolutely ripping it up! In the shadow of three great peaks, eight
unique and challenging course was created here. A course so beautiful,
so dramatic that it has hosted almost a century of racing.
Its demands its subjects to imagine themselves in action.
Nearly home, he's done it! And to tread a fine line between
courage and respect. And he has fallen. A gruelling
course like this entices the brave, invites ingenuity, summons stamina.
This isolated village is about to transform, and the stories that
unfold will likely be more unpredictable and dramatic than we
can imagine. Hello and welcome to Ski Sunday. We
are in there and then, the Swiss resort but is usually quiet and
quaint. But not this weekend. We are joined by thousands of ski racing
fans for the classic Lauberhorn races. Unfortunately, the weather
has conspired against us, on the downhill has been cancelled, but as
we proved last week, slalom and can be run in almost any conditions, and
the Alpine technicians will be at it again here in Wengen. Later we are
in Austria for the women's downhill, and all the talk is an Lindsey
Vonn's comeback from injury. And we will be talking about Jeremie Heitz,
whose need for speed is no less now he is riding big mountain is. At the
moment, I don't think there is anyone who can touch him.
Jeremie Ayre is redefining what is possible on a mountain, and the
results are simply breathtaking. Stay tuned for that. But now it is
time for the slalom. Last week, Henrik Kristofferson was
blisteringly quick in Adelboden, and last week he won all four of the big
classic races. Can he do it again? There is a good chance he will. He
has redefined slalom skiing, he gets incredible angles and yet he moves
with such speed and precision. Even Marcel Hirscher who uses the brute
force technique is going to struggle to beat him. And there is a new name
in the mix, Manfred Molgg is skiing wonderfully. Yes, he counts for a
lot here because it is flat and then steep and then flat again, and you
need that experience. We also have a very young David Ryder, a very good
result for him last week shows improving form. And that result
gives in the points to stay in the mix for the top 15, because starting
early in slalom is important. I can't wait to see how he does.
Slalom is tested over two runs. He is the best of the action from the
first. COMMENTATOR: This looked liked being
a brilliant first run in baby 19, but an review, he was disqualified,
having been shown to miss the first gate. Luke O'Dea looked good for a
top in the first five, before a mistake close to the finish. It was
a disappointing morning for the Swiss team, with mark Shinnie
arguing with a slalom poll. A stunning run finish them second,
just 0.23 seconds behind Kristofferson. Marcel Hirscher is
just behind the Russian in fourth. The inform Italian Manfred Molgg was
first this morning, but finished a disappointing ten. The Brit skied an
impressive run. And entertaining first run, and a very solid marker
in ninth place of David Ryder. Yes, brilliant skiing from Ryder, and he
is one place ahead of Manfred Molgg, who we tipped for the podium. If
Ryder keeps this form, he will get a at some stage.
No surprises, Henrik Kristofferson is looking comfortable at the top of
the table. Yes, and his success is rubbing off on his team-mates.
Jonathan Nord bottom had a very good second run. That Norwegian team is
brimming with confidence. And you have Marcel Hirscher further down
the standings, is the gap to big to close? Not at all, this new snow
that has fallen has made the piste ever so slightly more grippy than we
normally see, so we have these close time differences which will will
lead to an exciting second run. The racers will descend in reverse
order, which means Henrik Kristofferson will have the luxury
of going last. Charlie Broome has the commentary.
COMMENTATOR: Julian Lizeroux France, the advantage over his compatriot.
Lizeroux slightly airborne as we see the yellow underside of his skis
over that terrain change. But it hasn't heard his time. Now the steep
section. Lizeroux, 1:30.37, and look at that, finding a lot of time
between two and three, and he is letting his skis run. He needs to
keep it clean if he can. 1:45.18, he has beaten him by nearly a second!
Impressive skiing by Lizeroux. He enjoyed that one!
What a crowd pleaser, he dives for the line to take the lead, one of
the first skiers to drop that inside hand onto the snow, and now all of
the racers are pretty much doing it. He really is a ground-breaking
slalom skier. COMMENTATOR: And this is Yuasa of
Japan, the next ago, his advantage over Lizeroux is slender, and it is
the same at the first checkpoint. Oh, but he goes down as he comes up
to the terrain change. A very disappointing way for Yuasa's
challenge to finish. And now it is Felix Neureuther of Germany. Third
in the 2009 edition here. And his advantage has been hard at the first
intermediate, now coming into the steep part, and he still has the
green light. Good from the German number one. Fourth in Adelboden last
weekend, second in Zagreb three or four days before that. And he still
has the green light inside of the finish, and Neureuther is
desperately low on the slope, that surely has cost him as he comes over
the final terrain change, Neureuther trying to take it away from
Lizeroux, Germany trying to take it away from France, and he does!
Somehow Neureuther get himself back up right to take the lead, what a
ski that was. Felix Neureuther just looks so
smooth, he doesn't look like he is trying, but he gained the speed by
not making any mistakes at all and staying relaxed, brilliant over that
second last roller to the finish. COMMENTATOR: Next ago, baby number
46, skiing into 11th place in the first run, his advantage, he won a
Roper cup race, and he has clearly brought that form, and he has grown
the advantage, a brilliant start from the Austrian. And he still has
the advantage as he comes on the steep. This is the hardest part of
the challenge, and the key is to be clean as you come off it to keep the
speed as you come onto this relatively flat section. 1:29.53,
has he done it? No, he hasn't. He has lost time, 14 hundreds the wrong
side. He is outside by 12 hundredths of a second.
Next races Manfred Molgg, enjoying something of an Indian summer, with
a victory in Zagreb and Adelboden. He likes to keep fit by climbing
when he is not skiing, but can he harness his slalom skills and top
the podium in Wengen? COMMENTATOR: The winner in Zagreb,
second in Adelboden. Disappointed with his first run, what can he do
on the second? He has to let the skis fly here. His advantage over
Neureuther has been extended to two tenths. Good skiing so far, and the
clock turns red, so he is on the wrong side of the clock. Now, he
goes to work on the flatter section, 1:29.53, he still has time to make
up, can he find it in these closing terms where Neureuther had a big
mistake? He is outside that time I over half a second.
David Ryder of Great Britain the next to go, ninth after the first
run, his advantage over Neureuther, he was excellent on the first turn,
and he has started well again on the second run. Neatly done by David
Ryding. He has the green light, but it is close. This is the hardest
part of the race. Neatly done, but what does the clock say? The light
is read by over half a second, and he has to let it go if he is to
maintain a top ten position. He is currently skiing in sixth, 1:43.94,
that time comes and goes, and David Ryding is eight for the time being.
His second run started well, able to generate speed on the flat of the
course, but when he got onto the steep, he seemed to block himself as
he went down, not letting the ski run, not generating speed, no bigger
mistakes but just slipping a couple of tenths every turn.
Next to go is Mattias Hardin. This summer, his wife was caught in an
avalanche in Chile and died, and here set up a foundation and wants
to continue to celebrate the times he and Matilda spent skiing. How
will he fare today? COMMENTATOR: Sixth back in 2016, how
will he perform? This man knows only one way to ski, and that is fallout
attack, he is like a bull in a china shop when he on a China -- slalom
course. How will he fare here? Sweden with so many top skiers, and
in the slalom standings, it is a battle for all of them as they try
to make the four spots available at the World Championships, eight of
them in the top 30. Half of them will be disappointed. 1:29.53 is the
time to beat, and he is the wrong side of the clock. Driving hard for
the line, can he find one tenth of a second? 1:43.94, no he can't, and he
goes forth. Patrick Tyler, the next to
challenge. He straddles as he comes over the
change. What a disappointment. On a fairly innocuous gate, comedy gets
it wrong. This Austrian has been enjoying the
recent dump of snow. He has been on the podium in four out of five
slaloms this season. COMMENTATOR: .41 of an advantage
over Neureuther. He has never won here in Wengen. Can he put the
record straight? Hirscher has over half a second on his German rival.
Hirscher, he recorded a podium finish 101 last weekend, looking for
victory number 20 in slalom. Still has the Green light, still over half
a second. Hirscher, driving for the line. Hirscher leads. Neureuther
drops into second. Absolutely blistering run from Marcel Hirscher.
He does attack on the difficult courses. He cuts the line-up with so
much pressure on the skis, so clean on his edges. Not as quick as
Neureuther in the final section of the course, but has throw down the
gauntlet of the Henrik Kristoffersen at the top.
COMMENTATOR: His advantage over Hirscher, just 1200th of a second.
He likes its steep, and that is what we have here it is desperately icy.
Can he find his best form on the steep. Shows you how well Hirscher
Skeete, because the Russian is just behind Hirscher. He is a long way
off the pace of the Austrian. As skied himself out of the podium at
the moment. In seventh place. Needs to find time on these bottom turns.
Two remain, both are Norwegian. The first ago,. 26 years of age. His
advantage over Hirscher Kotze. Gone the wrong side of the gate.
That is the end of the road. What a disappointment after a great first
run. Massive disappointment, sat on his inside ski and got late. Had to
stop and went out of the course. Those World Cup points would have
been crucial to move his start number forward. It wasn't to be for
one Norwegian, one left to go. Henrik Kristoffersen, the last ago.
Huge advantage over Hirscher. 0.56 of a second. He has won three of the
four slalom races he has raced this season. Henrik Kristoffersen
maintains the advantage at half a second. He makes slalom skiing look
so easy. 113.6. He loses a little bit more time. Hirscher was
excellent down this steep bit. Henrik Kristoffersen will be under
pressure. But he rarely feels the pressure. Well, he has got the red
light, so Henrik Kristoffersen doesn't ski it well. He will have to
find something here, otherwise Hirscher will make the 20th slalom
World Cup win. Never any doubt! Hirscher cannot believe it. Henrik
Kristoffersen has won again. This man is incredible. When Hirscher saw
the red light on, he thought he might have finally done it. But
Henrik Kristoffersen skied the final section very well, almost as well as
Neureuther skied it. And carried the speed over birth flat for Gates to
the finish and picked the Austrian. The final results...
It is Henrik Kristoffersen who will take the overall lead in the men's
slalom standings. Dave Riding finishes 12th. It says something
you're disappointed coming down with a top 15 results? I come down and I
saw eight. I thought that is not top 15 if everyone finishes. It was
tough, I did what I could, it is so hard to keep it going the whole way.
I just miss out on the top ten. But I was happy with that. Today was a
little bit more difficult with the courses being so fast and straight.
I like it when it is turning more and a bit more difficult. So does
Marcel? He does, but he skis with more power and intensity than I do,
I am a little bit more smooth sometimes. But we are kind of
similar. Today, I am really happy. The men have been racing in Wengen,
but the women have been racing as well. We have one of the all-time
greats. She has been the dominant force on snow for so long now,
Olympic downhill champion, for overall World Cup son two world
titles. Very little Lindsey Vonn hasn't already won. The
uncompromising approach to ski racing has left her injury prone and
this problem has been difficult to overcome. A training accident in
November left out with extensive nerve damage and the loss of feeling
in her right arm. The world kept spinning while she recovered,
bringing an exciting new name to talk about in the name of downhill.
Breathtaking skiing from the civilian.
This weekend, against all the odds, guess who is back? Back again.
Brillant from Vonn. No one can touch her when she is racing. Can you talk
me through the last few months, what it has taken for you to get here? It
has been a lot of work, rehab five hours a day. Step-by-step, I am
making progress, but still a little bit to go. What do you make of Ilka
Stuhec, and her progress? I haven't really watched, it is insane to what
races when I cannot be there, but I am happy for her. Big goals, big
titles? Definitely, I didn't finish two races and I missed one downhill
and I still won the title. Anything is possible and I will give my best
every day and we will see what happens at the end of the season.
Who is this new start to emerge? It is Slovenia's Ilka Stuhec. She has
won all three downhill this season beating the likes of Lara Gut along
the way. She always had potential. She was a three-time junior
champion, but her success this season has come as a surprise to
everybody. Incredible season for you so far this year? It is amazing. I
know how good I can ski but I didn't show it in the race yet. When it
started to go, everything was growing and I was more confident. I
had more fun and it is just flowing. At home, you are a big star, you are
on billboards, how does it feel? Kind of weird. I am still the same,
I didn't change, but everybody knows me now. It is nice. In 2016, Vonn
was head and shoulders above the rest of the field before injury cut
her season short. Last season she was an entire second faster than
anybody else. As the 2017, the American still has World Cup titles
in her sights. So victory number 77 of an already incredible career
could be on the cards. Picking up the action is Charlie Broome.
COMMENTATOR: Lindsey Vonn, coming back to reaction. But first Ilka
Stuhec, picking up the mantle. The last skier to win the first four.
Stuhec has the advantage by 0.74 over Sophia Godley in the finish.
Stuhec continues her fine form. Goggia's time... She gets hard on
the right ski before snaking her way back. Here comes the final jump.
Stuhec, surely it is going to be beaten? 1.39, the right side of the
clock. Here is a welcome sight for ski racing fans. Lindsey Vonn in the
start of a World Cup race. That break of her right arm, has it
affected her ability to get her initial speed out of the hut. She is
half a second off the pace. Vonn, finds herself 0.89 out of the place.
Will she find some time as she comes across the hill. Coming up to the
final jump. Vonn goes into second for the time being. She is safely
down. First blood to Ilka Stuhec as Lindsey Vonn's comeback ended in
disappointment. The American eventually finished 13th. But Lara
Gut was delighted. That was before Tino Y Rather stunned the crowd
finishing ahead of Lara Gut. She looks set for her first downhill
victory. It was time for one last twist.
Christine Shire of Austria. Perhaps a dark horse. That has gone up to
0.60 two. She has run a little wide, Scheyer. Has to come back and that
has resulted in her running wide as well. She still has half a second in
the tank. Scheyer, in only had 12 World Cup start. Little wobble. Her
best finish was ninth in Valder 's earlier in the season. She is there
by 0.39 of a second. And Scheyer sends the Austrian coaches into
raptures. A result nobody could have
predicted, even more so when Jacqueline Wyles, an ambassador of
the Lindsey Vonn foundation scored her maiden World Cup podium later
on. Scheyer took the wind. The women's World Cup moves on next
weekend and who knows what will lie in store for us.
In as part of the world, every kid dreams of becoming a ski racer. It
is the equivalent of wanting to become a footballer back home, but
very few make it to the top. And like in football, the question is,
what next? It was a conundrum Jeremie Heitz faced a few years ago.
But he came up with a spectacular answer.
50 years ago, these peaks were sold preserve mountaineers, armed with
ice axes and a great deal of courage. The idea of descending
these sheer faces on skis was considered impossible. Then came the
steep skiing pioneers, and extreme skiing was born. Half a century
later, a young man husband following in their footsteps, drawing up a
list of some of the Alps' steepest peaks to climb and ski.
I was born here in the mountains. I've been skiing all my life. For
me, it wouldn't be possible to live without this passion, this sport. I
came to a tiny Swiss mountain village to meet Jeremie Heitz. How
would you describe this ski resort? It is where I learned how to ski. It
is my home. As soon as I was able to walk, my parents put me on some
skis, and then it is where I learned Alpine racing. You were a really
talented downhill racer. Your technique was really good. But it
was your size that you struggled with? Yes, exactly. I did some Swiss
championships. But I was not good at all in alpine skiing. When Jeremie
Lane school, he turned his back on formal ski training and started
riding with the legendary extreme skiing brothers Nicholas and
Lori Falquet. As soon as I saw him, I knew he had something special. He
is super fast and super motivated, and you put this together, you have
one of the best skiers in the world. Since he was a little kid, he had
this energy that was probably hard to manage for the parents and
grandparents, and maybe if you find a way to manage his energy in this
sport, and that is a very important aspect of this little guy. Not big,
but strong. Jeremie Chardy that energy into La List, his idea being
to scale and film 15 of the top weeks. The idea was to show the
evolution of steep skiing, so that was the red line for me. That was
the natural evolution of my skiing, exploring this area for a lot of
times, and for me, it is clear, the Alps is the best playground we have.
He started skiing behind us. He was the first to climb out and ski down
this route. Because before that, people had only been interested in
climbing it? Exactly, and he said to himself, I think it is possible to
ski down this route. Saudin became known for skiing the
impossible, and Jeremie decided to attempt became slope. It has been 50
years since he was here to ski for the first time.
He wants to show that skiing has progressed, and for a long time it
didn't. Steep skiing was popular for 20 years in the mid-80s, and then it
was trying to get down the mountain in the safest possible way. The
original steep skiers use the windscreen wiper technique, jumping
back and forth. Basically trying to find the safest way to get down the
mountain. I like to ski fast, and I've been
doing that for ages now. When I was a kid, we were going up to the
summit of these mountains, and we wanted to go the fastest we can, and
to be the first down to the chalet, so that was always the game.
Speed you ski on the gradients, the risk looks so high. How do you
minimise the risk? It is the preparation. There is a lot of
tension, because you are waiting a really long time to get those
perfect conditions, and you are putting the pressure on yourself. I
won't deny it is dangerous, but he is at such a level, he knows what
he's doing. He is not unnecessary risks. People at the top of their
game, they have got such a feel for the mountain. The reason why we
climb at first this mountain, at least we are all aware about the
steepness, the snow, and then we can see how much snow is sticking to the
ice at every aspect. All of the elements you need to study to know
it's safe? Yes, and to know how fast you could ski this route. The choice
you have to make on the mountain, if you take the wrong decision,
sometimes it can underpin a really bad situation.
It is overconfidence, I think. When you lose one ski, especially on the
ice, when it is super steep, you can't do anything. And on that
gradient, at that speed, if you catch, you can start to tumble, and
you won't stop? Yes. We are just playing close to a certain line,
where you can have high consequences, and if you are close
to that line a lot of the time, you have those experiences.
If you are able to learn from this mistake, it is the best experience
you can have on the mountain. After that, I was telling to myself that I
need to go back home, to take a rest, to learn from this
experience,... And to process it? Exactly, and then to come back, and
we did that with success, so I am super happy.
You've worked with some of the best skiers in the world. Put Jeremie
Lane context with those. Just how good is he? In the environment he is
in, which is the big, big mountain, at the moment, I don't think there
is anyone who can touch him. I think the most impressive thing I have
witnessed an skis is possibly the descent he did on the Gabba horn,
and it is like the days where it is in a condition to ski so few and far
between. We had the discussion if he should ski this line or not, and in
my opinion, it was too risky for me, and he was still taking it. It's
opening also my eyes. Not many people would have skied it, and I'm
pretty certain no one would have skied it at the speed he did.
He once dominant most scared he has ever been an skis were stood on one
of those Alaskan peaks. And that puts it in perspective, because in
Alaska you have huge amounts of soft snow. What Jeremie is doing is
skiing steeper harder snow twice as fast. We have arrived at the end of
the show, but we just have time for Ski Social. We asked you to send in
your pictures, and you did in abundance. What we were not expected
was the artwork, and I love these because I appeared to be having more
fun than you. But look at the smile on my face, and I have obviously had
a really big lunch! Photorealistic. You have also been sending in your
videos as well, and it is great to see you starting your kids so young.
Archie has clearly inherited the speed gene. And Ted appeared to have
been inspired by last week's dry slope feature, he has gone DIY on
us. Ten out of ten for creativity, keep sending us your photos and
videos, and don't forget your questions. Does use the hashtag: The
first question this week, a lot of people were confused by your, last
week in the slalom that the coaches set the courses. A lot of people
wondering if that is fair. If you had a standard course set like you
having downhill, you would lose the progressive element of that
discipline, so what happens is they take the top 15 skiers, the coaches
are drawn at random at the beginning of the season, so if David Ryding
keeps skiing well, we could have a British course set next season.
Fantastic news. Sam wants to know how Deuchar von ice, he feels like
he is just sliding. I feel a demonstration coming on.
Three tips for you for carving on ice. Practical, technical and
psychological. Make sure your edges are sharp enough, I do take your
skis to the ski shop, or sharpen them yourself. Secondly,
technically, make sure you are stood in the right position. Try to avoid
too much pivot or steering movement with your ski. Thirdly,
psychological. You have got to have faith that your skis are going to
grip. You have to have faith to lean them over on an edge, otherwise they
will not carve. Hopefully that has answered your
question, Sam. I'm afraid that's all we've got time for this week. We
will be back next week from kits COMMENTATOR: And he's gone! Oh, my
word. Big moment. a free five-a-side tournament
that's for everyone. For more information,
go to the Get Inspired website.
Ski Sunday comes from Wengen in Switzerland, home of the classic Lauberhorn. It is the longest and fastest downhill on the World Cup circuit. The show features Swiss freerider Jeremie Heitz, who takes big mountain skiing to jaw-dropping levels.