To the uninitiated, the World Cup Ski Cross race seems like madness and those that have watched a World Cup Ski Cross race know it is. 4 skiers down a 1 minute 20 second race course pumping and bumping around jumps and corners so tight they are hard to hold onto solo let alone with 3 other racers breathing down your neck.
Over the eleven years that the World Cup Ski Cross race has been coming to Les Contamines there have been many intense races filled with upsets and falls, victory and domination. This course has been deemed referred the Kitzbuhel of Ski Cross by the racers themselves. Aside from the action on the slopes, the race organizers have brought much to see and do at the bottom of the hill, too.
There was a fantastic percussion group who braved the chilly temperatures to pound out rhythms and give the festive ambiance an even bigger boost.
The intensity of the racers is mimicked and lived by the feeling in the crowd. They were going wild as the racers vied for a podium, hands clapping, feet stomping and hearts pounding. It was enough to give me goosebumps!
There was even a yeti sighting on the hill. And despite the rumour of his rough reputation, he proved to be a very gentle creature…
This year the podium was elatedly occupied by austrian, Andrea Limbacher, in first place, followed by swedish racer, Anna Holmund, and for this swiss team, Fanny Smith. A good day for the Swiss team with Alex Fiva in first for the men, Filip Flisar from Slovenia in second and Tomas Kraus for the Czech Republic rounding out the top three. But really, a gorgeous day on the mountain 60 centimeters of freshly fallen snow made everyone on the hill feel like a winner. A great day indeed!