Åre Women's Races Preview
Updated: Mar 10
Next Friday and Saturday two races, a Giant Slalom and a Slalom, will be held in Åre.
The village of Åre and its surroundings have a long alpine tradition and the tourist industry has been an important source of income for the village since the mid-1800s.
Interest in winters in Åre increased in the 1900s and the construction of the funicular, Bergbanan, in 1910 was Åre’s start as a winter resort. The Second World War temporarily stopped development, but during the 1950s and 60s Åre, just like much of the rest of Europe, started to recover. Åre’s true golden years began at the end of the 1970s and, thanks to Ingemar Stenmark and the "Åre Project", which facilitated huge investment in Åre, interest boomed in the ski resort.
Nowadays, Åre, a small and rural town located in the Jämtland region, in the midst of the Swedish mountains, and with 1400 inhabitants, welcomes around 800 000 visitors yearly. Around 11,000 of Jämtland’s 126,000 inhabitants live in Åre Municipality. The county is about the same size as Switzerland (which has eight million inhabitants).
Åre has hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships three times, the last one in 2019.
Åre first hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships for the first time in 1954.
In 2007, and 2019 again, Åre hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships.
The 2007 Championships made a permanent impression on Åre’s ski system and the village, as a new Ladies’ Downhill was built, commercial space doubled and a 130-meter-long tunnel replaced the bridge that once led the world championship slopes across the E14. The 39th Alpine World Ski Championships was a success for both the host and the Swedish team.
Åre also has great experience organizing Alpine World Cup races. Åre Slalomklubb and Världscupbolaget have organized more than 100 World Cup races over the years, with great success. Thanks to the now legendary Åre son Bibbo Nordenskiöld’s initiative, the Alpine World Cup was first held in Åre in 1969.
In 2023 Åre welcome a race of the Alpine World Cup for the 108th and 109th time.
March 10th Giant Slalom / Women. 1st run 10:00 - 2nd run 13:00 CET
March 11th Slalom / Women. 1st run 10:30 - 2nd run 13:30 CET
Course Name: Störtloppsbacken
Start Altitude: 736m
Finish Altitude: 396m
Vertical Drop: 340m
Average Gradient: 31%
Course Name: Störtloppsbacken
Start Altitude: 597m
Finish Altitude: 396m
Vertical Drop: 201m
Average Gradient: 29%
Last season, the last World Cup Giant Slalom before the Finals in Courchevel saw Slovakia's Petra Vlhova emerge victorious for the first time in the season. One year after her last win in the Giant Slalom in Jasna, in the same place she won the Giant Slalom Gold in 2019, Vlhova put on a show of strength and determination on an extremely demanding slope and difficult course setting, especially in the first run.
In the lead after the first run, the 26-year-old Slovakian skier didn’t let the nerves play any tricks on her and put another stunning run together to clock a combined time of 2:32.59 edging Marta Bassino by +1.23 seconds. Mikaela Shiffrin rounded out the podium, +1.70 seconds off the pace.
Mikaela Shiffrin could match Ingemar Stenmark's record of 86 World Cup wins this weekend.
Shiffrin has won five of the last six women's World Cup Giant Slalom events including the last three in Kranjska Gora and Kronplatz. The last woman to win four succesive Giant Slalom was Anna Veith from December 2013 to October 2014 (5).
With 600 points Shiffrin is over 100 points ahead of Lara Gut-Behrami (482) in the Giant Slalom World Cup rankings this season. A victory in Åre would will secure her win the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe for a second time after winning it 2019.
Shiffrin has won 19 World Cup Giant Slalom races. In Åre, she can draw level with Vreni Schneider on a record 20 World Cup victories in the Women's Giant Slalom.
A Fifth place at Kvitfjell in the Downhill last Saturday was enough for US star Mikaela Shiffrin to secure the Overall World Cup title. Shiffrin has won the overall Crystal Globe for the fifth time in her career, after 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2021-2022.
The 27-year-old US skier could finish the current season with a total of 15 Crystal Globes (5 total, 7 in Slalom, 2 in Giant Slalom and one in Super-G).
Lara Gut-Behrami is second in the Giant Slalom standings. She needs to earn at least 18 more points than Shiffrin in Åre to keep alive her chances of winning the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe.
Gut-Behrami won the first women's World Cup Giant Slalom of the season in Killington on 26 November 2022. She finished on the podium three more times, second in Semmering and Kronplatz, and third in Kranjska Gora.
She was seven times on the podium this season. Gut-behrami has finished on the Top-3 in the World Cup 72 times.
Marta Bassino is in third place in the Giant Slalom standings. She did not compete in Kvitfjell due to a family bereavement.
Bassino made on to the podium in the first five World Cup Giant Slalom races of this season but failed to finish on the podium in the last three at Kranjska Gora and Kronplatz.
Last season, in the same place she claims her first World Cup victory in 2021, Katharina Liensberger returned to the Top of the Podium. She finished 0.16 seconds ahead of Norwegian Mina Fürst Holtmann. Third place went to Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin +023 seconds off the winning pace.
The silver medal winner in Beijing climbed up from fifth place to first to celebrate her third World Cup victory.
Mikaela Shiffrin clinched the Slalom title at Spindleruv Mlyn. She has now won the Women's Slalom World Cup title seven times. She has surpassed Vreni Schneider (6) to the top of the list of the most World Cup Slalom Crystal Globes.
Shiffrin has won a record four Slalom World Cup events in Åre, including her first career World Cup victory on 20 December 2012.
Shiffrin has finished on the podium in eight of nine World Cup Slalom events she competed in this season. The only exception was a fifth place finish in Killington on 27 November 2022.
Shiffrin's record of 52 World Cup wins in the Slalom is the most for any alpine skier in any discipline. Ingemar Stenmark follows with 46 wins in the Men's Giant Slalom, and Lindsey Vonn with 43 wins in the Women's Downhill.
Wendy Holdener is second in the Slalom standings. With only two races to go, Shiffrin has an insurmountable 255-point advantage over Holdener.
Wendy Holdener is the only alpine skier other than Mikaela Shiffrin to claim more than one World Cup Slalom victories this season.
Before her wins in Killington and Sestriere this season Holdener had achieved 30 World Cup podiums in the slalom without ever standing on the top of the podium.
Holdener can become the first Swiss woman to claim three World Cup Slalom wins in a season since Vreni Schneider in 1994-1995 (4).
Petra Vlhová has won one Slalom World Cup race this season. Under the lights of the Hermann Maier racecourse in Flachau, Petra Vlhova returned to the top of the podium in a slalom event.
With 530 points Vlhová is tied with Wendy Holdener in joint-second place of the Women's Slalom World Cup rankings this season. In the past four seasons the 27-year-old Slovak skier has finished on the Top-3 of the discipline, first in 2020 and 2022, second in 2019, and third in 2021.
The Olympic Champion in Beijing won the Slalom in Åre in 2015 and 2021.
Lena Duerr won the bronze medal at the world championships in Méribel on 18 February. Duerr won her maiden World Cup slalom event at Špindlerův Mlýn on 29th January at age 31.
On December, in Killington, Wendy Holdener and Swede Anna Swenn Larsson, surprisingly shared their first Slalom victory in the World Cup. It was the first Women's Slalom joint first place since 2011 in Flachau when Tanja Poutiainen and Maria Riesch shared the first position.
The 31-year-old skier can become the first Swedish woman to win multiple World Cup Slalom events in a single season since Anja Pärson in 2005-2006 (3).
Laurence St-Germain won the world title in the women's Slalom at the world championships in Méribel on 18 February. Her best World Cup result in Slalom was a sixth place in Levi on 2020.
St-Germain could become the first Canadian women to finish on a World Cup Slalom podium since Marie-Michèle Gagnon finished in third place in Crans-Montana in 2016.