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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Wengen Lauberhorn Ski Races Preview

Updated: Jan 15


Wengen Lauberhorn Downhill
Wengen Lauberhorn Downhill. Picture: Wengen International Lauberhorn Race Association

Wengen (1274 m) is a car-free mountain village located on a sheltered, sun-soaked terrace, 400 meters above the picturesque Lauterbrunnen Valley. The fantastic surrounding scenery is dominated by the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau massif. The holiday destination of Wengen is situated in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, 18 kilometers from Interlaken, the Lakes of Thun and Brienz, and close to the UNESCO World Heritage Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn.


Grindelwald-First, Grindelwald-Wengen, and Mürren-Schilthorn make up the large Jungfrau Ski Region ski area, plus the Meiringen-Hasliberg ski area. In these four ski areas, you can enjoy more than 265 kilometers of pistes up to 2,970 meters.



The 94 International Lauberhorn Ski Races will take place next weekend in Wengen, Switzerland.


As part of the Men's Alpine Ski World Cup, the Lauberhorn Races will take place from Thursday including four events: a shortened Downhill (replaces Beaver Creek), a Super-G, the classic #Lauberhorn Downhill, and a Slalom. The International Lauberhorn races are part of the Club 5+ Alpine Classics, a union of the leading alpine ski race organizers from all over the world. It was founded in 1988 upon the idea of World Cup founder and sports journalist Serge Lang. Charter members had been the "Five" Downhill classic sites in the Alps: Gardena/Gröden (ITA), Garmisch (GER), Kitzbühel (AUT), Wengen (SUI), Val d’Isere (FRA). The 1st International Lauberhorn Race Wengen took place in 1930. On November 28, 1929, along with the co-founders of the Swiss Academic Ski Club (SAS) in Berne Ernst Gertsch signed the founding document of the Lauberhorn Race. After the pioneering years (from 1924), with this race, the wonderful story of Alpine ski racing really began to unfold. A story that is marked, to a large extent, by Arnold Lunn and Ernst Gertsch who guided it through many perils. It was a long, difficult, and often bumpy road.



Wengen (SUI)


January 11th Downhill / Men (replaces Beaver Creek) 12:30 CET

January 12th Super-G / Men 12:30 CET

January 13th Downhill / Men 12:30 CET

January 14th Slalom / Men 1st run 10:15 / 2nd run 13:15 CET



Wengen Lauberhorn Downhill
Wengen Lauberhorn Downhill. Picture: Wengen International Lauberhorn Race Association

The Traditional Downhill will be held on Saturday.

The start of the Downhill is located at 2315 meters above sea level on the Lauberhornschulter.

The view of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau from the start gate of the Downhill in Wengen is unbelievable.

The Lauberhorn Downhill is the longest race in the FIS Ski World Cup circus. To win the Lauberhorn Race, the skiers not only need a lot of courage and be prepared to take risks but also perfect technique and stamina.

The ski racing weekend will finish on Sunday with the Slalom on the Jungfrau / Mannlichen racecourse.

The track is considered one of the most demanding slalom slopes in the Alpine Ski World Cup: It has a lot of terrain changes, with the steepest section in the middle part of the slope being 72% and the flattest part just after the start being just under 4%.


Downhill Racecourse facts:


  • Start Elevation: 2315m

  • Finish Elevation: 1,287 m

  • Vertical Drop: 1028 m

  • Distance: 4270m

  • Max. slope: 87 % at the Hundschopf jump



Wengen Lauberhorn Downhill

"You have this run that’s 2.85 miles long in the most beautiful place on earth and its all yours, see how fast you can go down it, see where you can grab your tuck & see how much fun you can have". US Ski Team athletes Bode Miller & Chad Fleischer take us turn-by-turn through Lauberhorn, one of Downhill skiing's most historic and challenging course.




Downhill Preview


Aleksander Aamodt Kilde was the winner of the 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 Downhill Crystal Globes. Kilde and Aksel Lund Svindal, who won the Downhill title in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, are the only Norwegian skiers to have won the Downhill Crystal Globe more than once.

In the 2000s, Beat Feuz (4 consecutive from 2017-2018 to 2020-2021) and Stephan Eberharter (3 consecutive from 2001-2002 to 2003-2004) were the only male skiers to have won the Downhill Crystal Globe at least three times.

Kilde was the absolute dominator of the discipline in the Alpine Ski World Cup last season. The 31-year-old Attacking Viking won six of ten Men's World Cup Downhill races in the 2022-2023 season (Lake Louise, Beaver Creek, Val Gardena, Wengen, Kitzbühel, and Aspen). He is the first man to have won six World Cup Downhill events in a single season since Stephan Eberharter in 2002-2003 (6). The only skiers to win more than six World Cup Downhill events in a single season were Annemarie Moser-Pröll (8 in 1972-1973), and Franz Klammer (8 in 1974-1975).

With 21 World Cup wins, 12 of them in the Downhill, Kilde is second among Norwegian men for most World Cup Downhill wins, only behind Aksel Lund Svindal (14).

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finished in second place behind Marco Odermatt in the Downhill at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel-Méribel.

He finished second in the two Downhills held in Val Gardena-Gröden on December 14 and 16. Kilde did not finish in the last World Cup Downhill race in Bormio.

Last season Kilde won the Lauberhorn Downhill. The Norwegian who had won a shortened Downhill in 2022, proved once again that he feels right at home on the Lauberhorn racecourse. He laid the foundation for his victory in the top section. From Hundschopf to Wasserstation, Kilde smashed his competitors. Especially in the Kernen-S, he showed the competition how to master this key point.

Kilde can become the third skier to win three times in Wengen. Only Beat Feuz (3) and Franz Klammer (3) has three World Cup Downhill events in the Swiss ski resort.


Dominik Paris won the second Downhill held in Val Gardena-Gröden. It was the 22nd career World Cup victory for the 34-year-old Italian skier. It was the first victory for Paris in Val Gardena Gröden.

With 18 victories in Downhill, Dominik Paris is the active male skier who won the most Downhill events in the World Cup. Only Franz Klammer (25), Peter Müller (19), and Stephan Eberharter (18) have won as many World Cup Downhill events among Men as Paris.


Bryce Bennett won the first Downhill race in Val Gardena-Gröden and placed third in the second race. Bennett has achieved his best results in the Dolomites ski resort: two victories, one-third place, and two-fourth place.


Marco Odermatt won in Courchevel his first Downhill race to claim the World Champion Crown at the 47th Alpine World Ski Championships thanks to a near-perfect run, especially on the technical sections of L'Eclipse racecourse. He finished ahead of Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Cameron Alexander.

Odermatt, who has won 29 World Cup races in Super-G and Giant Slalom, has never won a Downhill race.

Odermatt finished in second place in Bormio. No skier - male or female - has recorded as many podium results in World Cup Downhill events without winning once as Odermatt (11). He surpassed Heinrich Messner and Johan Clarey (10 each).

Last season he finished in second place in the Downhill in Wengen.

Marco Odermatt comes into Wengen as the leader in all Men's World Cup standings except for the Slalom (Overall, Downhill, Super-G, and Giant Slalom).

Odermatt is looking to become the first male skier to win a Giant Slalom, a Super-G, and a Downhill World Cup race in a single season since Didier Kuche achieved this feat in the 2009-2010 winter season.


James Crawford finished in fourth place in the Alpine Ski World Cup Downhill standings.

Last season, the 26-year-old Canadian skier claimed three podium finishes in World Cup Downhill events but has yet to win. He was third in Beaver Creek on December 3, and second in Bormio on December 28, and Aspen on March 3.

In the past eight seasons, the only Canadian man to win a World Cup Downhill race is Cameron Alexander in Kvitfjell on March 4, 2022.


Cyprien Sarrazin won the last Downhill in The Stelvio in Bormio. The 29-year-old French skier confirmed what he showed in training and achieved his second victory and third podium in the World Cup. His two previous podium finishes were a victory in the parallel slalom in Alta Badia in 2016, and a second place in the Alta Badia Giant Slalom in 2019.

Cyprien Sarrazin is the first French skier to win the Men's Downhill World Cup since Adrien Théaux won in Santa Caterina on December 29, 2015.


Niels Hintermann achieved the last victory for Switzerland in a Men's World Cup Downhill event. He won in the first Kvitfjell Downhill on 4 March 2022. He shared the first place in the podium with Cameron Alexander.

They were the last skiers - other than Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Vincent Kriechmayr, or Dominik Paris - to celebrate a World Cup win.

26-year-old Canadian Cameron Alexander achieved in Bormio her second Alpine Ski World Cup podium.


Last season in Wengen Italian Mattia Casse rounded out the Lauberhorn podium in third place. It's his second podium in the World Cup in Downhill. The 33-year-old Italian skier achieved his first World Cup podium in the discipline in Val Gardena in December 2022. Until then his best result in Downhill was a 7th place in Val Gardena in 2021.


Listen to the following Podcast if you want to know more about one of the Classic Downhills on the World Cup Calendar.



Super-G Preview


Marco Odermatt (10), Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (6), and Vincent Kriechmayr (4) have won each of the last 19 Men's Super-G World Cup events since Ryan Cochran-Siegle won in Bormio on December 29, 2020.


Marco Odermatt won the Super-G Crystal Globe in the 2022-2023 winter season.

Marco Odermatt won the last Men's race of 2023, the Super-G in Bormio, with another outstanding performance. The 26-year-old Swiss outclassed the competition in the Super-G in the Stelvio and won with a lead of 0.98 seconds over Raphael Haaser. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finished third +1.31 seconds behind.

Odermatt has won five of the last six Men's Super-G World Cup races, and finished third in Val Gardena on December 15.

Last season Marco Odermatt was the absolute dominator of the discipline. He won six of the eight Men's World Cup Super-G races and finished on the podium in the other two, second in Beaver Creek, and third in Wengen. Odermatt has recorded 17 podium finishes, including 10 wins, in his last 20 participations in super-G races in the World Cup.

The 26-year-old Swiss Ace can equal the longest Men's podium streak in World Cup Super-G appearances: 12 by Hermann Maier from January 2001 to November 2004.

He is also the fourth man to win at least 11 World Cup Super-G World Cup races, after Hermann Maier (24), Aksel Lund Svindal (17), and Kjetil Jansrud (13).


Vincent Kriechmayr won the first Super-G of the season at the Saslong racecourse in Val Gardena-Gröden. He beats teammate Daniel Hemetsberger by 0.02 seconds. Marco Odermatt finished in third place.

Kriechmayr can win more than one World Cup Super-G event in a single season for the fourth time, following 2017-2018 (2), 2019-2020 (2), and 2020-2021 (2).

Vincent Kriechmayr has won eight World Cup Super-G events, second-most among Austrian men, behind Hermann Maier (24). Last season he only finished on the podium in the Super-G once, in Bormio on December 29. The 32-year-old Austrian skier has been the mark of consistency in the discipline. He has finished Top-3 in the Alpine Ski World Cup Super-G standings in each of the last six seasons.

Kriechmayr (9th and 4th in Wengen Super-G events) can become the fourth man to record podium World Cup Super-G podium finishes in at least 14 different resorts, following Pirmin Zurbriggen (17), Marc Girardelli (15) and Hermann Maier (14).


Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won the Super-G Crystal Globe in the 2015-2016, and 2021-2022 seasons. Kilde is the seventh skier to have won the Super-G Crystal Globe more than once, and the third from Norway after Aksel Lund Svindal (5) and Kjetil Jansrud (3).

Kilde was the only man besides Marco Odermatt to win a World Cup Super-G event last season. He won in Beaver Creek and Wengen.

The 31-year-old has won nine World Cup Super-G events in the Alpine Ski World Cup. Kilde can become the sixth man to win at least 10 World Cup Super-G races, following Hermann Maier (24), Aksel Lund Svindal (17), Kjetil Jansrud (13), Marco Odermatt (11), and Pirmin Zurbriggen (10).


James Crawford became world champion in the Men's Super-G at the 47th Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel on February 9, ahead of Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (silver), and Alexis Pinturault (bronze).


Alexis Pinturault finished in third place in the Super-G at the 47th Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel. The Frenchman had already won bronze in the Super-G at the World Championships in Cortina 2021.


Raphael Haaser finished second in the last World Cup Super-G event in Bormio on December 29, matching his previous best World Cup result, second also in the Bormio Super-G back in 2021.


Daniel Hemetsberger, second in Val Gardena and third in Cortina d'Ampezzo, was the only man other than Marco Odermatt (7) and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (5) with more than one World Cup Super-G podium finish in 2023.


Slalom


Manuel Feller secured the third Austrian victory in the third Slalom race of the season in Adelboden thanks to an aggressive second run to move from fifth to first place. It's his fourth World Cup victory and his second one of the season after winning the Slalom season opener in Gurgl.

After Adelboden's win, Manuel Feller is leading the Salom standings with 245 points.

Feller, Marco Schwarz, Michael Matt, and Dominik Raschner claimed six out of a possible nine podium places in the first three Men's World Cup slalom events this season.

In 2023 Manuel Feller finished in fifth place in the Slalom standings.


Clement Noël finished in second place in the Night Slalom in Madonna di Campiglio. The Olympic Champion in Beijing celebrated his 21st World Cup podium in Slalom. The last time the 26-year-old French skier finished on the podium was in Palisades Tahoe on February 26, 2023.

Noël won the Slalom in Wengen in 2019, and 2020.


Dave Ryding finished in third place in Madonna di Campiglio. It's his 7th podium in the Alpine Ski World Cup. Ryding became in Italy the second-oldest man to record a World Cup Slalom podium finish, after Giuliano Razzoli's third place in Wengen on January 16, 2022, at 37 years and 29 days.

He finished in fourth place in the Opening Slalom in Gurgl, missing the podium by merely 0.01 seconds. 37-year-old Ryding could become the second skier (male or female) to claim a World Cup victory after turning 37. Didier Cuche claimed four Alpine Ski World Cup wins after his 37th birthday in the 2011-2012 season.

He could become the oldest man to record a World Cup Slalom podium finish.


Henrik Kristoffersen finished in second place in the Slalom standings and won the Slalom gold medal at the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel-Méribel. Previously the 29-year-old Norwegian had won a bronze medal in 2021 at Cortina d'Ampezzo and at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Henrik Kristoffersen has won the Slalom Crystal Globe three times (2015-2016, 2019-2020, and 2021-2022). He aims to become the fourth male alpine skier to win the Slalom Title more than three times, after Ingemar Stenmark (8), Marcel Hirscher (6), and Alberto Tomba (4).

The Norwegian was four times on the podium last season, twice in the first position: Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Wengen.

Kristoffersen, with 50 podiums, including 23 wins in this discipline, is in fourth position in the ranking of most podiums in Slalom. Only three other men have won more podium finishes in World Cup Slalom events than Kristoffersen: Ingemar Stenmark (81), Marcel Hirscher (65), and Alberto Tomba (57).

Kristoffersen can become this season the second male skier to achieve at least one World Cup victory in 11 consecutive seasons after Alberto Tomba did so from 1987-1988 to 1997-1998.

Only Ivica Kostelic (4), Benjamin Raich (3) and Ingemar Stenmark (3) have won the Slalom in Wengen as many times as Henrik Kristoffersen (2016, 2017, and 2023).


Ramon Zenhäusern finished in third place in the Slalom standings. He won the last race of the 2022-2023 winter season in Soldeu, Andorra. It's his third podium and second win of last season. After more than two years, he has won the Slalom event at the "Verte des Houches" piste in Chamonix. He won two Slalom World Cup events in a single season for the first time.


Daniel Yule was fourth in the Slalom standings. He won the World Cup Slalom races in Madonna di Campiglio and Kitzbühel last season and finished third in Chamonix.

The 30-year-old Swiss skier can equal his best season 2019-2020 when he became the only Swiss man so far to win three Men's Slalom World Cup events in a single campaign.

Yule in 2022 and Loïc Meillard in 2023 finished runner-up in the last two men's World Cup Slalom races held in Wengen.


Two-time Junior World Champion Alexander Steen Olsen won a thrilling Slalom at Palisades Tahoe last season. But the 22-year-old Norwegian had to endure a long wait to celebrate his first career World Cup victory. Only after minutes of deliberation and the subsequent disqualification of the AJ Ginnis, -the officials determined the Greek skier straddled a gate-, the Norwegian was the winner.


AJ Ginnis finished second in the Men's slalom World Cup event in Chamonix on February 4th. He can become the first Greek winner of a World Cup event in any Olympic winter sport. The most recent countries to win their first World Cup event in Alpine Skiing both achieved this in the men's slalom event: Kalle Palander for Finland (Kitzbühel, January 2003) and Dave Ryding for Great Britain (Kitzbühel, January 2022).

He won the Slalom silver medal at the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel-Méribel.


Linus Straßer has not finished on the podium in a World Cup slalom event since a third place in Adelboden in 2023. Straßer and Timon Haugan are the only men besides Manuel Feller to have finished in the Top 10 in all three Slalom World Cup events this season.


Atle Lie McGrath missed out on the slalom victory in Adelboden last week by 0.02 seconds. He was back on the podium again after recovering from a second ACL operation in February 2023. He claimed his two career World Cup slalom victories in March 2022 (back-to-back wins in Flachau and Courchevel).


Dominik Raschner recorded a World Cup podium in the Slalom for the first time last week in Adelboden. Previously two 16th places - in Adelboden and Kitzbühel in 2022 - were his best results in Slalom. His only World Cup podium was in the Parallel discipline in Lech-Zürs in 2021.

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