Parallel Races in Lech Zürs am Arlberg Preview

After Sölden, the World Cup moves to Lech Zürs am Arlberg (Austria) for the Women's and Men's Parallel Races on Saturday and Sunday.

The event will feature the following two races:

  • Saturday, 13 November: Women’s Parallel

10:00 Qualification rounds

17:00 Parallel Race

  • Sunday, 14 November: Men’s Parallel

10:00 Qualification rounds

16:00 Parallel Race

This new discipline has been introduced in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Alta Badia, in December 2015. The dual, head-to-head format has taken different formats since its apparition in the WC including the Parallel Slalom (PSL) and Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS). Now the discipline is simply named "Parallel". The race will be conducted as a Parallel Race with a qualification. The best 16 ranked competitors from the qualification are qualified for the Parallel Race. The decision to cut the qualifying racers from the 32 of previous seasons to 16 was taken basically answering to TV broadcaster requests, as 32 racers made the race too long to air for TV audiences. After numerous complaints, especially after the events in Sestriere and Chamonix, each heat between competitors consists of two runs. The two competitors change courses for the second run.

Flexenarena in Zürs. Racecourse. Picture: Erich Spiess, Ski Club Arlberg

The Flexenarena in Zürs. Racecourse facts:

  • Start Elevation: 1,820 m

  • Finish Elevation: 1,718 m

  • Vertical Drop: 102 m

  • Distance: 365 m

  • Average slope: 29 %

  • Max. slope: 50 %

The Women's Parallel event will be contested for the third time in the World Cup.

Clara Direz won in Sestriere on 19 January 2020 the first Parallel. Clara Direz could join Tessa Worley (14) as the only active French woman to achieve multiple World Cup wins.

Last season Petra Vlhova won the Parallel event in Lech Zürs after defeating surprise finalist Paula Moltzan in the Big Final.

Paula Moltzan skied very consistently throughout the whole evening, eliminating Marta Bassino on her way to the big final. It was the first podium in the World Cup for the American after she earned her first top 10 in Sölden. In the big final, Moltzan crashed and skied out in the last section of the course.