This weekend, the world’s fastest women skiers will once again gather on St. Anton to race in the challenging “Karl Schranz” racecourse. The weekend will see the women racing in the Downhill on Saturday, January 9th, and in the Super-G on Sunday, January 10th, 2021.
St. Anton is located in the Austrian state of Tyrol, in the valley of the Rosanna River, in the westernmost tip of Austria near the border with Switzerland.
In 1927, winter sports pioneer Sir Arnold Lunn came to St. Anton where he met the legendary Hannes Schneider. Together with Schneider, Lunn decided to organize a new Alpine competition in St. Anton in the year 1928. It involved a Downhill and a Slalom race, with the outcome determined by combining the competitor’s times for the two races in a single result. Sir Arnold Lunn is credited with creating Alpine ski racing and St. Anton was where he did it.
The Kandahar Race takes its name from the Roberts of Kandahar Challenge Cup, a ski race first held in Crans-Montana for a trophy donated by Field Marshal Earl Frederick Sleigh Roberts of Kandahar. The first race organized by Arnold Lunn took place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, in 1911.
The First Arlberg Kandahar Race was held in St. Anton in Galzig Mountain on March 3rd and 4th, 1928.
In 1929 and 1930, the Arlberg-Kandahar Race was held in St. Anton. From 1931, the races were alternately held at St. Anton and Mürren. In 1948, Chamonix, France, became the third host, followed by Sestrière, Italy, in 1951 and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany in 1954. Until the introduction of the World Cup in 1967, the Kandahar races were the most important Alpine ski races besides the Winter Olympics and the World Championships
St. Anton was also the venue for the Alpine Ski World Championships in 2001, an event that marked the process of modernization of the ski resort and a series of improvements in the destination that make the experience for visitors significantly improved.
A process that has continued in recent years. The 2016-2017 season marked a turning point in Arlberg's history with the creation of the largest interconnected ski area in Austria and one of the five largest ski domains in the world: the Ski Arlberg.
Corinne Suter won the Downhill and Super-G crystal globes last season.
Corinne Suter and Sofia Goggia currently share the lead in the Downhill World Cup standings both with 180 points.
Corinne Suter won the opening Downhill event in the 2020-2021 World Cup, in Val d'Isère on December 18. She finished second behind Goggia the day after at the same place.
Suter finished in the top two in each of the last four World Cup Downhill events, following her fifth-place finish in Garmisch-Partenkirschen on February 8th, 2020. Suter claimed a top-five spot in 11 of the last 13 World Cup Downhill events she competed in. The only exceptions came in Bansko in January 2020.
Sofia Goggia could win back-to-back World Cup downhill races for the second time in her career, after successive wins in January 2018: in Bad Kleinkirchheim and Cortina d'Ampezzo.
The only Italian woman to have reached the podium in St. Anton am Arlberg Downhill is Daniele Merighetti, who came second in 2013, the last time women raced here.
The last female skier representing the United States other than Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin to win a World Cup event is Alice Mckennis Duran, who won the downhill race in St. Anton am Arlberg on January 12th, 2013. Breezy Johnson could be the next one after she finished third in the two Downhill events in the 2020-2021 World Cup in Val d'Isère.
Lara Gut-Behrami (9) has won the most Downhill races in the World Cup among active female skiers. She can become the 10th woman to win at least 10 Downhills in the World Cup.
The last time St. Anton hosted World Cup Races was in the year 2013. Unfortunately, the scheduled 2016 and 2019 races had to be canceled due to bad weather conditions.
The last winner of a Super-G in St. Anton was Tina Maze on January 13, 2013.
Since the start of last season, each of the seven women's World Cup Super-G races has been won by different skiers.
Ester Ledecká won the opening Super-G event in the 2020-2021 World Cup in Val d'Isère on December 20th. It was her first World Cup victory and podium place in the discipline.
Corinne Suter finished in the top-six in each of the seven World Cup Super-G events, since the beginning of last season. She finished runner-up in Val d'Isère last month. Her only World Cup Super-G win came in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on 9 February 2020.
Federica Brignone finished on the podium in three of her last four Super-G participations, including her third-place finish in Val d'Isère.
Nina Ortlieb and Sofia Goggia were among the six women to win a Super-G event in last season's World Cup. Ortlieb can become the first Austrian woman to win a World Cup Super-G event on home soil since Renate Götschl in Reiteralm on 16 December 2006.
Lara Gut-Behrami has won 12 World Cup events in the Super-G, equal to Carole Merle in joint-fourth place among women. Only Lindsey Vonn (28), Renate Götschl (17), and Katja Seizinger (16) have won more. Her last victory in Super-G took place in Cortina d'Ampezzo on January 21st, 2018.
Marta Bassino hopes to win her first Super-G race in the World Cup. She could become the eighth Italian woman to achieve this. Her first and only Super-G podium, a second place, came in Bansko on January 26th, 2020.
The program in St. Anton will be the following:
Downhill, Saturday, January 9th. 11.45 (CET)
Super-G, Sunday, January 10th. 11:30 (CET)
Karl Schranz Racecourse facts:
Start Elevation: 2027 m (Downhill) 1947 m (Super-G)
Finish Elevation: 1350 m
Vertical Drop: 677m (Downhill) 597m (Super-G)
Distance: 2131m (Downhill) 1765m (Super-G)
Average slope: 34 %
Max. slope: 78 %
Min. slope: 8 %