To the Andorran 'summer', it is fon Curtoni

It's March in Grandvalira and the cameraman wears short sleeves.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 March 2023 Friday 01:51
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To the Andorran 'summer', it is fon Curtoni

It's March in Grandvalira and the cameraman wears short sleeves.

Skiers launch themselves towards the finish line, cross it at 110 km/h and then skid to a stop. They fly past the cameraman, who is splattered with snow while holding the steadycam. In some sections of the Àliga, the track that hosts the Supergiant, there is a warning of ice. The heat is noticeable. We contemplate the scene in shirt sleeves, with sunglasses and a cap. In March the sun radiates its power.

Elena Curtoni (32) finishes the descent, turns her gaze towards the scoreboard and lets loose.

The marker curses her.

The Italian, leader until that moment, has been thick and inefficient. He did not know how to reinterpret the state of the track, which at that moment was already soft and slow. He has recorded the tenth time. She was an abyss (1s23) behind the winner, Lara Gut, and that is a disaster. Curtoni will not emulate Sofia Goggia, the champion of the wake, the queen of the descent.

Curtoni won't collect the Crystal Globe or even get on the Super-G podium. It will be fourth.

Sitting on the leader's throne for the day, Lara Gut (31) breathes a sigh of relief. She can now celebrate the success, it is her fifth Crystal Globe, the fourth she has collected at the Supergiant (she has a fifth Crystal Globe as champion of everything, the one from 2016).

Gut has been blessed by a masterful descent and by the conditions of the track, much better in turn. Curtoni has descended later, with the sun burning and the track slowing.

The fight has been fascinating. Five female skiers competed for the title of the discipline.

– We were all very close to each other, and the Super-G is a demanding test. Staying within the route, descending so quickly, is a real challenge - says Lara Gut.

Under the heat, the children who populate the stands also witness the decomposition of Mikaela Shiffrin (28). The best female skier in history (men and women included) never enters the race. Nor is it expected.

The Super-G reveals its weaknesses. Shiffrin is more technical than fast. He never finds his rhythm, and the final record is a drop: he is 1s46 behind Gut.

According to the technicians, she competed relaxed. The general classification title was his, by a long shot, with a margin of one thousand points over Gut. It had been his home for weeks, long before he landed in Grandvalira.

Despite the decline, Andorra keeps its arms.

The American is expected to multiply her performances in the tests tomorrow (the giant) and Sunday (the slalom).

Shiffrin, the all-time leading skier (she has 87 World Cup wins, more than anyone in history, more than Ingemar Stenmark and Lindsey Vonn), has five overall titles and ten more Crystal Globes. Seven of which he has achieved in the slalom, and two more in the giant. These are the tests he masters best.