What a day, what great weather, what a great ambience – and what a duo of winners: Mauro Caviezel and Denise Feierabend relegate Olympic champions such as Matthias Mayer and Tina Maze to the minor places and are thus the „2014 masters of all slopes“.
Red Bull SKiLLS remains firmly in Swiss hands. After having been hosted for the third time, there are still no names of foreign riders to be found on the list of winners. 2014 even provides some sort of déja-vu, at least regarding the winner of the men’s competition: Just as in 2012, there is a Caviezel on top of the podiumin Lenzerheide. In 2012, it was Gino, and now, on March 30th, 2014, it’s his older brother Mauro who wins the event. „Now this is one cool way to end the racing season“, states Caviezel, 25 and a member of the B squad of Swiss Ski. Apparently, the Grisons is enjoying being in great form that late in the season: Ten days ago, he won the Super G of the Swiss championships.
Even before the race, the elder of the Caviezel brothers has been mentioned as a potential winner of Red Bull SKiLLS because he had announced an astonishing trick: „I’ll be using women’s skis“, Caviezel revealed immediately before the start. A smart move for the race that consists of Super G, slalom, downhill, and giant slalom and does not allow for a change of skis. „In the slalom, it sure was an advantage, but on the bare ice of the Super G, men’s skis would definitely have provided more steadines“, states the winner who made it across the finish line in 1:15,20. Gilles Roulin who had qualified for the finals as the second best challenger came in second, and Thomas Tumler, Swiss champion in giant slalom, took third place.
Ringing names and successfull world cup skiers such as Matthias Mayer (Olympic winner in downhill), Patrick Küng (winner of the famous Lauberhorn race), Didier Defago and Christof Innerhofer had their difficulties with the challenging course, they fell back or even dropped out.
The women’s podium was great as well: Denise Feierabend won, Wendy Holdener came in second and two time Olympic winner Tina Maze took third place. The women’s race showed clearly how arduous the run with its four disciplines on the Silvano Beltrametti world cup track was: All female skiers had their hands on their femorals after the finish line. „That was a tough one“, winner Feierabend announced beaming. „You’re already quite ‚blue’ after the slalom, but you still have to make it through a downhill part and many giant slalom poles – that’s pretty heavy.“
For both the male and the female skiers, having fun at the event was just as important as the sportive success. When Tina Maze was asked if she’d now go on and enjoy the ambiance with her fans she didn’t miss a beat: „Sure, that’s what I am here for!“ That’s a quality of Red Bull SKiLLS: Action and fun in an attractive equilibration – not only for the athletes, but also for the 2‘500 spectators who enjoyed the race and all that came with it.