ning they would prefer to run the women down the full length of the
new course, especially for television preparations. The athletes tried
not to get too caught up in it.
“I don’t have a preference either way,” said Leanne Smith. “
Whichever trail we run, I’m sure it will be a lot of fun. … I’m looking forward to
being at home. The first [speed] race of the World Cup season the last
couple years have been at Lake Louise. It will be nice to be at home
with family and friends and a good crowd at Vail. They always seem to
have people in the stands.”
“You come out of the gate and it’s really flat,” said Laurenne Ross,
“so that’s going to cater to gliders. I think there’s 30 seconds of gliding. Then, you breakover onto this pitch that’s going to last a minute,
so that’s going to cater to the technical skiers, and the you’re back on
the flat with a couple jumps. … I guess we’ll see what happens in the
World Cup, but I’m psyched to get a full run in.”
Lindsey Vonn has tallied seven straight wins at Lake Louise, 14 total,
which has led to the venue being dubbed “Lake Lindsey.”
This year, the lake may have to be returned to Princess Louise Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. With Vonn reinjuring her
knee at Copper Mountain on Nov. 19, it is unlikely the four-time overall
champ will be able to make another run at the 300 downhill and super
G points she’s collected in the past.
Whereas Beaver Creek is definitely a tough, challenging hill, the Alberta glider track is one of the more generous venues on the circuit.
A classical stage of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, having hosted some
70 races since the early ‘80s, Lake Louise is situated among some
of the most picturesque surroundings on the entire alpine calendar,
deep in the Canadian Rockies, submerged in a nature reserve and
surrounded by the glaciers.
Lake Louise is the only stop on the World Cup tour that features two
days of downhill races, which are held back to back. The course is
not considered to be very
challenging by World Cup
standards. But that doesn’t
mean it isn’t a challenge to
be fast there.
Just ask Vonn’s competition. The 14-time winner
has, better than everyone
else, been able to consistently harness power from
the relatively subdued hill to
win by large margins.
In 2012, it was a repeat
three-peat for the American,
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: A LOOK AHEAD
GEOFF MIN TZ
Upcoming Women’s World
Nov. 26-28: Downhill Training
Nov. 29: Downhill
Nov. 30: Super G
Dec. 1: GS
Dec. 3-5: Downhill Training
Dec. 6: Downhill
Dec. 7: Downhill
Dec. 8: Super G
Mikaela Shiffrin trains on
the lower part of Raptor.
The upper part of the downhill
course at Lake Louise.