Happy skiing: The summer is hardly over and the Alpine World Cup season kicks off this weekend in Soelden, Austria, with two giant slalom events for men and women. The odds for this event are really interesting.
The stars of the Alpine Ski World Cup will get together for the Season opening in the Oetz Valley high above the village of Soelden, approximately 3,000 meters above sea level on the Rettenbach glacier which is often referred to as the peak of Tyrol. Snow is fairly common at this time of the year and the appropriate preparation of the slope will guarantee a top-class event.
However, the programme will include just two giant slalom events, one for men and one for women.
Without Mayer and Neureuther
Downhill Olympic gold medallist Matthias Mayer from Austria and giant slalom specialist Felix Neureuther will miss the World Cup season opener due to injuries. Matthias Mayer has suffered a medial ligament tear in his right knee and a bruised spine. Felix Neureuther has been suffering from a back injury for several months. His start in Soelden is still a possibility, but not one for which he is willing to take any risks in order to fulfill. He will now focus on the first slalom of the season in Levi, Finland.
Lindsey Vonn is back
At the women’s slalom event there will be one of the most spectacular comebacks. Lindsey Vonn is back in training in the Austrian Alps looking to put behind her nearly two years of injury misery. Her appearance on skis at Soelden marks a new landmark in the career of the American glamour girl who won four World Cup titles between 2008-2012. While competing in a super-G at the 2013 World Championships she suffered a right knee injury. After surgery and a lengthy layoff, Vonn returned to World Cup competition at Lake Louise in December of 2013. But by that time she had already re-injured her knee and opted for further surgery in January, meaning she missed the Sochi Olympics.
The bookmakers are getting ready for the World Cup in Soelden and the initial odds have been posted. Especially the women’s overall World Cup will be exciting. It will be hard to pick a winner because German three-time Olympic champion and 2014 World Cup downhill champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch will not take part in the tournament. With Tina Maze from Slovenia (odds of 4.50), Austrian ski-star Anna Fenninger (4.95) and returning Lindsey Vonn (6.00), three contenders have almost equal chances to win the overall World Cup. Lara Gut (7.00) and Tina Weirather (7.50) are also considered to have good chances to win the title.
When it comes to the Men’s World Cup, Austrian ski-star and three-time overall World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher (3.25) is one of the favourites to win the title. He is followed by Aksel Lund Svindal from Norway (4.50) and French ski-star Alexis Pinturault (5.00). However, US ski star Ted Ligety is highly favoured to win the first World Cup race in Soelden with odds of 2.10.
We have compared the odds for the Alpine Ski World Cup and listed them below just for you: