Re: Alpine Skiing thread
The World Cup season 2013/2014 begins this weekend. Today there was women's giant slalom, won by Switzerland's Lara Gut. Of bigger names, Maze was 18th, Höfl-Riesch didn't finish, and Vonn makes a comeback in the North American races in late November.
Men's season begins tomorrow. Hopefully somebody can challenge Hirscher for the overall title. Ligety is in my opinion the best all-round skier, his World Ch'ship golds from super-G, giant slalom, and combined as a proof of that. Unfortunately those are the disciplines with least races, making the overall title harder for Ligety to achieve.
Svindal was last year great in speed disciplines but to win the overall title, he should find the GS form that brought him Worlds' gold and GS World Cup title in 2007. Another Norwegian, Kjetil Jansrud should also find his old GS form. He was great in GS a few years ago and with that added to his recent years' DH/SG form, he'd have a chance for the overall title.
Alexis Pinturault is also a dangerous guy. Hirscher has shown that GS + SL is enough to win the overall title. On his day, Pinturault is a beast in those disciplines, hopefully he'll get more consistency. He's also a good combined skier, unfortunately that isn't rewarded much, there are only two combi races.
Kostelic would have what it takes to win the overall title. Unfortunately, after his injury in 2012, he hasn't had the form in speed disciplines he had when he won the 2011 World Cup. That's why I don't think his chances to win the overall title are too good. But hopefully he could win the Olympic Gold this year after three silver medals. This will be most likely his last Olympic season.
And a man I'd love to see back on top is Carlo Janka. In his peak, he used to be a winner candidate in all disciplines but slalom. That kind of all-round skiers aren't too common nowadays. Unfortunately he's had health problems and he hasn't won races in two years.
2014 Australian Open Champion | 2014 Monte Carlo Masters Champion | 2015 French Open Champion
2008 Paris Masters Champion | 2014 Toronto Masters Champion