A few weeks ago, the professional skiers had the opportunity to test skis from all brands to eventually change their material for the upcoming season and (most likely) the olympic year.
Extending their partnerships
As his contract was coming to an end with Atomic, all eyes were on Marcel Hirscher. The 5th times Overall World Cup champion, more than happy of the collaboration of the brand with his team, decided to continue the adventure with Atomic for two more years.
After a few tests in Val d'Isère trying Salomon and Head skis, Thomas Fanara decided to continue his partnership with Fischer, signing for at least one more year.
Hannes Reichelt and Patrick Küng will continue their collaboration with Salomon at least until the upcoming Olympic Games.
Andre Myhrer and Beat Feuz, more than delighted of their partnership with Head, also decided to continue with the World Cup rebels.
Some more extensions: Marta Bassino with Salomon, Luca DeAlprandini with Salomon, Ralph Weber with Head, Justin Murisier with Völkl.
The first big change of the off season involves Sandro Viletta. After seven years of collaboration with Salomon, the alpine combined Olympic champion decided to join World Cup Rebels. Viletta, who had to stop his season last december due to a bone bruise injury in his right knee, is going to come back to the circuit with Head skis.
Nina Løseth leaves Völkl to Rossignol. The Norwegian, who signed her first victory and podiums of her carreer last season makes a huge change in order to keep going. She joins teammate Henrik Kristoffersen in the French ski brand. Løseth is more than happy about her new partnership as she stated: "I loved the skis when I tested them for the first time and quickly felt it would be a good choice for me. I already wear the Lange boots so it's the perfect combination for me to ski fast and push my limits. All of this gives me a huge motivation. I wish to continue on the same way than last season and I obviously have the goal to come back from the 2017 World Championships and the 2018 Olympic Games with medals around my neck". Linus Strasser, Christoph Noesig and Rasmus Windingstad also join the team, all three signing for the skis and the boots.
After several years with Rossignol, Ilka Štuhec joins the Stöckli brand. This is a new goal and a new « horizon » for her as she stated on her Facebook page.
Massimiliano Blardone finished his career in the best way possible, sharing a last podium with Alexis Pinturault and Mathieu Faivre during the Giant Slalom of Yuzawa Naeba. The Italian leaves the World Cup with 153 starts, 25 podiums and 7 victories.
After a complicated career with several injuries, Daniela Merighetti retired in St-Moritz. The lover of fast disciplines leaves the World Cup with 228 starts, 6 podiums and a victory.
Reinfried Herbst leaves the World Cup circuit after a wonderful carreer. The Austrian especially managed to win the Slalom Crystal Globe meaning of overall victory in the speciality during the 2012/13 season. Herbst ends his carreer with 126 World Cup starts, 16 podiums, 9 victories, an Olympic Games silver medal and a Slalom Crystal Globe.
After 16 years on the tour, the French skier Cyprien Richard decided to end his carreer. Priou (his nickname) leaves the World Cup with 81 races and 4 podiums.
Larisa Yurkiw surprisingly ended her carreer, making the announcement on Instagram. After a career unfortunately punctued of injuries, the young woman decided to make her health the principal priority: "I know in my heart, after yet another operation, health has the final say. I do not have the health to test the limit any longer. And the limit MUST be tested daily in this sport if you want gains. Not just a little bit, but you need to be willing to lose everything." The Canadian skied her last races in St-Moritz, finishing on the overall podium of the Downhill Classement, on the third position.
Retired athletes so far : Massimiliano Blardone (ITA) - Reinfried Herbst (AUT) - Sigmar Klotz (AUT) - Anémone Marmottan (FRA) - Daniela Merighetti (ITA) - Markus Larsson (SWE) - Espen Lysdahl (NOR) - François Place (FRA) - Marie-Pier Prefontaine (CAN) - Cyprien Richard (FRA) - Marco Sullivan (USA) - Silvano Varettoni (ITA) - Marcus Vogel (SUI) - Larisa Yurkiw (CAN) - Barbara Wirth (GER)
After ending the World Cup and finishing the trainings and the Spring ski tests, the athletes were finally on holidays. Some of them kept us updated of their adventures abroad.
After a short season due to an injury and some recovery and training times, Ted Ligety went on holidays in Bali. Mathieu Faivre made the same choice with his friends, fellow winter sports athletes and Freestyle Skiers Ben Valentin and Thomas Krief. The guys took full advantage of what the island had to offer.
Cuba - Bahamas:
Alexis Pinturault started his holidays on the french riviera, then continued in Cuba to end his trip in the Bahamas. With his girlfriend, Pinturault spent some quality time away from the mountains discovering the seabed and resting before the start of the training.
Julia Mancuso had a great time in Sweden alongside with Chemmy Alcott. Both could attend the Eurovision final in Stockholm thanks to the SVT (Swedish public service broadcaster).