Obereggen European Cup: Steven Amiez wins

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The French skier won ahead of Austria’s Simon Rueland and Switzerland’s Sandro Simonet.

A famous name has joined the list of winners of the prestigious European Cup slalom in Obereggen. Twenty-four-year-old Steven Amiez of France is the son of Sébastien Amiez, winner of the 1995/96 World Cup slalom, vice world champion in Sestriere 1997 and silver medalist at the 2022 Salt Lake City Olympics. Amiez triumphed on the challenging Maierl slope ahead of Austria’s Simon Rueland and Switzerland’s Sandro Simonet.

Steven Amiez needed only two regular heats today to take his second European Cup victory after Almasa in Sweden in February. In the first heat he had placed fourth, 35 hundredths behind the best, Britain’s Laurie Taylor. In the second heat he posted the sixth fastest time, showing that even after 25 competitors the Maierl slope was still in good condition despite the high temperatures. In the end Amiez pulled 28 hundredths ahead of Tyrol’s Austrian Simon Rueland, who had finished a good fifth in the first run with bib 23, improving again in the second run from 5 to 2.

Speaking of improvement: Switzerland’s Sandro Simonet in the first run had started with bib 38, yet he had posted the 13th time procuring a good position for the second run. By making another great run, Simonet jumped another ten positions from 13th to 3rd, climbing onto the podium. The best time of the second run was set by 23-year-old Canadian Asher Jordan, making the most of starting as the second competitor, having placed 29th after the first run. Jordan climbed an impressive 23 positions in the second heat, finishing sixth. Britain’s Laurie Taylor, on the other hand, first after the first run, had to settle for fourth place overall, off the podium by seven hundredths.

In the end there were seven nations in the top 10, but no Italians. The best of them after the first run Tobias Kastlunger (16th), stayed in the hotel, not feeling well. So it was Federico Liberatore, 20th, who was the best of the blue team.

No less than 108 athletes from 24 nations took on the Maierl slope this morning, which with its maximum gradient of 55 percent is worthy of a World Cup race. Only 46 of them saw the finish line.

Wednesday evening, as part of the team leaders’ meeting, FIS delegate Ernst Schmid praised the organizers around Eduard “Edi” Pichler. It is appreciable, he said, that the organizers closed the Maierl slope already four days in advance in order to perfect it with baring and thus ensure the best possible race conditions for the athletes.

As per the schedule, Rai Sport is showing the Obereggen slalom on a delayed basis on Friday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. and then at 0.50 a.m.

The result of the European Cup slalom in Obereggen.
1. Steven Amiez (FRA) 1:42.68 min.
2. Simon Rueland (AUT) 1.42.96
3. Sandro Simonet (SUI) 1.43.36
4. Laurie Taylor (GBR) 1.43.73
5. Joel Luetolf (SUI) 1.43.85
6. Asher Jordan (CAN) 1.43.86
7. Anton Tremmel (GER) 1.43.90
8. Luke Winters (USA) 1.43.95
9. Sebastian Holzmann (GER) 1.43.99
10. Luca Aerni (SUI) 1.44.00

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