Manuel Kramer sets new track record in Idre!

Race Report WC 9, Idre Fjäll - 17 March 2018

The final day in Idre started much like the day before. Very cold, but this morning was planned with the start half an hour later and the sun shine was already showing up. There was a possibility that the track would have enough sun to make it faster for the second race. Simone and Manuel had a difference of 20 points in the World Cup totals, with Simone in the lead. Two races left after today.

The first run of the day was a good run for most of the skiers. Both New Zealanders, Chris Gebbie and Tawny Wagstaff had some small issues, Chris in the start of the timing zone, and Tawny just coming out of it. Both kept it on their feet but had a momentarily dip in their ranking positions.

Celia Martinez started strong with a speed of 172.87 km/h and again bested Valentina Greggio from the top of the track. Second time this season. It should be noted that Britta Backlund also lead the very first qualifying run on thursday, but it wasn't from the top of the track and it was very early in the race. Lisa Hovland-Uden couldn't keep up with the increased speed of Celia but made sure to keep the rest of the field behind.

The start of the second run was a little delayed when a S2 racer, Mark Dougherty had a bad crash and hurt both his face and his knee. He seemed to be in good shape but was later sent to the hospital for x-ray and some stitches. The scans fortunately showed that the damage was not too bad and he hopes to be back to racing next year.

A much more enjoyable break happened a day before when something fell off Tawny Wagstaff during his run. The race was stopped and and a skier sent down the track to remove it. Tawny who had been missing a lot of his luggage since Canada had got a delivery of a suitcase, by snowmobile, to the start of the track just before he was about to ski. In it was his helmet, clothes and other stuff. The dropped item on the track turned out to be a sock that had stuck inside the outer shell of the helmet and had left him halfway down the track. The organizers could swiftly return the sock to the surprised gentleman.

When the second run was on the way again, the speeds of the S2 racers signalled that the snow was affected by the sun, and much faster! The track record of Christian Jansson, 180.03 km/h from last year, was it going to hold?

When Reto Eigenmann (7th) came down in 176,21 km/h he had made a really strong run. Many of the racers starting before had improved by several km/h but Reto was almost 7 km/h faster now. Emilio Giacomelli could not beat him and lost a position. When Jan Farrell (6th) made it down in 177.12 km/h we knew that the record could not hold. Sebastian Lindblom, the sensation of the Idre week beat Jan and placed 5'th in 178.15 km/h. Bastien Montes did a very smooth run. With 179,73 km/h he was just shy of the record. Ivan Origone could not keep it as smooth as Bastien and dropped to 4'th position with a speed of 178.67.

Manuel Kramer was next on start, beaten by Simone in the first run. Everybody silent down in the timing zone, on their toes, expecting a new track record. His run was both silent and clean. With a staggering 180.53 km/h, the track had a new record holder! Manuel Kramer from Austria.
Simones turn. Again everybody silent, studying his run. A masterpiece, almost perfect, but still not enough. With the slightest of margins, 0.05 km/h, and a speed that beat the previous track record with a margin, Simone was 2'nd and Manuel was still the new record holder.

After today Simone Origone from Italy, and Manuel Kramer from Austria have the exact same points going to the World Cup finals in Andorra 5-7 april. Anything can happen there.

In the womens S1, Valentina again showed who's the boss. 3 km/h faster than the previous run and almost 1 km/h faster than Celia Martinez who makes her best race in Idre this winter. In the previous race, she didn't look comfortable, but somehow she found the key to the compression and the difficult timing zone. Lisa Hovland-Uden and Britta Backlund both looked very strong and will be interesting to see if they can challenge Valentina in Andorra.

Thank you Idre Fjäll and organizer Jan Magnusson with his expert team, Lissie, Eddie, Max, Micke et al, for a flawless execution of the World Cup races.

Results for the race: /Results/2018/S1/World-Cup-Race-9-Idre

Next World Cup Race is in Grandvalira, Andorra 5-7 april, which is the World Cup Finals. Keep updated on their facebook page:

Before those two races however, is the highly anticipated Speed Masters in Vars, France March 27th - April 3rd. Speed Masters is an invitation only race with the objective to set a new World Record.