Photo: Theo Loustau Cazalet



Celia Martinez on fire the first day of Speed Masters

Speed Masters 2018 - Day 1

The first training day in Vars is to an end. Two runs today, the first from 100m below the traverse and the second from the traverse. There has been so much snow coming that there was not traverse until today. Yesterday the snow cats were working full time and the track seems to be in great shape. All of the skiers rave about how smooth the track is.

Celia Martinez (221.266 km/h) has been challenging Valentina Greggio (217.918) twice so far in the World Cup. Today the the pace was turned up a notch more. With a speed that equalled the current World Record holder Ivan Origones speed today and would put her in a shared 9'th place in the mens race, the challenge has never been more real. Next race day will definitely see Valentina giving it all!

Seraina Murk has regained her confidence and speed since her crash last year! "Back on track! After some physical and mental adjustments, I finally feel good again skiing at >200km/h. 1st run 200.6 km/h and 2nd run 210.5 km/h today. Track great but a bit bumpy and got caught in some wind gusts in the finish area." Very good news indeed!

Manuel Kramer (226.558 km/h) who leads the World Cup on equal points with Simone Origone is leading here also. "The first two runs today were amazing! I feel pretty comfy and I enjoy ever run over 200! The track is also very smooth and hopefully there is a worldrecord run these days!! Stay tuned :)"

With the shorter position he and Simone has been using it's very interesting to compare them with Bastien Montes and Ivan Origone. Theoretically the longer positions should be faster in higher speeds, but they seem to be more difficult to ski than the shorter more compact positions. Today there was a lot of wind and it might have been favorable with a more robust position. Second placed Jukka Viitasaari (224.299 km/h) with his short compact style also confirms this theory.

Simone Origone is unfortunately having problems with the knee and rests out the Speed Masters in order to be back for the World Cup Finals in Andorra in a week. This is probably a wise decision since he has been racing hard all season, just following a knee surgery in mid January.

Third placed French racers Bastien Montes (223.881 km/h) and Simon Billy (223.881 km/h) both have longer positions and we will compare the results when the races starts a bit higher. If the weather is better it could also factor in.

Swiss racer Philippe May (223.187 km/h) has been like some other racers focusing on a few races and has done really well here today, sporting a new all green helmet. Expect him to keep up the pace later in the race. "First run in the green bucket, it was a rough night with a stomach virus so I was happy to be able to ski, 2 runs done. 212 on the first and 223 for the second run landing in 5 th place. Hopefully we’ll have more racing tomorrow and I’ll be feeling better and the weather will cooperate for some high speeds!"

Radek Cermak (222.910 km/h) from Czechia is not doing the World Cup at all this season and is actually skiing his first race of the season now. With that considered, 6'th place is really a good position. However Radek is a really strong skier and holding it together is his game.

In 7'th Russian Mikhail Schumilin (222.359 km/h) is also doing his first race of the season. He thinks the race could have gone better so far but is really happy. "Race is fun! I got 3 turns in the second run, and front wind in the timing :) Almost standing up."

8'th placed Jonathan Moret (221.675 kmh) from Switzerland is doing a comeback after five years. His last race was the Speed Masters in 2013 where he did a 238.845 km/h run. However his top speed is 250.170 km/h from Les Arcs 2006, so this is a racer with capacity to challenge.

Current World Record holder Ivan Origone (221.266 km/h) sits in the 9'th place, but expect him to go much faster. Top start runs is where he really excels!

A bit further down Michal Bekes (218,579 km/h) celebrates a new Slovenian record! It will surely change again later in the race. Also the Belgian record is just short of being beaten. Current record is 215.311 and Joost Vandendries has 2 km/h left to it.

Follow the races tomorrow at 10:30 and 12:00 here:

Lets gooooo!!!!!!