Valentina Greggio and Simone Origone win the first race in Andorra

The first of the two races in Andorra was held over two days, Thursday and Friday. Thursday's races consisted of a training run and a race run from the lower start, and a race run from the top. The track and the weather was spectacular. Some fresh snow had fallen during the night and the track was groomed for the morning and as smooth as it could possibly be. The sun protection factor was probably as important as the wax.

In the womens race, Valentina Greggio was fastest during Thursday's runs, Britta Backlund second followed by Celia Martinez in third. In the mens race Simone Origone was fastest followed by Philippe May and Bastien Montes all within one km/h. Austrians Klaus Shrottshammer and Manuel Kramer followed closely. Simone and Manuel were on the same points in the World Cup, so it was important for Manuel to pick up speed.

Friday came with the wind. Sun still striking, but the wind was fierce. It came in from the left of the track and played havoc with the race. The temperature had dropped below 0 degrees during the night, and the track was very hard. Not quite like the ice hockey rink from last year which produced the track record, but hard enough to make the track feel completely different.
The S2 racers were first out and some of them had issues with poles sticking in the snow at the start. American racer Jeff Mika even lost one of his poles as it stuck in the icy snow at the start when he pushed out into the track.

The S1 mens race started good but as the wind picked up some racers were stopped both once and twice before they could go, because the wind was too hard in the timing zone. Chris Gebbie was the last racer to go before the race chief decided to halt the race for 10 minutes. He had an unstable run and was not at all happy about his misfortune. After the break and monitoring of the wind, the race could be resumed. The wind was gusty and the racers were sent when the wind was low.

When all of the men had made their run, Simone Origone was first, Simon Billy second and Ivan Origone third. Manuel Kramer was down in fifth, which would place him 55 points behind Simone Origone if he couldn't improve his position in the next run, planned to start from the ramp. But it seemed unlikely the ramp could be used in the wind.

The wind increased again and the women were not able to start their run.

The men were sent up to the start for their second race while the women were still waiting to run. The race start was delayed a few times, and the racers waited until it finally was decided that it was not possible to do more runs due to the strong winds. This meant that Simone won the mens race, and Valentina won with her run from yesterday.

With the difficult conditions, the race was executed as good as it could possibly have been. The Saturday forecast was looking even worse with rain and heavy winds. Could there be a second race at all?

Results: /Results/2018/S1/World-Cup-Race-10-Grandvalira