The World Cup 2017/18 season should begin on 29. October 2017, in Sölden, Austria, and concluded in Åre, Sweden on 18 March 2018. The race in Solden was canceled due to excessive high winds and so the first race of the season will be in Levi, Finland.
After the crash(tore a ligament in his left knee, ending his season) in the first race of 2013 World championship, Kjetil Jansrud managed to come back stronger and after just two seasons he won the Super G crystal globe(last season) and two Winter Olympics medals in 2014(gold in super G and bronze in downhill). He also finished second in the Downhill and Overall last season. Jansrud can become the fifth man to win the Super G crystal globe in back to back seasons and the first since Aksel Lund Svindal(second favorite, 4.56 at Pinnacle to lift the globe this season) performed his three-peat from 2012-2014. Jansrud claimed a top-2 finish in the Super G classification in each of the last four seasons. He won the crystal globe in 2015 and 2017 and finished second in 2014 and 2016. Jansrud could become the fourth man to win at least three crystal globes in the Super G, after Svindal (5), Hermann Maier (5) and Pirmin Zurbriggen (4). The Norwegian has won 19 World Cup races, nine of which in the Super G. Only three men have reached double figures in Super G race wins in the World Cup: Maier (24), Svindal (15) and Zurbriggen (10). If he can stay injury-free, I see no reasons why he can’t win his second Super G crystal globe. It is also worth mentioning that Aksel Lund Svindal had to end his 2016 season short due to a knee injury and it might take some time to get into his past form. Although Svindal has won 11 crystal globes(32 World Cup races wins, 15 Super G races) in his career, his last achievements came in 2014 when he won in the Super G and Downhill.
Prediction: Kjetil Jansrud to win Super G overall
Odds: 3.07 Pinnacle, 3.00 Bet365
Player vs player prediction: Kjetil Jansrud vs Aksel Lund Svindal – Kjetil Jansrud to be ranked higher(in Super G)
Odds: 1.625 Pinnacle, 1.57 Bet365
Marcel Hirscher broke his ankle in pre-season training(August), and at first, it was reported that he will be making his return before the end of the year and will be able to compete in the Winter Olympics. Anyway, now it is known, that he will compete in a tomorrow’s race in Levi, Finland. Before the injury he was having a dominant career, winning the Slalom crystal globe on four occasions, only trailing Ingemar Stenmark’s eight wins. Alberto Tomba has also won the Slalom crystal globe on four occasions. The Austrian has won 20 Slalom races in the World Cup, third-most among men behind Stenmark (40) and Tomba (35). Last season, Hirscher finished on the podium in seven of the 10 World Cup Slalom races, including his wins in Levi and Kitzbühel. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how he fares after a recent injury. Henrik Kristoffersen won the Slalom crystal globe in 2016 and finished second behind Marcel Hirscher last season. After Hirscher’s injury in pre-season his motivation should high, as he is hoping to become the first Norwegian with two World Cup Slalom titles. Kjetil André Aamodt won the Slalom crystal globe once, in 1999/2000 season. This could be the season Kristoffersen takes back the Slalom crystal globe, but it is worth waiting to see how Hirscher fares after an injury, before placing any season-long bets.
Felix Neureuther has won a men’s record 12 World Cup races for Germany and finished second in the Slalom standings in 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15, and third in 2015/16. The last German to win a World Cup title in a men’s event is Armin Bittner who won the Slalom in 1989/90. Peter Fill won the Downhill crystal globe in each of the last two seasons. He can become the fifth man to win three successive World Cup titles in the Downhill and the first since Stephan Eberharter from 2002-2004. Currently, Fill and Jansrud are both 4.88 at Pinnacle to lift the Downhill crystal globe at the end of the season. The odds are correct, as they are both one of the main candidates to lift the Downhill crystal globe. As far as predictions go, I recommend a bet on Italian to continues his dominance in downhill, although I expect it to be very close.
Prediction: Peter Fill to win Downhill overall
Odds: 4.88 Pinnacle, 4.50 Bet365
Alexis Pinturault finished third in the overall standings in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16. Last season he just missed the podium(fourth place, 28 points behind Henrik Kristoffersen). Pinturault has already won the Alpine Combined standings a record four times( low number of events per season in this category, consisting of one run of downhill and two runs of slalom, each discipline run on separate days). The Frenchman has finished on the podium in the World Cup Giant Slalom standings five seasons in a row, but is still lacking the crystal globe in this event. This is the record for most top-3 finishes in the Giant Slalom standings without winning a crystal globe. Pinturault has won a record 19 World Cup races among Frenchmen, one more than Jean-Claude Killy. If he shows great form at the beginning of the season, he could be a great a bet at GS races in Val d’Isère, France(first and third place last year).
That’s all for now. If you are interested in our Women’s Alpine Skiing 2017/18 season preview, you can check it out here. We will also post our predictions for the tomorrow’s slalom race in Levi, so check back later for more.