This year's edition is taking place in the heart of Austria, in Schladming, but from the very beginning it seems to be destined to be one of the most discussed.
Maze wins through the fog, Lindsey crashes.This seems to be Maze's season, she's the most impressive skier out there, being on top of every discipline in the world cup standings, having won more races than every one else in 4 out of 5 disciplines since October, but at the World Championships is never easy to win, mostly if you come as a heavy favourite.
At 11:30, time at which the race was supposed to start, a very thick fog was stuck in the middle of the curse and a light rain was dropping on the finish area. The jury hoped for a sudden improvement of the conditions and start to delay the start of 15 minutes. That happened many many times as much as most of the girls and commentators were pretty sure it was a matter of time the race was cancelled. That didn't happen at the very moment it was slightly clearer the race started. It was 3pm.
Bib number 4, Slovenian Ilka Stuhec, didn't seem to be scared of the conditions and exploited the big talent of hers to score a very interesting time, which eventually let her achieve her best ever placement in the discipline in a world cup level race. The Slovenian, who was one of the most interesting youngsters only a few years ago, suffered many injuries in her young career and you could see the joy of hers while one after the other important name in the lists of Superg finished even far behind her in the standing.
The first one to better her time was Swiss superstar Lara Gut, whose talent in Superg doesn't come as new to anyone following skiing even seldom. Swiss's race was almost errorless and her great ability to create speed even in the tightest turns let her score amazing partials whenever the course was more technical.
The Swiss led the race until the beginning of the top group and neither Rebensburg nor Suter could finish close to her, even though her team-mate Fabienne finished just ahead of Stuhec in the temporary 2nd place.
Her scream for joy was suddenly silenced by another scream, coming from several gates above. It was Vonn's voice, her tears, her pain. Lindsey had just badly crashed landing from a jump and the helicopter immediately came to rescue her. Later news announced the rupture of some of her knee ligaments and the fracture of the top of the shinbone.
After the long break it took to take the American to safety the atmosphere at the start of the race was tense and one after the other Maria Riesch and Anna Fenninger committed two bad mistakes probably due to the tension, which set both of them out for the race.
First it was caused by Daniela Merigetti, whose awesome final part made her gain quite a lot of positions, but couldn't make her finish higher than her 7th place. But mostly the 2nd was sure to scare the American, as Italian Sofia Goggia, at her very first race above European Cup level, decided she had nothing to lose and skied out of her mind being very close to cause some major upsets. By the end she was 4th, only 5 hundreds behind Mancuso, but as she herself said, this was not a loss, but an amazing result, even if it was not worth a medal.
The race was very soon interrupted due to darkness once the legal number of racers to make the result valid was reached.
Ligety surprises the specialists and wins the goldMen superg didn't suffer of the painful delay that the women one had, but the condition of weather and snow weren't good neither. A cloudy sky made it again difficult to see and face the many waves of the slope, whilst the humidity had the snow gone soft hence difficult to cope with.
Immediately in the early runs two French skiers showed very convincing runs, first Alexis Pinturault, whose time would eventually set him at the 6th place, but most of all De Tessieres, who came to Schladming as a make up choice, the reserve, whose start happened only due to the injury of Clarey.
His lead over De Tessieres wasn't that big though and one could believe the specialists of the superg who were soon to go down could better his time, but it just didn't happen. Aided by the fact that the soft snow made it more difficult for the top group to tame their skis and hence the snow, every one of the favourites for the title failed to catch on Ligety and De Tessieres, who both kept their first and second place until the very end.
Austrian hopes for the first medal in this home-world championships grew in the public when first Matthias Mayer and later Hannes Reichelt snatched a temporary placement on the lowest place of the podium, but in the end they were to be undecieved by Aksel Lund Svindal, the greatest favourite for the win, who had to content himself with a bronze medal, whilst the now-former world champion Christof Innerhofer seemed never racing for a medal and placed only 7th.