World Cup Racers to Watch
Marco Odermatt (Switzerland)You might recognize this 26-year-old’s name after he won the super-G event and placed third in the downhill last season in Aspen. But giant slalom is the discipline that Odermatt has completely dominated in recent history. As of January 8, 2024, he’s been on every podium in the 21 World Cup GS races he has started in and has taken home the gold 15 times. Odermatt will be eager to take first in Aspen, especially with his top event on the program for Friday and Saturday.
Manuel Feller (Austria)
Feller is an experienced slalom specialist who’s no stranger to the World Cup slalom podium. As of the first week of January 2024, he has struck gold twice this season on the World Cup circuit (Gurgl and Adelboden). Unlike on the women’s side (namely, Mikaela Shiffrin), no male skier has consistently dominated slalom races at the World Cup level in recent memory, so Feller’s winning momentum this season will provide him with a big advantage in Aspen.
River Radamus (USA)After winning three Junior Olympic Games gold medals and two Junior World Championship gold medals, Colorado’s River Radamus was hailed by many—including Ted Ligety—as the future of the Stifel U.S. Ski Team. Safe to say, the future is now: Radamus earned a fourth-place finish in the Beijing Olympics, a fourth-place GS finish in Adelboden this season, and multiple top-10 finishes on the World Cup Tour. We may even see him racing slalom in Aspen, given how well he’s been doing. The 25-year-old grew up in nearby Edwards and started his ski racing career in Vail, meaning he’s spent plenty of time racing in Aspen and knows how to go fast on the Centennial State’s snowpack. Considering this Colorado experience combined with the home-state crowd, Aspen is poised to be the perfect venue for Radamus’ first World Cup podium.
Clement Noel (France)
With numerous World Cup podiums and an Olympic gold medal from Beijing, Noel is perhaps the most recognizable name in slalom. When he completes both runs, it’s rare for the 26-year-old Frenchman to finish outside the top 10. He also succeeds on steeper, technical courses, much like the one he’ll find in Aspen this March. His consistent skiing will certainly keep him towards the top of the pack during Sunday’s slalom.
Tommy Ford (USA)When he won the giant slalom at Beaver Creek in 2019, Ford joined Ted Ligety and Bode Miller as the only three American men to win a technical event at the World Cup level since the early 1980s. If the weather in Aspen is wet and foggy during race weekend, it would likely increase the chances he could do it again. The 34-year-old grew up racing on Mt. Bachelor, where he honed his “Jedi practice” in the damp, foggy conditions the state is known for. Those were exactly the conditions he faced in 2019 when he stood on top of the podium just northeast of the Roaring Fork Valley. Since his win at Beaver Creek, Ford has stood on two more World Cup GS podiums, and he won the US National Championship giant slalom last season in Sun Valley. Don’t count him out no matter the weather during race week.
Dave Ryding (Great Britain)“Rocket Ryding” won his first World Cup slalom event at Kitzbuehel in 2022 at the age of 35. The Brit, hailing from Lancashire, England, has since found the podium at several other World Cup stops, including snagging a bronze this season at Madonna di Campiglio. Now 37 Ryding is proving that not every skier has to be born in the mountains to be great, and in a field where most of his competition is a decade younger, age is just a number. Even if he’s not the fastest in Aspen, Ryding’s explosive turns and stellar attitude always make for a great show on every slalom course.
Jett Seymour (USA)Jett Seymour calls Steamboat Springs home and won the 2019 NCAA National Championship slalom race while skiing for the University of Denver. Seymour’s biggest accomplishment so far was starting with bib 59 and ascending to a seventh-place slalom finish in Chamonix last season. Seymour’s positive outlook and rising speed is injecting new energy into the slalom discipline for the Stifel U.S. Ski Team and, like River Radamus, he has raced in Aspen throughout his early career. These elements combined with the Colorado crowd could propel Seymour to new levels in Aspen this March.
The Audi FIS Ski World Cup
The Audi FIS Ski World Cup
From March 1–3, 2024, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup returns to the United States with the men's super-G and downhill.