Erik Arvidsson might be one step closer to his goals after a second Europa Cup downhill win this season, launching him to third in the Europa Cup downhill rankings.
After his first Europa Cup win at Orcieres Merlette, France, in January, Arvidsson has worked seamlessly with his former U.S. team coaches and teammates to regain his speed fundamentals. This time, his win comes with an added bonus following a fifth-place finish the day before, putting Arvidsson in the running for the Europa Cup downhill title.
The 24-year old captured his second Europa Cup win at Sella Nevea, Italy, on Thursday. Sella Nevea is known for its fluid track that moves with the natural curvature of the hill and aerodynamics required through micro terrain and flatter sections. Spring temperatures set up the venue nicely for Arvidsson to punch into the top spot, just 24-hours after finishing fifth, 0.28 seconds behind the winner.
“Today was really epic,” said Arvidsson. “It was a beautiful spring day in the alps, and I had a ton of fun racing against the guys. I learned a lot from watching Victor Schuller’s winning run yesterday and took what I learned into my plan for today. I’m really starting to feel comfortable on the long boards again, and am having a lot of fun pushing it on race day.”
Now, Arvidsson sits in third place for the Europa Cup downhill title with one downhill to go in Saalbach-Hinterglemm in March. Ahead of Arvidsson sits Austrian Maximilian Lahnsteiner, the overall leader who finished behind Arvidsson in 12th today, and Victor Schuller, who’s leading the downhill standings, after a third-place finish. Arvidsson hopes to learn the Saalbach track and put together a solid run to score his first World Cup points prior to the Europa Cup finals.
For a college senior, Arvidsson is making the most of his canceled collegiate ski season and accessibility to online classes at Middlebury. The former U.S. Ski Team athlete and world junior downhill champion formulated a plan to utilize this season as a bridge to make it back to the World Cup. While his formal status is independent athlete, the support he’s received from the U.S. team is far from it, he says.
“I am really thankful for the support I have gotten from the U.S. Ski Team this winter,” said Arvidsson. “When I told them I wanted to come back they opened every door possible for me and gave me every tool I needed to be successful.”
Arvidsson led the way for the Americans with teammate Sam Morse, the second-highest finisher, breaking the top 15. Currently ranked as the 65th best downhill skier in the world, Arvidsson is getting closer to fulfilling his dream of returning to the World Cup speed team.