While the conclusion of the 2017 World Cup season was underway in Aspen, Colo., earlier this month, the men and women of the Europa Cup were battling it out for some hardware of their own at the Italian resort of Innichen San Candido. After the final tech races had concluded, Switzerland’s Gilles Roulin and Norway’s Kristina Riis-Johannessen walked away with coveted Europa Cup overall titles for the men and women, respectively.
Much like the NorAm cup, the overall winners for men and women earn automatic entries to every World Cup for the upcoming 2018 season. On the Europa Cup, the top-three in the standings for each discipline earn World Cup starts as opposed to NorAms where it is just the top two.
The 22-year-old Roulin dominated the Europa Cup men this season, tallying an impressive 1060 points, a whopping 369 points ahead of his nearest challenger in the fight for the overall. Roulin also amassed seven wins in downhill, super-G, and alpine combined en route to also claiming discipline titles in both downhill and super-G.
Switzerland’s Reto Schmidiger also claimed the men’s slalom title, Elia Zurbriggen the GS title, and Stefan Rogentin the alpine combined title, giving the Swiss the clean sweep of the men’s discipline and overall titles. If this season on the Europa Cup is any indication of what is to come, keep an eye out for the next generation of Swiss World Cup skiers in the coming years.
For the women, the race for the overall was tighter as Riis-Johannessen traded blows with her Norwegian teammate Kristin Lysdahl for much of the season. In the end, Riis-Johannessen edged out her compatriot 1206-1092 in the final point tally, giving the 26-year-old her first Europa Cup title. If Riis-Johannessen’s name sounds familiar, it is because she spent four seasons at the University of Vermont from 2011-2015 skiing for the Catamounts and earning her bachelor’s degree.
In the women’s discipline standings, Austria’s Sabrina Maier took the downhill title while her compatriot Nadine Fest claimed the super-G. Despite finishing second in the overall, Lysdahl managed to take home the GS title and Swede World Cup regular Anna Swenn-Larsson captured the slalom title. Fest also managed to take the alpine combined title.