And the 2017 French title goes to…
Winner of the giant slalom globe Tessa Worley, French downhill champion Adrien Théaux, as well as Guillermo Fayed, David Poisson, Yoann Claret, Romane Miradoli, Jennifer Piot, Tiffany Gauthier and many others, all got together in Val Thorens, the highest ski resort in Europe, for the French Alpine Skiing Championships.
The French title goes to...
Wearing bib number 9, eyes fixed on the first gate, Adrien Théaux was preparing to take the title of French Super G champion.
His cheeks flushed by the cool morning air, and fire in his belly, this local boy was more determined than ever as he embarked on a 1’10 vertiginous descent over his childhood run, at the heart of Val Thorens.
465 metres lower down, having crossed the finish line with burning thighs, Adrien awaited the arrival of the other skiers with baited breath. Little by little his dream seemed to be coming true, with victory closer with every passing minute. Then came an explosion of joy: Adrien Théaux was crowned French Champion, winning the gold medal on his home ground, in front of his family and friends and the admiring gaze of young hopefuls from the Club des Sports.
A stroke of luck? Coincidence? No way. Even if the event was originally supposed to take place in the resort of Orcière Merlette, Val Thorens is often a source of success for its champions; just look at Jean-Fred Chapuis and his many skicross wins at the World Cups held every December on the course that was named after him.
By winning gold, Adrien Théaux came one step ahead of Blaise Giezendanner ( 1’10’71) and his friend Cyprien Sarrazin (1’11’10) .
«I’m very happy, this is my 9th Senior French Champion title. It’s incredible to have won in Val Tho; I’m thrilled that my home resort was able to host the Championships. It feels very special winning in front of my fans, particularly as so many of them turned out to support me.
The run was beautiful, with amazing snow and beautiful weather, both for the ladies and ourselves: perfect conditions. It’s fantastic to be here. Most coaches were surprised at the quality of the run, which was absolutely perfect; that’s quite uncommon in most resorts at this time of year. I’d love the resort to welcome the French Championships again; it’s a true celebration of alpine skiing and the French. For all those who came to support me, and for Val Tho, which is an amazing ski resort, it offers a great sense of achievement, something worth celebrating! For us, this competition signals the end of the season, which I can celebrate in my hometown. That’s very important to me.»
The ladies Super G was held a few hours before Val Thorens’ local boy’s victory. 2017 world champion, Tessa Worley, was favourite to win the event (which took place only a matter of weeks after her victory in the World Championships held in St Moritz) and true to her title, the skier from Le Grand Bornand came more than 28 hundredths ahead of Tiffany Gauthier and Romane Miradoli (+0.44). A well-deserved gold medal for this much-loved French champion!
There’s more to it than just Skicross!
Although it has a reputation for being the Mecca of international skicross, Val Thorens is nonetheless very much an alpine skiing resort, albeit somewhat of a free spirited one. Every year, the Stade des Trolles launches the European alpine ski season when it welcomes the first international “FIS” races.
Having hosted a stage of the prestigious white circuit (FIS World Cup) in 1998, Val Thorens organised a giant and slalom European Cup event in 2009, as well as the World downhill and super G Championships in 2015 (the Championnats du Monde Citadins), open to skiers from towns and cities throughout the world.
And hats off to the organisation committee, comprised of the resorts different bodies, who organised excellent French Championships in record time. United French Championships!
You’ll of the results here: https://data.fis-ski.com/alpine-skiing/results.html