Super Slalom World Championships, presented by and C.B. Sports

After exciting qualifying rounds at the Ski TAOS’ Kachina Basin, the men faced off starting in a round of 32 and the women qualified to a field of 16 based on entry numbers. Regardless of competition size, men and women receive equal prize money and race on the same course at all World Pro Ski Tour races. Here’s how the competitions panned out:

Men’s Super Slalom
Joining the WPST TAOS World Championships were regular WPST competitors, including U.S. Ski Team alumnus Michael Ankeny (USA); Current Tour leader Christian Soevik (NOR); German national team veteran Roman Frost (GER); 2023 Tour Overall Champion Simon Breitfuss-Kammerlander (BOL); six-time All-American, Filip Forejtek (CZE) and more. These athletes set up to face off the likes of 2023 WPST World Champion Reto Schmidiger (SUI); 2023 FIS Parallel World Champion Alex Schmid (GER); Stifel U.S. Ski Team and TAOS athlete River Radamus; World Cup tech specialist Sam Maes (BEL) World Cupper, Raphael Hauser (AUT) and more.

During the round of 32, the surprises included a fast elimination of 2023 Tour Champion Breitfuss-Kammerlander, who qualified poorly, while Germany’s Adrian Meisen upset the ninth seed Stifel US Ski Team’s George Steffey. Racing progressed smoothly into the round of sixteen, where upsets included Haaser taking advantage of a quick mistake by the number one seed, Filip Forejtek. Haaser then went on to ski into the quarterfinals—no other big surprises through that round.

Heading into the quarterfinals, the racing was intense and the pace aggressive. Soevik, who dominated the Tour all season, found his match in Haaser and was eliminated. At the same time, Schmidiger proved his mastery of the TAOS course once again and easily defeated his Czech opponent, Jan Zabystran (CZE). Frost, a solid WPST athlete this season, faced Maes, who edged Frost out. Finally, longtime Tour regular Ankeny challenged Schmid but could not get past the reigning FIS World Champion gold medalist even with an advantage after the first run.

The semifinals featured an all-international field, with Haaser out skiing Schmidiger, who showed signs of fatigue. Also, Maes met Schmid with aggression and skied into the finals.

With a small final between Schmidiger and Schmid, Schmidiger came out victorious after Schmid got tangled up and could not recover. Maes and Haaser attacked the course in the finals, but Maes had a dominant start and built on his lead the entire way to the finish.

1st) Sam Maes (BEL)

2nd) Raphael Haaser (AUT)

3rd) Reto Schmidiger (SUI)

4th) Alex Schmid (GER)

Women’s Super Slalom
The women’s field held another deeply stacked group of talent, including WPST regulars like 2023 Tour Champion and Overall World Champion Erin Mielzynski (CAN); 2022 Tour Champion Tuva Norbye (NOR); 2024 WPST Aspen winner Sara Rask (SWE); All-American Kaitlyn Harsch (USA) and more. 2022 Overall TAOS World Champion Paula Moltzan from the Stifel US Ski Team and the 2023 Giant Slalom TAOS World Champion, her teammate Tricia Mangan, joined these ladies along with other current World Cup athletes.

Sport Insurance. com teammates Norbye and Harsch met in their first-round matchup, with Norbye coming away with the win. Norbye then had to meet another teammate, Mielzynski, in the Round of eight. Mielzynski has proven dominant against Norbye all season, but today, she skied energetically and came away with the win.

Meanwhile, Norbye’s younger sister Kaja also joined in the race action—Kaja has raced on the WPST before, but not recently—and progressed through the bracket to face Moltzan in the semifinals. Both Norbye sisters skied quickly and precisely to move through their brackets, with Tuva advancing against Mangan. However, Kaja was unable to outski Motzan but qualified for the small final against Mangan. Mangan won the first heat, but Kaja regained momentum and skied into third place.

In the big final, Tuva Norbye challenged Moltzan in the first run. Still, ultimately, Moltzan found more speed on her second run blue course and earned the top spot in the TAOS World Championships super slalom for the third consecutive season.

1st) Paula Moltzan, Stifel US Ski Team

2nd) Tuva Norbye (NOR)

3rd) Kaja Norbye (NOR)

4th) Tricia Mangan, Stifel US Ski Team

Giant Slalom World Championships, presented by Mazda – March 30, 2024
Saturday brought a bluebird and calm day at the Kachina Basin Ski TAOS, with a deeply talented field of pro athletes coming together for another day of World Championships racing, this time racing a giant slalom.

Men’s Giant Slalom
After yesterday’s super slalom, the giant slalom course offered an entirely new game, with the men’s round of 32 progressing as planned, but the round of 16 provided significant surprises. New faces proceeded through the bracket, including the upset of yesterday’s 2024 Super Slalom World Champion, Sam Maes (BEL), by Stifel US Ski Team’s George Steffey. Also, Tour leader Christian Soevik (NOR) was taken out by rival WPST skier Filip Foretjek (CZE), who has experienced difficulty winning against Soevik all season. Alex Puente Tasias (ESP), who initially joined the Tour in Bear Valley, upset Alex Schmid (GER), the reigning FIS Parallel World Champion.

Exciting action and sometimes wild skiing continued into the quarterfinals, with the giant slalom offering the athletes more speed and riskier lines. Steffey proved he liked the GS format much better than Friday’s super slalom and quickly eliminated Foretjek. Throughout the season, Tour veteran and U.S. Ski Team alumnus Michael Ankeny has proven that he can still compete against the younger WPSAT athletes. However, he could not shake off Alex Puente Tsias on Saturday, who found extra speed and progressed to the semifinals. The next surprise of the round came between Stifel U.S. Ski Team’s Radamus and his former teammate Patrick Kenney (USA). Kenney had an advantage on the first run but raced on the slower of the two courses during his second run. However, he dropped the hammer after the road section and skied into the semis victorious. Last but not least, Jan Zabystran (CZE) met yesterday’s second-place finisher, Raphael Haaser (AUT), and Zabystran proved dominant in both runs.

During the semifinal round, George Steffey proved he could not be stopped on this course, saying, “As more of a G.S. guy, I favored today’s set and took every advantage.” Steffey took care of Puente Tasias and advanced into the finals. Zabystran continued to build on his pace against Kenney and earned the other spot in the finals.

In the small final, Puente Tasias showed fatigue and could not defeat Kenney, and the American Independent earned third place. Steffey and Zabystran kept it exciting through the first run, but Zabystran went too straight during the second and let Steffey ski safely to victory and take home a $20,000 check.

1st) George Steffey Stifel US Ski Team (USA)

2nd) Jan Zabystran (CZE)

3rd) Patrick Kenney Independent Global Racing SYNC Team (USA)

4th) Alex Puente Tasias (ESP)

Women’s Giant Slalom
The women also mixed things up during the giant slalom; with more speed and straighter lines possible, they could take greater advantage of the flat. Yesterday’s super slalom World Champion, Stifel US Ski Team’s Paula Moltzan, was upset in the quarterfinal round of eight by Fabiana Dorigo (GER), a Tour rookie and first-time pro racer at TAOS. Additionally, the 2023 Tour Champion Erin Mielzynski (CAN) was similarly upset by Stifel US Ski Team’s Tricia Mangan. Kaja Norbye (NOR) showed she is an athlete who can thrive in both disciplines with swift progress against Evelina Fredricsson (SWE). Finally, Nora Brand (GER) defeated Tuva Norbye (NOR), preventing her from meeting her sister in the next round.

Mangan’s speed remained high in the semifinals, while Dorigo showed signs of fatigue. Mangan progressed to the final. Kaja Norbye was similarly able to outski Brand. That outcome created an all-German small final between Dorigo and Brand and a big final between Mangan and Norbye.

The small final went quickly, with Dorigo defending off Brand and skiing into third place. Mangan showed a more conservative approach than her wild skiing of past years and defeated Kaja Norbye with a clear advantage on both runs.

“This has been the most amazing event and I have had so much fun; the World Pro Ski Tour, TAOS and all of the sponsors have done an incredible job on this event and it all still feels surreal,” said Mangan of her win.

1st) Tricia Mangan Stifel US Ski Team

2nd) Kaja Norbye (NOR)

3rd) Fabiana Dorigo (GER)

4th) Nora Brand (GER)

With points accumulating over the race weekend, Tricia Mangan was a clear WPST 2024 TAOS World Champion, presented by New Mexico True. She held her $20,000 GS prize and $25,000 overall bonus high. The variety of skiers doing well in the men’s field during the two races culminated in a three-way tie for the $25,000 men’s title bonus, which was split evenly between Zabystran, Maes, and Haaser.