New Zealand skier Alice Robinson will add another discipline to her repertoire as she looks to bounce back quickly from the disappointment of recording a DNF in the second World Cup Giant Slalom race of the season in Killington in Vermont.
Robinson who stunned the alpine skiing world with her season opening victory in Austria at the end of October, only the second ever World Cup win by a Kiwi, made a late decision to compete at the weekend after recovering from bone bruising on her knee.
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However, her coach Chris Knight says in hindsight they made an equipment error with her choice of skis.
"You obviously learn more from a loss than a win. Analysing it all we were a touch underdone on the equipment coming into the race. The snow surface locked up super hard. It was very cold yesterday, probably minus 20 with the wind and it was a condition we hadn't seen the last 15 months so we took a risk on some equipment and it didn't quite pan out." Knight said.
So Robinson who is celebrating her 18th birthday today in New York with her family, heads to San Pellegrino and Alta Badia in northern Italy this week to prepare for a hectic month of Giant Slalom and Super Giant Slalom (Super G) racing determined to move on from the weekend's result.
She will line up in Europa Cup Super G races on the 10th and 11th of December in St Moritz before the World Cup Super G in the same venue on December the 14th. Then it's on to Courchevel in France for the third World Cup Giant Slalom of the season.
"Super G is a natural progression for her with her Giant Slalom skills and she came second in her last Europa Cup Super G of last season so we know she can ski Super G." Knight said. "It really gives us an opportunity having two Europa Cups on the same slopes as the World Cup within three days of each other to see where she is at with Super G and it is a really good discipline for higher speeds and getting used to pushing speed down the hill." Knight said.
Next week's races in Switzerland will give a good indication of Robinson's potential in Super G. Her former coach Tim Cafe predicted after her incredible finish last season (second in the World Cup Giant Slalom final behind Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin in Andorra) that Super G could end up being her best discipline.
Knight certainly thinks the young Kiwi can be as competitive as she is in Giant Slalom. "Yeah absolutely, we thought it might take a lot of time, but she progressed really quickly in training in Mammoth (California) this summer. What we thought might take a couple of training camps she picked up in four or five days. Gliding and longer pressure turns are a lot different to the short powerful arcs of GS but she was able to pick it up quite quickly and we are hopeful she will be ready to go there."
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After the World Cup Super G in St Moritz Robinson will compete in the Giant Slalom in Courchevel in France on December the 17th with another World Cup GS race scheduled for Lienz in Austria on December 28th.
Despite the DNF in Killington, Robinson is ranked 4th in the World Cup Giant Slalom standings and will still have a good start number in the next race in Courchevel. However due to having not raced much Super G she could start from around 50th in the World Cup race at St Moritz. But Knight doesn't think that will be a major disadvantage.
"She will start well back in the world cup race but St Moritz is always a perfectly prepared slope so even if she is well down the starting order it will still provide a really good chance to move up in that race." Knight said.