Joan Verdú makes history for Andorran skiing with his 17th place in the World Cup at Kranjska Gora
- The racer from the Andorran Ski Federation achieved the 6th fastest time in the second round
- Verdú will participate in the Europa Cup Finals in Grandvalira next Wednesday
Joan Verdú took part in the World Cup giant slalom in Kranjska Gora today. The Slovenian resort saw an Andorran come in the top 30 in the men's competition for the first time in history. Verdú finished 17th, also achieving a spectacular 6th best time in the second round.
In the first round, the Andorran came over the line in 19th, which finally ended up being 20th when all the racers had finished. His time in the first round was 1.11.50, some 2.04 slower compared to the best time for the round, which was taken by the Frenchman Alexis Pinturault with 1.09.54.
In the second round he set the best time at the end of his descent, with a total time of 2.20.63. Finally, when all the racers finished, the Andorran closed the World Cup in 17th place, tied with the same time as the Austrian Raphael Haaser, 2.35 behind the winner, the Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, with 2.18.28. In this second round, Verdú also had the 6th fastest time.
The FAE racer, Joan Verdú, on his race: “I'm super happy. It was what I needed to end up with a great season, doing well in the World Cup. Today I had the opportunity. I had a great race with a first heat that left me 20th and a good second heat, especially the top part, very good, with great times. It was a pity I made a small mistake coming to the final part that made me lose time but still super happy with these first points in the World Cup; so all in all very happy and satisfied to be able to finish a season like this in the World Cup.”
Regarding Kranjska Gora, he said: “It's already my favourite track on the World Cup circuit. I was really looking forward to this race and even more so after the results I had in the Europa Cup and the Olympic Games. It was a great opportunity for me today and I made the most of it.”
“I've had a few very difficult years, with a lot of injuries, so this is a sweet moment considering where I came from. It's been a lot of years of effort and work, of overcoming many obstacles and finally the big reward arrives and I am very happy,” explained the Andorran skier.
On the Europa Cup Finals
The racer spoke about the 2022 Finals: “Everything we are doing means a lot as a country. Apart from organizing quality races and events of the highest level, I'm especially excited to be part of this process with these results. To be able to take part in Andorra not as just another participant but as the local skier, a most loved skier, and also with great results like this.”
On the candidacy for the Andorra 2027 World Championships
In the interview at the foot of the Kranjska Gora course, Verdú stated that “Andorra has no reason to be envious of the other courses, of the other countries. We have an incredible organization, they prepare the courses very well and the profiles of the Avet and Àliga slopes are spectacular, the equal of a race like today's, which is one of the most demanding. So, I hope it goes ahead. I would love to be able to take part and I encourage the entire organization, all those involved, to fight as hard as possible for this great goal that will be magnificent for the whole country.”
The next appointment on the calendar for the Europa Cup winner of the giant slalom will be on the Avet course in Soldeu (Grandvalira) next Wednesday, where he will compete in the same discipline.