2024 TAOS World Pro Ski Championship Giant Slalom Wrap Up & Overall World Champions Crowned

Saturday brought a bluebird and calm day Kachina Basin at Ski TAOS with a deeply talented field of pro athletes coming together for another day of World Championships racing, this time with a giant slalom course set.


After yesterday's super slalom, a giant slalom set brought a totally new game, with the men's round of 32 progressing as planned, but the round of 16 brought some major surprises. New faces to progress on during the day included the upset of yesterday's 2024 Super Slalom World Champion, Sam Maes (BEL) by George Steffey (USA). Tour leader, Christian Soevik (NOR), was taken down by rival WPST skier, Filip Foretjek (CZE) who has had difficulty up against Soevik all season. Alex Puente Tasias (ESP), who just 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 definitely bringing more speed and riskier lines by the athletes. Steffey proved he liked the GS format much better than yesterday's slalom and quickly eliminated Foretjek. Tour veteran and longtime US Ski Team athlete Michael Ankeny has proven throught the season that he can still compete agains the younger athletes now racing pro, but he was unable to shake off Alex Puente Tsias, who found an extra gear in his skiing today and progressed to the semi finals. The next surprise of the round came between U.S. Ski Teammates Radamus (USA) and Patrick Kenney (USA). Kenney held an advantage on the first run but was on the slower of the two courses in his second run; he dropped the hammer after the road and skied into the semis with a clear win. 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 GS guy, I favored today's setup and took every advantage." Steffey took care of Puente Tasias and sped into the finals. Zabystran continued his building pace against Kenney and earned the other spot in the finals.

In the small final, Puente Tasias was showing fatigue and was unable to shake off Kenney, and the American skiied into a third place. Steffey and Zabystran kept it exciting through the first run, but Zabystran got too straight into the second and let Steffey ski safely into victory and to take home a $20,000 big check.

1) George Steffey (USA)
2) Jan Zabystran (CZE)
3) Patrick Kenney (USA)
4) Alex Puente Tasias (ESP)


The women decided to change things up with the giant slalom as well, with more speed and straighter lines in places where they could take greater advantage of the flat sections. Yesterdays super slalom World Champion, Paula Moltzan (USA) was upset in round of 8 quarterfinals by Fabiana Dorigo (GER), a Tour rookie and first time pro racer here at TAOS. 2023 Tour Champion Erin Mielzynski (CAN) was similarly upset when faced by Tricia Mangan (USA). Kaja Norbye (NOR) showed she was another athlete who could thrive in both tech disciplines with swift progress agains Evelina Fredricsson (SWE). Finally, Nora Brand (GER) defeated Tuva Norbye (NOR), preventing her from meeting her sister in the next round.

In the semi finals, Mangan's speed kept coming while Dorigo was showing signs of fatigue and Mangan progressed to the final. Kaja Norbye was similarly able to outski Brand. This left an all German small final between Dorigo and Brand, and big final between Mangan and Norbye.

The small final went quickly with Dorigo holding Brand and skiing into third place. Mangan showed a more conservative approach to the course than her wild skiing of years past and defeated Kaja Norbye with a clear victory in 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.

1) Tricia Mangan (USA)
2) Kaja Norbye (NOR)
3) Fabiana Dorigo (GER)
4) Nora Brand (GER)


With points accumulation over the race weekend, Tricia Mangan was a clear WPST 2024 TAOS World Champion and she held both her $20,000 prize and $25,000 bonus high. so much variety in the men's field between the two race days culminated in a three-way tie for the $25,000 men's title and bonus, shared by Jan Zabystran, Sam Maes and Raphael Haaser.

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