The Sprint details are as follows: Part of the course is a climb that has a section where you must carry your skis, followed by a downhill section of about 100 meters of vert. First, each athlete must complete the course with their best-possible time. Based on these completion times, the top 30 athletes are selected, then divided into heats, which then follows a disqualification “winners-take-all” system. With this system in place, the top two athletes in each heat move on immediately, but the third or fourth athlete still has the chance (based on his or her qualification time) to automatically move into the next round. The remaining six athletes move into the final round to compete head to head, which is where the overall winner is determined.
In every heat all athletes must compete against each other and must complete the course. In the Sprint, tiny mistakes can play a vital role in the athletes outcome, as those are impactful seconds that could be lost and cost them the lead. The Sprint is usually raced on one piste in order to create audience appeal and attention.
In the Vertical race, the competition is all about climbing 600-900 meters on groomed trails. The Vertical event is well suited for crossover athletes or top athletes from other sports. This race is really about an athlete’s endurance and the athlete having a high threshold for pain.