Back to the ’80s: young Kiwi Robinson making history in the new era of skiing

Youngster Alice Robinson breaks a record that stood unbeaten since the ’80s: scoring her third career win before turning 20. 

Photo credits: Eurosport & FIS Alpine

By Daphne Seberich

Alice Robinson triumphed at the Giant Slalom finals held in Lenzerheide. The Kiwi youngster, who already managed to impress everyone watching at home with her wins in Sölden and Kranjska Gora in 2020, breaks an unbeaten record since the ’80s. Who could say to have already three career World Cup wins at 19? Legends like Lindsey Vonn and Nicole Hosp came close to breaking this myth but couldn’t quite achieve to make it in the history books with this statistic under their belt. 

The young Kiwi topped the Lenzerheide podium, with Mikaela Shiffrin and Meta Hrovat completing the top-three. An outstanding second run allowed the youngster to clinch the win of the race. 

“I wasn’t happy at all with my first run,” said Robinson to FIS. “So I just thought I have to go full gas and give it all my energy in the second run since it was the last of the season I gave every bit of energy and power that I had.”

Robinson debuted in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup only two seasons ago, impressing from the get-go. On her debut at the Andorra finals in 2019, she scored her first podium, clinching second as the Junior World Champion invitee.

Video rights: FIS Alpine & Infront Sports & Media AG

Federica Brignone kicked off the race with a time of 1:12.47 Although the Italian wasn’t satisfied with her performance, Lara Gut-Behrami didn’t even end her run. Some speculated that it was an act of protest for the canceled speed events in Lenzerheide that, if held, could have potentially changed the Overall Crystal Globe win in favor of the Swiss. This assumption has been denied by the Swiss ski federation. American Mikaela Shiffrin beat the Italian with a 1.39 advantage at the finish line. 

The Overall Crystal Globe winner Petra Vlhova didn’t have her best performance and ended 1.83 seconds behind the lead. Swiss speedster and Saturday’s third-place winner Michelle Gisin was the athlete closest to Shiffrin’s mark with an 81 hundredths delay from the top. 

The Giant Slalom Crystal Globe winner Marta Bassino was incredibly quick during her run. The Italian found the perfect race line and speed to finish only 10 hundredths behind the blistering time set by Shiffrin.

Photo credits: Cuneodice.it

Saturday’s Slalom Crystal Globe winner Katharina Liensberger regained confidence in her Giant Slalom abilities, crossing the finish line 1.08 seconds behind the provisional leader of the race. 

Kranjska Gora’s third-place winner Meta Hrovat was the surprise of the first run, as her intermediates were green throughout her attempt. At the finish line, a one-tenth of a second delay put her in ex aequo with Marta Bassino in second. 

New Zealand’s youngster Alice Robinson, who came back to the podium in Jasna, had an outstanding performance, finishing in fourth. 

Photo credits: Rai Sport

After the inversion, the second run began with Ragnhild Mowinckel’s attempt at the leadership. With an overall time of 2.25.02 the Norwegian set the bar for the next competitors. Cortina Downhill World Champion Corinne Suter managed to increase her advantage over Mowinckel, crossing the finish line with a 77 hundredths advantage.

American Nina O’Brian blew it out of the water, incrementing her advantage over Suter intermediate by intermediate. Her overall performance allowed her to earn the provisional lead being over 99 hundredths ahead of the Swiss. 

Elena Curtoni was hoping for a career-best result in Giant Slalom but the interpretation of the last part of the slope was not good enough to take over the leadership. 14-hundredths, although, allowed her although to stay close behind the American. Polish skier Maryna Gasienica-Daniel had an outstanding performance, serving almost a second of delay to O’Brian. Petra Vlhova barely missed out on the leadership by only two-hundredths of a second. 

The biggest surprise was Tessa Worley, who despite making a major mistake in the middle part of the course still managed to recover over eight tenths, beating Gasienica-Daniel for the leadership of the race. Swede Sara Hector then took over the top spot of the competition, crossing the finish line with six-tenths of advantage.

Photo credits: Alain Grosclaude for Agence Zoom & Getty Images

Federica Brignone was hoping for a comeback to break a record for Italy: becoming the only Italian skier to win a race in Giant Slalom for six years in a row. 72-hundredths of advantage over Hector earned her the leadership, but she still had six competitors to beat. 

Katharina Liensberger didn’t manage to dethrone Brignone but earned the second spot of the ranking. Two-hundredths of a second separated Michelle Gisin and the Italian superstar after her second run attempt. 

Alice Robinson was a rocketship. She managed to let her ski run loose, maximizing speed and fluidity of movement. An astonishing advantage of 1.29 won her the top spot of the race. Red bib wearer Marta Bassino couldn’t beat the Kiwi skier, accumulating an excessive delay that allowed her to only place fifth. 

Meta Hrovat couldn’t manage to beat Robinson as well. She still secured although the runner-up position with 48 hundredths of delay. American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin couldn’t score the top spot of the standings either but was still content with second place. 

Photo credits: FIS Alpine

This race concluded a highly contended 2020/2021 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup women’s season. What can we expect in the future from these brilliant athletes? Fans can’t wait to see them back on the slopes in the fall!

It couldn’t get better than this for Pinturault

Alexis Pinturault won the last Giant Slalom of the season in Lenzerheide in commanding fashion. In addition to that, he also won for the first time in his career both the Small and the Giant Crystal Globe — all that on his 30th birthday. It couldn’t get better than this for Pinturault.

Photo credits: Agence Zoom & Eurosport

By Daphne Seberich

The Giant Slalom season couldn’t have ended better for Alexis Pinturault. After many seasons of coming close to winning the Small and Giant Crystal Globes, the Frenchman was due to finally bring those titles home. Already after the first run, it was almost certain that the newly turned 30-year-old would triumph in his discipline in commanding fashion.

But the titles didn’t come easily. Only 25 points separated Alexis Pinturault and Marco Odermatt for the big Crystal Globe. On the day of his 30th birthday, the Frenchman had the big task to prove himself worthy of winning the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe, as well as the overall championship.     

“I was really tired after the World Championships and struggled the last few weeks,” said Pinturault after the race. “After Kranjska Gora, I was really frustrated. And Marco was getting really good results, so I felt the pressure. Today, it was clear what I had to do – I actually felt more pressure in Kranjksa than I did today”, the Frenchman told FIS. 

Closing off the podium were Filip Zubcic in second and Mathieu Faivre in third. Another Giant Slalom 1-3 for France after Bansko in February.

Photo credits: The Indian Paper

Lenzerheide was troubled by the weather conditions all weekend long. FIS even had to take the difficult decision to cancel the speed disciplines’ finals. A very controversial and potentially disruptive conclusion, as both Overall championships for men and women, were still undecided. 

It was especially tough for Lara Gut-Behrami, who had her two main disciplines races stripped away from her to earn the Giant Crystal Globe against Slovakian Petra Vlhova. The Swiss had the chance to take the title home for the second time after 2016, but the FIS decided to not reschedule the canceled races, as stated in the finals regulations. 

Photo credits: Tio.ch

With the blistering time of 1:01.19, Frenchman Pinturault hypothecated his win and potential titles already after his first run. No one could’ve come close to his achievement on the tricky Lenzerheide course. Zan Kranjec was suffering the difficulty of the Swiss slope, crossing the finish line 1.48 seconds behind Pinturault.

Marco Odermatt was in big trouble after his run. 1.66 seconds of delay only secured him the last spot in the rankings. He had a lot of catch-up to do to have a chance at the globe, but the Swiss is famous for his comebacks to the top positions. He never scored worse than fifth place during the whole Giant Slalom season. 

Filip Zubcic, who mathematically still had the chance at the Small Crystal Globe, was the best after Pinturault at the finish line, dethroning Kranjec from second place. The Bansko winner and Cortina 2021 World Champion Mathieu Faivre was not on his A-game. Over 1.53 seconds of delay towards his invincible teammate didn’t score him the best possible result ahead of the second run. 

Second in the last Giant Slalom of Kranjska Gora Loïc Meillard was the first athlete to exit the race prematurely. A hole on the course deviated his path and made him lose control over his skis. The not optimal conditions of the course debilitated the Swiss’ performance on home soil. 

Photo credits: Taiwan News, News Beezer, Agence Zoom, Rai Sport, LaPresse.ca and Taiwan News

Thibaut Favrot had the same mishap as Pinturault in the first Bansko race. He lost one of his poles mid-race and still managed to score third place with a 1:31 second of delay. The Cortina 2021 Giant Slalom silver medalist Luca De Aliprandini had his best performance in the World Cup season, managed to dethrone Favrot from provisional third place. 

The former holder of the small Giant Slalom Crystal Globe Henrik Kristoffersen was struggling to finish his run. He was the first athlete to do worse than Marco Odermatt. All descended athletes still had a chance at a podium, as the times were not much apart from each other. 

Stefan Brennsteiner was the surprise of the first run being the only one to get under the second of delay at the finish line. On the other hand, Marco Schwarz, troubled by back pain, couldn’t score a good result, placing provisionally last. 

Photo credits: Krone.at

The 2021 Junior World Champion Lukas Feurstein kicked off the second run after the inversion of twenty, setting the bar for the other competitors with a time of 1:14.96. Manuel Feller managed to beat the young Austrian’s time but wasn’t very satisfied by his result as it was just a slight improvement from the best time scored by Feurstein. Although his run was characterized by a major mistake at the end, Adam Zampa took over the lead of the race.

Giovanni Borsotti incremented his advantage intermediate by intermediate, crossing the finish line 1.39 seconds ahead of the provisional leader Zampa. Marco Schwarz dethroned the Italian by beating his time by only one-hundredth of a second. Soon after, German Stefan Luitz improved the Austrian’s best result by 34 hundredths. Henrik Kristoffersen then put the short leadership of Luitz to an end.

Marco Odermatt had to face the toughest challenge of his career to date: recover over 1.66 seconds against first-run leader Pinturault. He increased his advantage over Kristoffersen in the first section of the course, but the mellow part of the slope decreased his speed dramatically. The result of his run was not what he expected, finishing in third behind Kristoffersen and Luitz. Teammate Gino Caviezel then took over the lead with a seven-hundredths advantage over the Norwegian.

Photo credits: Archyde

Frenchman Mathieu Faivre blew it out of the park with his incredible performance of the second run. 79-hundredths allowed him to place provisionally in first. His teammate Favrot was just 59 hundredths behind him in second. De Aliprandini then dethroned the French to the runner-up position.

Filip Zubcic had the run of his career. He incremented his advantage over Faivre intermediate by intermediate. One hundredth at the finish line allowed him to take over the leadership of the race. 

Alexis Pinturault did what he had to do at the end of his run and became on his 30th birthday the winner of the race, the Giant Slalom Small Crystal Globe and the Overall Crystal Globe earner, the biggest achievement for a skier’s career. These achievements were a long time coming for the Frenchman, as his past seasons were mainly dominated by martian Marcel Hirscher. Last year, he had a shot at the Overall title as well, but the cancellation of the remaining races of the 2019/2020 season due to the ongoing pandemic cut his chances short. 

Photo credits: The Indian Paper

One race was still left for the 2020/2021 championships. Could Alexis Pinturault close his season off with another success?

The ultimate speed machine

Lara Gut-Behrami can’t stop and won’t stop winning. The ultimate speed machine scored back-to-back wins in Val di Fassa, securing her lead at the top of the Overall standings. 

Photo credits: Eurosport & Alessandro Trovati for AP Photo

By Daphne Seberich

Another day, another victory for Lara Gut-Behrami. The Swiss speed athlete dominated the second Downhill race in Val di Fassa, Italy. The Passo San Pellegrino course, which hosted the 2019 FIS Alpine Junior World Championships, was a replacement for the Olympic Test events in Beijing, which were canceled due to the pandemic.

Back-to-back wins seem to be the “Gut-way” of doing things. She’s completely commanding the Super G standings, with four events out of five won in a row, not to mention her incredible World Championships gold medal in Cortina. Can she recover and conquer the Downhill Crystal Globe as well?

Photo credits: GEPA

Resilient teammate Corinne Suter managed to score a back-to-back podium result, although improving the position. On Friday’s race, the Swiss speedster earned third place. This time, she was just behind unbeatable Gut-Behrami in second, 32 hundredths off the pace. The reigning Downhill World Champion probably expected a victory from this speed weekend but can still consider herself pleased with the results. 

Concluding the top-three, Kira Weidle stood on the lowest step of the podium for the third time in her World Cup career. The German Cortina Downhill silver medalist seemed to be in her best physical condition after her breakthrough on the Olympia Delle Tofane course. 

Photo credits: FIS Alpine

To kick the race off, Elena Curtoni set the time to beat at 1:26.54. Three seconds slower than the winner’s time the day before. Jasmine Flury didn’t have a hard time beating the Italian’s performance. She took over the provisional lead of the race.

Breezy Johnson needed a podium result to still have a chance at the Downhill small Crystal Globe. A too pronounced lean towards a gate on the steepest part of the slope provoked her crashing into the barriers. A mistake that proved to be fatal for Johnson’s standings. 

The Swiss Giant Slalom specialist Michelle Gisin seemed to be ahead of teammate Flury throughout her run, posting green intermediates. Only one-hundredth of a second of advantage aided her to dethrone the provisional leader. 

2021 Downhill World Champion Corinne Suter blew it out of the park, serving her teammates Gisin and Flury over 49 and 50 hundredths of advantage. After five racers, the competition saw an all-Swiss podium, but Kajsa Vickhoff Lie ended the streak by placing behind Suter in second.

Photo credits: Twitter

Friday’s Val di Fassa winner Lara Gut Behrami was just on another planet. Her advantage over provisional leader Suter increased intermediate by intermediate. The quality of her skiing was just unlike any other. Only injured Sofia Goggia could have attempted to beat the Swiss speed specialist.  

Cortina Downhill Silver medalist Kira Weidle was skiing a clean racing line, but a little bit more aggressiveness was necessary on the Passo San Pellegrino slope. The German managed to recover over three tenths in the final part of the piste, earning a place on the lowest step of the podium.

Photo credits: Hersfelder Zeitung

After the tenth racer, Federica Brignone, the standings were in favor of the Swiss, with all of their athletes placed in the Top-6. The Italians were the worst team on home soil, being respectively all in the last three positions of the rankings.

Val di Fassa runner-up Ramona Siebenhofer attempted back-to-back podium positions. She came short of third place, losing out on Weidle’s position by eight-hundredths of a second. 

The best Italian on home soil in Friday’s race, Laura Pirovano, proved to be Italy’s only hope for a good result, placing fifth in ex aequo with Norwegian Lie.

Petra Vlhova, who sees in Gut-Behrami the biggest competition and threat for the Overall Crystal Globe, tried to score a Top-10 finish as an attempt to not losing out on too many points against the Swiss. A 1.29 seconds delay was unfortunately not enough for a good result.

Photo credits: Sportnet – SME & Olympic Channel

107 points now separate the two contenders, with Gut-Behrami in the lead. Can Vlhova turn the tables around in Jasna, where two technical events (her specialties) will be held? And can Gut-Behrami go home at the end of the season with three Crystal Globes (Downhill, Super G & Overall)? The injured Sofia Goggia has now only a 97-points lead over the Val di Fassa winner and 80 over World Champion Suter. The ultimate showdown will be in Lenzerheide, where the big finals of this Alpine Skiing 2020/2021 season will take place from March 15th-21st. 

Photo credits: Samuel Truempy for PHOTOPRESS

She’s unstoppable.

Lara Gut-Behrami proves to be unstoppable on the speed disciplines, especially when considering her most recent results at the 2021 Cortina D’Ampezzo FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Photo credits: Rai Sport & Eurosport

By Daphne Seberich 

After the 2021 Cortina d’Ampezzo FIS Alpine Ski World Championships, the World Cup restarted on a new slope for the women in Val di Fassa, Italy. The Passo San Pellegrino course, which hosted the 2019 FIS Alpine Junior World Championships, was a replacement for the Olympic Test events in Beijing, which were canceled due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the Italian venue proved to be especially fitting to one particular athlete’s characteristics: Lara Gut-Behrami.  

The Swiss athlete scored two gold medals (Super G and Giant Slalom) and one bronze in the Downhill event at the Cortina World Championships. The Ticino skier has been virtually untouchable since the beginning of 2021, especially in Super G, at which she won at four out of five events during the season. 

Today’s Dowhill event was not an easy win for Gut-Behrami, as she barely surpassed Ramona Siebehofer for the lead. Two-hundredths of a second were enough to assign the victory to the Swiss racer. Placing third was Cortina Downhill World Champion, Corinne Suter who was just 26 hundredths off teammate Lara Gut-Behrami’s pace. 

Photo credits: Agence Zoom

Breezy Johnson, who scored four third places in five World Cup Downhill races, was the athlete kicking-off the race. The time to beat for the competitors was 1:24.77. Austrian Ramona Siebenhofer seemed to race cleaner lines, which helped her increase her advantage over Johnson intermediate by intermediate. With 34 hundredths of advantage, Siebenhofer dethroned the American skier. Cortina World Championships Downhill silver medalist Kira Weidle managed to squeeze between the two racers after her attempt, finishing in second place. 

Francesca Marsaglia’s performance was not at her level. The athlete competing on home soil was expecting a better result, but 1.72 seconds from the provisional leader only secured her fourth place.

The new 2021 Downhill World Champion Corinne Suter seemed not capable of interpreting the slope the best way to deserve the lead of the race. 24-hundredths of delay behind Siebenhofer still secured the provisional second spot on the podium.

Speed discipline superstar Lara Gut-Behrami was racing for the Overall World Cup title.  The Swiss was always close to Siebenhofer’s time throughout the intermediates. It was a breathtaking finish, as Gut-Behrami managed to recover over 16 hundredths of a second of delay, finishing 0.02 seconds ahead of the provisional leader. 

Video rights: Infront Sports & Media AG

Former Downhill World Champion Ilka Stuhec, who complained ahead of the race about the easiness of difficulty of the Italian slope, was doing well ahead of the first intermediate. A mistake, although, ended her chances of winning.

Giant Slalom dominator Marta Bassino was setting the worst intermediates of all the athletes. The Italian superstar seemed not to be in her best mental shape after the criticism she encountered following the Cortina Giant Slalom flop. A 2.18-second disadvantage placed her in last. On the contrary, teammate Laura Pirovano, who placed seventh after her run, was the best-placed “Azzurra” of the competition on home soil.

Petra Vlhova, Gut-Behrami’s main challenger for the Overall title, was doing well in the first half of the race. Keeping up with Lara Gut-Behrami is never an easy task and being 1.12 seconds behind the Downhill giant was already an impressive accomplishment for the Slovakian. 

Thanks to this victory, Lara Gut-Behrami took over the leadership of the Overall standings, with over a 29-points lead over Vlhova, whose ninth-place was not enough to keep her in the lead.

Photo credits: Alessandro Trovati for AP Photo

As far as the Downhill standings concern, Sofia Goggia maintains the leadership over the standings, even though her injury prevents her from competing. The Italian skier was dominating the Downhill season when a fatal mistake in Garmisch-Partenkirchen’s Super G cut her winning streak short. It also prevented her from participating at the World Championships on home soil, where she would have undoubtedly scored a good result.

The races at the Passo San Pellegrino will continue with another Downhill race on Saturday and a Super G on Sunday, with Lara Gut-Behrami as a favorite to win them all. As the season comes to an end, the race to earn the Crystal Globes becomes tighter and even more exciting for the viewers. Who will come out on top?

Photo credits: Race Ski Magazine & Eurosport

Fresh Air Podcast – Episode 4: “It’s all about the speed”

Welcome to Fresh Air, the show that takes you from the snowy peaks of the Alps to the sunny shores of Bondi beach.

From the first A,B,C of how to ski to the X, Y, Z to the climbing on the edge. Our podcast is all about introducing you to outdoor sports.

In our fourth episode, we’ll discover everything about a very popular sport, alpine skiing, uncover everything about this amazing sport and its different disciplines, we’ll talk about what happened at the 2021 Cortina D’Ampezzo FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, we’ll take it to the streets, learning about some experiences with the sport, we’ll introduce a brand new section of our show called travel tips and lastly, we have a very special interview that you don’t wanna miss. We’re keeping you on your toes this time.

It’s gonna be a high altitude, high octane and a hell of a ride. You can’t be stopped.

Join us, and come and get a breath of Fresh Air.

Fresh Air Podcast – All Rights Reserved

Liensberger broke the Austrian Slalom taboo

Katharina Liensberger brought Austria’s gold medal drought in a Women’s Slalom event to an end after ten years. She broke the “Wunderteam’s” taboo since 2011.

Photo credits: CGTV & Soloski.net

By Daphne Seberich 

Katharina Liensberger was the revelation of the Cortina D’Ampezzo 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The Austrian managed to score three medals throughout the two weeks of competition, two gold and one bronze. She beat favorites like Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova. And by a lot. 

The 23-year old Austrian dominated the race, serving over one second of advantage to second-placed Vlhova and two seconds to the favorite to take the title Shiffrin. An impressive accomplishment, considering that the Italian slope was very tricky to interpret and difficult from a technical standpoint.

Photo credits: Leonhard Föger for Reuters

Liensberger’s gold medal brought one of the most impressive medal streaks in World Championship history to an end. Mikaela Shiffrin was looking for a five-peat after winning the last four World Championship Slalom titles but had to be happy with bronze. 

Nevertheless, Shiffrin was still the most successful woman at Cortina, winning four medals (one gold, one silver and two bronze). The American managed to be on the podium at every competition she competed in. 

Photo credits: Taiwan News

To kick it off, the Cortina Parallel gold medalist Katharina Liensberger set the fastest time of 48.48. With 30 hundredths of a second delay, Petra Vlhova secured second place, even after Canadian Laurence Saint-Germain crossed the finish line. 

The favorite to win the race, Mikaela Shiffrin, had a troublesome first run, finishing 1.3 seconds behind Liensberger. The American superstar won every World Championships Slalom title since 2013, four titles in a row.

Second-ranked in the Overall standings of the FIS World Cup Michelle Gisin ended her run prematurely by straddling one of the gates. Swiss teammate Wendy Holdener dethroned Shiffrin from third-place by being 1.24 seconds off the fastest time.

Photo credits: Nevasport.com, Getty Images, The Guardian, World 24 News & Tio.ch

German Lena Dürr with bib number 10 managed to squeeze between Shiffrin in fourth and Mair in sixth to secure fifth place 1.96 seconds behind the provisional leader. Irene Curtoni, Elena Curtoni’s sister, struggled the whole way down the slope and crossed the finish line in 9th. After 15 racers, the tenth-placed athlete had over 2.48 seconds of delay. The impossible task for the second run was catching-up Wendy Holdener in third place to have a chance at a medal. Vlhova and Liensberger were just on another planet, having over 96 and 1.24 hundredths of advantage over the Swiss. 

Italian Federica Brignone, unfortunately, didn’t perform well on home soil.  She straddled a gate and ended her dream of winning in Cortina prematurely.

The surprises of the first run were Ana Bucik, placing fifth with bib number 20, and Asa Ando from Japan in eighth place, 1.97 seconds away from the fastest time. Camille Rast, who had her best career result in Flachau finishing in sixth place, impressed as well with bib 25. The Swiss youngster managed to squeeze between Buick and Dürr in sixth, 1.67 seconds behind Liensberger. 

Photo credits: NewsBeezer, Kyodo News & World 24 News

The second run saw World Championships rookies Dzenifera Germane and Ali Nullmeyer ex aequo in first position until Parallel Team bronze medalist Andrea Falser beat the two by 1.29 seconds. Martina Peterlini from Italy then surpassed the provisional leader by seven hundredths.

The class 98’ athlete Elsa Fermbäck blew it out of the park with his run, taking over the leadership of the race. The best Italian athlete after the first run, Irene Curtoni, only managed to dethrone her teammate Peterlini from second place.

Slovenian Andreja Slokar, who qualified for the second run in 17th position, crossed the finish line with a 1.25-second advantage, taking over the lead of the race. Her impressive performance aided her to recover over twelve positions, beating athletes like Chiara Mair, Lena Dürr and Kristin Lysdahl. Even the surprise of the first run, Ana Bucik, was beaten by her teammate.

Photo credits: Leonhard Föger for Reuters

We expected Mikaela Shiffrin to go all-in, but she progressively lost her advantage over Slokar. She still managed to become the provisional leader with 69 hundredths of a second advantage over the Slovenian rookie. The American’s performance was enough to secure her a medal. Wendy Holdener, who placed third in the first run, lost all of her advantage, crossing the finish line in second place. 

Slovakian superstar Petra Vlhova had a solid run, taking over the leadership with 98 hundredths of a second advantage over Shiffrin. 

Katharina Liensberger proved that her performance in her first attempt wasn’t a fluke. Throughout her run, she continued to increase her lead over Vlhova. Crossing the line with a second of advantage, Liensberger earned Austria the first gold medal in the Women’s Slalom discipline since Marlies Schild (now Raich) in 2011. After over ten years of drought for the “Wunderteam”, Liensberger deservingly broke the taboo. 

Photo credits: FIS Alpine

As the World Championships came to an end for the women, all eyes turn back to hunt for the World Cup overall title, which will resume a speed weekend in Val di Fassa.

Several questions surround the last part of the season. Can Lara Gut-Behrami maintain her momentum and go for the overall title? Will Vlhova find her second wind? How will Liensberger react to her new-found success? And what tricks does Shiffrin still have up her sleeve? These and many more questions will be answered in the last month of the season. Hold on for a wild ride.

Walliser’s 32-year-record was finally crushed by Suter!

Switzerland’s Corinne Suter brings back the Downhill World Championships gold medal to the Swiss Ski team 32 years after their last successful racer, Maria Walliser.

Photo credits: Neveitalia & Marca

By Daphne Seberich

After tough weather days at the start of the Championships week, Cortina dished up a dream day for the women’s downhillers. Cloudless blue skies and crisp temperatures greeted the field as one of the most scenic downhill courses in the world, had a chance to truly shine for the Women’s Downhill FIS Alpine World Ski Championship race.

The Swiss women continued their march through Cortina, earning another two speed medals thanks to, once again, the work of Corinne Suter and Lara Gut-Behrami. Today it was Suter’s turn to shine as she claimed her first career World Championship gold medal.

Corinne Suter became the first Swiss skier to win the Women’s Downhill FIS Alpine World Ski Championships title in 32 years (Maria Walliser was the last Swiss world champion in women’s downhill) with the victory at Cortina d’Ampezzo. The 2021 Super-G silver medalist dominated the Olympia delle Tofane piste, built for the 1956 Winter Olympics, to win her second medal of the 2021 Alpine World Ski Championships in cold and clear conditions.

Photo credits: La Razón

That triumph made her only the second woman ever to win a medal in both downhill and Super-G at two separate World Championships, having also achieved the feat in 2019; American Lindsey Vonn (2007, 2009) is the only other skier to have done so. 

Germany’s Kira Weidle took silver, while Suter’s teammate and pre-race favorite Lara Gut-Behrami, the Super-G event winner, won bronze. Two-time defending champion Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia could only finish 14th.

Photo credits: DE 24 News, Olympic Channel & Pentaphoto

To kick it off, Francesca Marsaglia was the first to challenge the Olympia delle Tofane slope. With a time of 1:35.81, she set the bar for the other competitors. Swiss racer Jasmina Suter and Italian teammate Laura Pirovano attempted to dethrone Marsaglia from provisional first place. Only Pirovano managed to beat her teammate’s time, serving her a 37 hundredths of a second advantage at the finish line. Nadia Delago with bib number 4 squeezed in-between Pirovano and Marsaglia to secure an all-Italian podium on home soil. 

Although her run was characterized by many mistakes, Breezy Johnson ended the Italian dominance by beating the leader’s time by 27 hundredths of a second. 

Åre 2019 Downhill and Cortina 2021 Super G silver medal winner Corinne Suter set green intermediates throughout her run, ending it 9 tenths ahead of Johnson. Swiss teammate Michelle Gisin earned the provisional runner-up podium spot, 5 tenths behind Suter but was shortly after beaten by Czech Ledecká by 6 hundredths of a second. 

Photo credits: Agence Zoom

German skier Kira Weidle came the closest to dethroning Suter but didn’t quite manage to get the top spot, crossing the finish line 2 tenths behind the Swiss athlete.

After winning her maiden gold medal on Thursday in the Super G event, Lara Gut-Behrami had a really strong performance, setting green intermediates throughout her run. Unfortunately, she didn’t quite manage to dethrone her teammate but still earned a spot on the podium with a 37 hundredths of a second delay.

Photo credits: Agence Zoom

Ilka Stuhec, who won the Downhill gold medal in the World Championships in 2017 and 2019, could not do anything against Corinne Suter’s superiority, having to hand over her the World Championship title.

The last Italian to compete on the Olympia delle Tofane slope was Elena Curtoni. It was a very close fight for a podium position, but the way she skied the last section of the slope was not good enough for a podium position. She ended up crossing the finish line 83 hundredths behind Suter. 

Photo credits: FISI

“My run was really good, I did what I wanted to ski, what I needed to give me the space and take the speed with me,” Suter told FIS. She added that her Super-G silver medal gave her confidence: “More than I first thought, I always knew in downhill I had more chances and then I started with a silver medal in Super-G. “Today was a new day, I felt really good in the morning, and I knew I did everything I could.”

Weidle was 0.2 seconds behind in second, having looked like potentially threatening Suter for gold. “It’s still kind of unbelievable, I’m just happy,” Weidle told Eurosport after the race. “I was hoping for a medal, it was my biggest goal today. While I was racing I really felt good, no big mistakes. I knew I could be fast, Corinne was just faster.”

Photo credits: Agence Zoom

Thanks to the exploits of Gut-Behrami and Suter, Switzerland holds a strong lead in the overall medal count with four in total. While the Swiss men were shut out of the medals in the Super-G event, they have several favorites for the Downhill event that can help to build on the lead.

Gut too good on home soil

Lara Gut-Behrami was just too good compared to the other competitors in the Crans Montana Super G event. She is now the second woman to win World Cup Super G races in three different Swiss venues (St.Moritz, Lenzerheide, Crans Montana).

Photo credits: Eurosport & FIS Alpine Instagram

By Daphne Seberich 

Lara Gut-Behrami is back to her winning ways after an astonishing performance in Sunday’s Audi FIS World Cup race. The third Super G event of the 2020/2021 season took place in Switzerland on the Crans Montana slope.

There was no way the other athletes could compete with the Swiss’s speed and racing line. After all, Lara is one of the most successful female skier still active in the Super G discipline. This event secured a new record under her belt. Gut-Behrami is the second woman to win World Cup Super G races in three different Swiss venues (St.Moritz, Lenzerheide, Crans Montana).

For the Swiss speed specialist, it was a mixed bag weekend on home soil. She finished a disappointing 16th place in the first Downhill, only to have her comeback in Saturday’s second event to claim second place. Crans Montana is a venue that suits Gut-Behrami as Sunday’s race was her third victory and fourth podium in the last two seasons at the home nation’s resort. 

Gut-Behrami raced a flawless line on the bottom half of the course to earn the victory by nearly one second. Austrian Tamara Tippler continued to impress, earning her second runner-up finish 0.96 seconds behind. Italian Federica Brignone rounded out the podium, raking in her second Super-G Top-three finish of the season.

Video credits: FIS Alpine Instagram

Bib number one racer and current Overall standings leader Petra Vlhova didn’t have the best start to her run. Shortly after the first intermediate, Vlhova missed a gate after a jump and got disqualified from the race.

Michelle Gisin, the second contender for the Big Crystal Globe, was the first athlete to set the benchmark with a time of 1:18.30. Austrian skier Stephanie Venier challenged the Swiss for the lead but lost control of her body after a jump, crashing into the barriers. Fortunately, no major physical injuries were reported from the Austrian ski team.

Gisin’s teammate Wendy Holdener, who placed 3rd in the Crans Montana Super G in 2018, missed a gate and ended her run prematurely.

Right from the get-go, Federica Brignone showed to have great speed and always sealed green intermediates during her run. A 1.65-second lead ahead of Gisin boosted her into provisional first place.

Photo credits: Neveitalia

Crans Montana 2017 Super G winner Ilka Stuhec didn’t have what it takes to challenge the leader Federica Brignone but still managed to finish on the podium in third place with a 2.14-second delay. 

The first challenger for first place was Swiss skier Corinne Suter. Even though he took many risks and set green intermediates throughout her run, she crossed the finish line with 50 hundredths of a second delay. The time still allowed her to secure the second spot on the podium. 

Lara Gut-Behrami, Crans Montana 2020 Super G winner, who is suffering from a back injury, seemed to have an incredible physical shape. A 1.02-second advantage against Brignone granted her the lead of the competition. She was undoubtedly the favorite to win the race. 

Third in the Overall standings, Marta Bassino challenged her teammate Brignone for a podium position but missed out on it only by 28 hundredths against Priska Nufer.

Teammate Francesca Marsaglia dethroned the Swiss and secured the third step of the podium. The Italian ski team is the strongest of all of this season, with three athletes placing in the Top-8. 

Photo credits: La Stampa, Instagram & El Mundo Deportivo

Crans Montana Downhill back-to-back winner Sofia Goggia took many risks that seemed to pay off until the last jump did her dirty. Losing control over her body made Goggia miss the second-to-last gate of the slope. Her time would have secured her the second place position, but she was disqualified. Elena Curtoni’s fate aligned with Goggia’s, ending her run in the same way as her teammate: With a DNF.

The win also moved Gut-Behrami ahead of teammate Corinne Suter in the Super-G season standings, although there is still much racing left in the year. 

Before the World Championships in Cortina kick-off at the start of February, the Women’s World Cup tour still has two stops. First up, a giant slalom at the Kronplatz, followed by a speed weekend in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Photo credits: Audi FIS Ski World Cup & Ticketmaster Blog