LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland – An aggressive second run lifted teenager Alice Robinson ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin to win a giant slalom that ended the women’s World Cup ski season on Sunday.

Robinson had been fourth-fastest in the opening run, trailing 2018 Olympic champion Shiffrin by 0.77 seconds, yet turned it into a victory by 0.28 at Lenzerheide. Meta Hrovat placed third, trailing Robinson by 0.48.

It was the 19-year-old New Zealander’s third win in giant slalom on the World Cup circuit.

Alice Robinson (NZL).

“Good job,” Shiffrin told Robinson in the finish area. Shiffrin, who turned 26 last week, had also started winning World Cup races as a teenager.

Marta Bassino, who already secured the season-long giant slalom title, trailed by 1.45 in seventh.

One day after being crowned the overall World Cup champion, Petra Vlhova ended her tiring season with an 11th-place finish. 

The first-ever Slovakian champion in the 54-year World Cup history started 31 of the 33 races. Her emotionally exhausting Saturday included being congratulated in a telephone call with the president of Slovakia, Zuzana Caputová.

Vlhova took the overall title from Federica Brignone, who placed fourth Sunday and talked of a difficult season held with strict travel and health protocols and no fans allowed in finish areas.

Federica Brignone (ITA).

“I’ve had enough of this season. It was really long, it was really not good,” a smiling Brignone told Swiss broadcaster RTS citing the lack of atmosphere at races.

Still, Brignone finished with a flourish as only Robinson was faster in the second run.

The first run in the morning was notable for a curious exit by world champion Lara Gut-Behrami, who lost out Saturday to Vlhova in the overall standings.

Gut-Behrami at first seemed to simply stop racing and left broadcasters mystified when she skied out.

The Swiss star, overall World Cup champion in 2016, began to stand up straight approaching the third gate, relaxed her arms and slowly skied back across the hill wide of the next gate.

Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI).

It was a strange end to her impressive career revival in 2021. Since January, Gut-Behrami won six World Cup races – including four straight in super-G – plus two gold medals and a bronze at the worlds last month in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

“Lara didn’t have enough energy to give it all and didn’t want to take the risk to get injured and that’s the reason why she stopped,” Swiss team spokesman Jérôme Krieg said in a statement. 

There was quick speculation that Gut-Behrami was making a protest against organizers after comments earlier in the week critical of the race week scheduling rules. 

The downhill and super-G events – where Gut-Behrami is stronger than Vlhova – were canceled by difficult weather conditions on Wednesday and Thursday. They could not be moved to Friday when the little-regarded team parallel racing event went ahead without problems.

Krieg said fatigue was “the only reason (for stopping). She’s happy about her season, that it is over now and that she is healthy.” 

Gut-Behrami did not stop to speak with media in the finish area, and was due to return to the course for trophy presentations.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more. 

Women’s World Cup – Giant Slalom – Lenzerheide, Switzerland – March 21, 2021

8 COMMENTS

    • very limited off season training for Shiffrin, and then the back injury at the start of the season. Petra trained hard right thru the whole off season, she was super prepared at the start of the season

  1. That was a big steep icy GS race course. It was obviously a tough course, after Brignone did rotational skids at the first couple of gates in the first run. Only Mikaela and Marta found their GS rhythm on that first run. So, Mikaela finished off the season with great results. She had lots of competition this year, but it didnt keep her off the podium. She will probably win the Overall WC Title, again next year

  2. That looked like a giant FU to the world by Gut….do you blame her after she got completely robbed out of competing for the overall title…I mean that was a massive screw job the likes of which I have not see in ski racing.

    Not the best way to go about it in my opinion, but yeah it is pretty obvious how she feels about the whole thing.

  3. Lara Gut was absolutely correct. They should have cancelled the boring and stupid parallel and team events and run at least the SG. They changed enough other rules in the midst of everything this year (That top 15 flip) and they should have done that here too.

    Probably cost her a couple million $ she deserves to be PO’d

  4. What if the chips had fell and the slalom and giant slalom had been the ones on the block. It was not malice or cheating. Brignone still feels as if she stole her overall. Who knows what could have happened? I would have loved to seen it. The battle between Marco and Alexis. Petra and Lara. It was all shaping up to be the most exciting conclusion in Alpine History. And then,,,, The WEATHER. Which only God can control. All of them deserved better. But this is their sport and their rules and has always been. But how can you say that either Overall Champion was not deserving. Petra even in slalom was so tired she could barely even finish the last races. All heart. Alexis was winning and placing all the way to the overall. I honestly don’t think the results would be any different. Petra just finished in slalom. She wasn’t trying to win. She could have put it out of reach. Maybe not? We will never know. Maybe Marco would win the Super G? I still think Alexis would step up somewhere. We will never know. Let’s salute 2 great Champions. Mikey Out. Oooohhhh Yeah!!!!

  5. Congrats Alice! For those who might not know, Alice came to race in the Far West Division (Lake Tahoe) as a J5 thru U16 during the N.America Winters. She was always the bench mark during those FW ski seasons, & its awesome to see her take it to #1. Hope you get a chance to ski other disciplines in the future.

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