CRANS MONTANA, Switzerland — On Friday, Federica Brignone of Italy took the first victory of the 3-day weekend in Crans Montana, Switzerland, dominating the alpine combined with a total time of 1:56.09. She was joined on the podium by Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia in second and Michaela Kirchgasser of Austria in third. Both athletes were more than a second off the winning pace.

Coming into the first race of the weekend, World Cup women, coaches, FIS staff and the organizing committee knew conditions might be tough due to expected fog and fresh snow. It was all in the weather report at the team captain’s meeting the night before, but everyone was hopeful the surface could be ready to race.

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Flash forward to the super-G run at 10:30 am CET, and things were not quite as everyone had hoped. After several forerunners including Olympian Julia Mancuso crashed, the race began with the first three athletes–Stuhec, France’s Tessa Worley and Switzerland’s Denise Feieraband–all skiing out. The third athlete, Feieraband, crashed hard, limped off the course and was taken down in a sled for further evaluation. It was at that time that the jury re-evaluated and decided to restart the race from the reserve start at 11:30 am CET.

By that time, the U.S. Ski Team’s Lindsey Vonn had already decided she would not start the race due to safety concerns over the soft, slippery snow. She was joined in her decision by teammates Mikaela Shiffrin and Laurenne Ross.

“It’s dangerous,” Shiffrin said. “I said before, coming into this series, knowing the weather was supposed to be warm with some snow and rain, that if it wasn’t good, I’m not going to race. I don’t have enough experience in speed, but to be honest it’s just dangerous. It’s so soft at the bottom.”

Vonn echoed Shiffrin’s sentiments, agreeing it was dangerous and adding, “For me, I’ve had so many injuries, I don’t need to risk anything today.”

Vonn, a leader amongst not only her own team, but amongst the entire field of athletes heard a lot of concerns voiced in the morning.

“A lot of the other athletes and coaches were asking me to put pressure on everyone to try to cancel the race because it’s too dangerous, and I did my best, but I just pray that no one else gets hurt today.”

At 11:30 am, the race began again at the lower start. Stuhec ran with bib 1 and this time, she charged down the super-G course to take the lead, overcoming nerves from her first go-around at the course. The Slovenian found herself 0.52 seconds ahead of Brignone and 0.69 seconds ahead of Kirchgasser, heading into the slalom portion of the day. Several top athletes like 2017 Alpine Combined World Championship silver medalist Michelle Gisin and Italy’s Sofia Goggia did not finish the super-G run due to the challenging conditions.

The sun was out and temperatures cooled as athletes prepared to ski through the disco sticks. Brignone, who had never podiumed in an alpine combined before, surprised herself with the win.

“I was really surprised,” the Italian said. “It was not easy. The slalom was really steep and bumpy, but I just tried to attack the slalom and not be attacked from the slalom. I tried to follow the rhythm and stay on the line, but then I didn’t think I would be fast, but then I was.”

Her slalom run gave her a big advantage over the current leader in the alpine combined standings, Stuhec.

Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom
Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom

“I’m feeling a bit tired actually,” she said. “It’s been quite a long day, but it’s always nice to stand on the podium, and we still have one more race to go, and then we can talk about the globe.”

The Slovenian speed star called the decision of some athletes not to start “brave,” adding that it takes courage to say you don’t feel comfortable starting a race. Just 0.17 seconds behind her was Kirchgasser, repeating her performance from World Championships in St. Moritz. This marked the Austrian’s seventh career World Cup podium in the discipline.

“It’s pretty cool because…between speed skiing and technical skiing, it’s really awesome because you really have to change all of it between runs,” Kirchgasser said. “You have to change not only just the skis, but also have to change the boots and also the skiing.”

Three other Americans, Jacqueline Wiles, Stacey Cook and Breezy Johnson, pushed out of the super-G start. Wiles and Cook did not finish the super-G run while Johnson decided to skip the slalom portion of the day.

There is one more alpine combined race on Sunday, which will determine who wins the discipline globe. Stuhec leads by a 40 point margin over Brignone. Before that globe is determined, the women will race a super-G on Saturday.


Top 10

  1. Federica Brignone (ITA) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  2. Ilka Stuhec (SLO) – Stoeckli / Lange /Atomic
  3. Michaela Kirchgasser (AUT) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
  4. Wendy Holdener (SUI) – Head / Head / Head
  5. Marusa Ferk (SLO) – Stoeckli / Salomon / Head
  6. Marie-Michele Gagnon (CAN) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  7. Stephanie Brunner (AUT) – Head / Head / Head
  8. Lena Duerr (GER) –  Voelkl / Marker / Dalbello
  9. Elena Curtoni (ITA) – Head / Head / Head
  10. Federica Sosio (ITA) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer

Official Results

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS PointsWC Points
 1 13 297601BRIGNONE Federica1990ITA 1:11.02 45.07 1:56.09 0.00 100.00
 2 1 565360STUHEC Ilka1990SLO 1:10.50 46.60 1:57.10 +1.01 10.01 80.00
 3 9 55759KIRCHGASSER Michaela1985AUT 1:11.19 46.06 1:57.25 +1.16 11.49 60.00
 4 7 516280HOLDENER Wendy1993SUI 1:12.95 44.62 1:57.57 +1.48 14.66 50.00
 5 19 565320FERK Marusa1988SLO 1:11.71 46.31 1:58.02 +1.93 19.12 45.00
 6 15 105269GAGNON Marie-Michele1989CAN 1:11.64 46.51 1:58.15 +2.06 20.41 40.00
 7 25 56217BRUNNER Stephanie1994AUT 1:12.64 45.62 1:58.26 +2.17 21.50 36.00
 8 36 206355DUERR Lena1991GER 1:13.38 44.89 1:58.27 +2.18 21.60 32.00
 9 22 297910CURTONI Elena1991ITA 1:11.77 46.54 1:58.31 +2.22 21.99 29.00
 10 35 298767SOSIO Federica1994ITA 1:13.13 45.32 1:58.45 +2.36 23.38 26.00
 11 34 56199KAPPAURER Elisabeth1994AUT 1:12.00 46.46 1:58.46 +2.37 23.48 24.00
 12 29 297702MARSAGLIA Francesca1990ITA 1:12.72 46.02 1:58.74 +2.65 26.25 22.00
 13 28 197497MIRADOLI Romane1994FRA 1:13.00 45.76 1:58.76 +2.67 26.45 20.00
 14 27 426043TVIBERG Maria Therese1994NOR 1:13.29 45.62 1:58.91 +2.82 27.94 18.00
 15 20 425929MOWINCKEL Ragnhild1992NOR 1:11.89 47.46 1:59.35 +3.26 32.29 16.00
 16 23 56087SIEBENHOFER Ramona1991AUT 1:12.34 47.24 1:59.58 +3.49 34.57 15.00
 17 46 516185HAEHLEN Joana1992SUI 1:12.17 47.84 2:00.01 +3.92 38.83 14.00
 18 57 385096POPOVIC Leona1997CRO 1:13.46 46.60 2:00.06 +3.97 39.33 13.00
 19 40 56177VENIER Stephanie1993AUT 1:12.12 47.95 2:00.07 +3.98 39.43 12.00
 20 24 516219NUFER Priska1992SUI 1:11.65 48.63 2:00.28 +4.19 41.51 11.00
 21 55 516319SUTER Corinne1994SUI 1:12.79 48.02 2:00.81 +4.72 46.76 10.00
 22 21 516344KOPP Rahel1994SUI 1:13.70 47.46 2:01.16 +5.07 50.22 9.00
 23 47 197641GAUCHE Laura1995FRA 1:13.43 47.74 2:01.17 +5.08 50.32 8.00
 24 43 299466DELAGO Nicol1996ITA 1:13.67 47.63 2:01.30 +5.21 51.61 7.00
 25 33 206532SCHMOTZ Marlene1994GER 1:14.21 47.55 2:01.76 +5.67 56.17 6.00
 26 53 435334GASIENICA-DANIEL Maryna1994POL 1:14.32 48.30 2:02.62 +6.53 64.69 5.00
 27 37 206520DORSCH Patrizia1994GER 1:13.71 49.00 2:02.71 +6.62 65.58 4.00
 28 38 155699PAULATHOVA Katerina1993CZE 1:14.60 48.30 2:02.90 +6.81 67.46 3.00
 29 26 107387CRAWFORD Candace1994CAN 1:14.40 48.83 2:03.23 +7.14 70.73 2.00
 30 44 485749PROKOPYEVA Aleksandra1994RUS 1:13.93 50.06 2:03.99 +7.90 78.26 1.00
 31 56 155503KLICNAROVA Pavla1988CZE 1:14.25 51.70 2:05.95 +9.86 97.67
Disqualified 1st run
 30 107613GRENIER Valerie1996CAN
 16 296427SCHNARF Johanna1984ITA
 14 56241SCHNEEBERGER Rosina1994AUT
Did not start 2nd run
 62 6535455JOHNSON Breezy1996USA
 49 197383GAUTHIER Tiffany1993FRA
 32 205218REBENSBURG Viktoria1989GER
 31 355050WEIRATHER Tina1989LIE
Did not start 1st run
 17 537544VONN Lindsey1984USA
 10 6535237SHIFFRIN Mikaela1995USA
 4 538573ROSS Laurenne1988USA
 3 515997FEIERABEND Denise1989SUI
Did not finish 2nd run
 51 516248FLURY Jasmine1993SUI
 45 516394SUTER Jasmina1995SUI
 42 56328ORTLIEB Nina1996AUT
 39 206460WENIG Michaela1992GER
 11 196726BARTHET Anne-Sophie1988FRA
 8 56174HAASER Ricarda1993AUT
Did not finish 1st run
 61 197124FRASSE SOMBET Coralie1991FRA
 60 55970SCHMIDHOFER Nicole1989AUT
 59 35089SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena1984ARG
 58 705394KANTOROVA Barbara1992SVK
 54 107532TOMMY Mikaela1995CAN
 52 375018COLETTI Alexandra1983MON
 50 537582COOK Stacey1984USA
 48 539536WILES Jacqueline1992USA
 41 299276BASSINO Marta1996ITA
 18 56198SCHEYER Christine1994AUT
 12 505886KLING Kajsa1988SWE
 6 298323GOGGIA Sofia1992ITA
 5 516284GISIN Michelle1993SUI
 2 196928WORLEY Tessa1989FRA