Spring was in the air at the second and final alpine combined of the women’s World Cup season, a sure sign that winter is coming to a close. The discipline globe was on the line, and the field left everything they had on the hill. While Italy’s Federica Brignone walked away with the win, Wendy Holdener of Switzerland earned the second alpine combined globe of her career in front of a home crowd by coming in fourth place.

The victory marked Brignone’s third of the season after a GS win in Lienz, Austria, and a super-G win in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria. The Italian has a history of strong performances at Crans Montana. She has been on the podium in every World Cup alpine combined she has started in at this venue including another victory in February 2017. Brignone is the only Italian woman to have won a World Cup in this discipline.

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“It’s always amazing to win,” Brignone said. “For sure, to be on the podium is really good and winning is amazing, and I’m happy. I don’t know. Somebody doesn’t like the alpine combined, but for me, it’s really not easy to be good in super-G or downhill and good at slalom at the same time….It’s a fun race. You never know who is winning.”

Alpine combined is likely on its way to the graveyard. At the annual FIS meetings in May, officials discussed a draft schedule for the 2020-21 World Cup season with zero alpine combined races, meaning it could disappear before the next Winter Olympic Games.

Federica Brignone and her team celebrate her win. // Image credit: GEPA / Mario Buehner

For now, it lives on and World Cup points are on the line. Brignone bested the the newly crowned Olympic gold medalist in this discipline, Michelle Gisin of Switzerland, who took second place and was just 0.03 seconds away from the win.

“That was the most important, to confirm that amazing race of Pyeongchang,” Gisin said. “I’m so happy I’m so close, actually, even to the victory, which would be my first World Cup victory. But I’m so, so happy after not that good super-G to recover that well in slalom with the fastest time in second run. That’s almost a little crazy. I’m so happy for that.”

Gisin’s two results in alpine combined this season were also good enough to end up second in the discipline standings. The Swiss have historically dominated this event. No country has won more women’s World Cup alpine combined races than Switzerland with 28 wins.

Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova rounded out the podium in third place, a solid performance for her first World Cup race in this discipline. That’s not to say she has never competed in the event before. Vlhova raced in the Olympic alpine combined in PyeongChang, where she was fifth.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia skis to her first World Cup podium in alpine combined. // Image credit: GEPA / Mario Buehner

After a solid 12th-place super-G run in Switzerland, the Slovakian used her slalom skills to move up nine spots. She was just 0.09 seconds away from the win.

“I’m really happy that I did a fast run in super-G because I train really not so much, but I’m really happy that I did first podium in alpine combined,” Vlhova said.

Given that she did not race the only other alpine combined this season, Vlhova was not in contention for the discipline globe. However, she is ranked second in the current World Cup slalom standings with 605 points, with only 175 points between her and American Mikaela Shiffrin. There are two slalom races left this season, so there is a remote possibility that Vlhova could take home the discipline globe. Vlhova also indicated that she is interested in becoming an overall contender, competing in more alpine combined and more super-G in future seasons.

“Yeah, we want to try some more disciplines, but we need to go step by step,” Vlhova said. “But, of course, in the next year, we will try to do more alpine combined, maybe more super-G, and then we will see.”

Shiffrin did not compete in the super-G or alpine combined in Crans Montana. In fact, there were no Americans or Canadians on Sunday’s results. The U.S. Ski Team’s Alice Merryweather was slated to start, but fell ill.

Shiffrin plans to return to World Cup racing next week in Ofterschwang, Germany, for the slalom and giant slalom on March 9 and 10.


Top 10

  1. Federica Brignone (ITA) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  2. Michelle Gisin (SUI) –  Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  3. Petra Vlhova (SVK) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  4. Wendy Holdener (SUI) –  Head / Head / Head
  5. Stephanie Brunner (USA) –  Head / Head / Head
  6. Ragnhid Mowinckel (NOR) – Head / Head / Head
  7. Rahel Kopp (SUI) –  Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  8. Sofia Goggia (ITA) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
  9. Ricarda Haaser (AUT) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
  10. Priska Nufer (SUI) – Dynastar / Lange / Look

Official Results

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS PointsWC Points
 1 5 297601BRIGNONE Federica1990ITA 1:04.61 41.86 1:46.47 0.00 100
 2 9 516284GISIN Michelle1993SUI 1:05.23 41.27 1:46.50 +0.03 0.32 80
 3 18 705423VLHOVA Petra1995SVK 1:05.01 41.55 1:46.56 +0.09 0.97 60
 4 7 516280HOLDENER Wendy1993SUI 1:04.84 41.89 1:46.73 +0.26 2.81 50
 5 21 56217BRUNNER Stephanie1994AUT 1:04.61 42.24 1:46.85 +0.38 4.10 45
 6 15 425929MOWINCKEL Ragnhild1992NOR 1:04.19 42.71 1:46.90 +0.43 4.64 40
 7 29 516344KOPP Rahel1994SUI 1:04.99 42.12 1:47.11 +0.64 6.91 36
 8 2 298323GOGGIA Sofia1992ITA 1:03.70 43.50 1:47.20 +0.73 7.88 32
 9 4 56174HAASER Ricarda1993AUT 1:04.27 43.68 1:47.95 +1.48 15.99 29
 10 8 516219NUFER Priska1992SUI 1:05.10 42.95 1:48.05 +1.58 17.07 26
 11 31 56417FEST Nadine1998AUT 1:05.57 42.50 1:48.07 +1.60 17.28 24
 12 11 515997FEIERABEND Denise1989SUI 1:05.77 42.44 1:48.21 +1.74 18.79 22
 13 13 56087SIEBENHOFER Ramona1991AUT 1:05.03 43.19 1:48.22 +1.75 18.90 20
 14 27 56198SCHEYER Christine1994AUT 1:04.95 43.33 1:48.28 +1.81 19.55 18
 15 19 565320FERK Marusa1988SLO 1:05.27 43.27 1:48.54 +2.07 22.36 16
 16 17 315187IGNJATOVIC Nevena1990SRB 1:05.27 43.35 1:48.62 +2.15 23.22 15
 17 22 296427SCHNARF Johanna1984ITA 1:04.94 44.12 1:49.06 +2.59 27.98 14
 18 12 299466DELAGO Nicol1996ITA 1:03.94 45.13 1:49.07 +2.60 28.08 13
 19 23 206520DORSCH Patrizia1994GER 1:05.23 43.99 1:49.22 +2.75 29.70 12
 20 24 516429GROEBLI Nathalie1996SUI 1:05.28 44.08 1:49.36 +2.89 31.22 11
 21 25 426257LIE Kajsa Vickhoff1998NOR 1:05.97 43.94 1:49.91 +3.44 37.16 10
 22 33 506701HOERNBLAD Lisa1996SWE 1:05.69 44.23 1:49.92 +3.45 37.26 9
 23 3 299276BASSINO Marta1996ITA 1:05.46 44.61 1:50.07 +3.60 38.88 8
 24 6 56258AGER Christina1995AUT 1:05.26 44.93 1:50.19 +3.72 40.18 7
 25 1 565401BUCIK Ana1993SLO 1:06.24 43.97 1:50.21 +3.74 40.40 6
 26 10 197641GAUCHE Laura1995FRA 1:05.50 45.05 1:50.55 +4.08 44.07 5
 27 14 56177VENIER Stephanie1993AUT 1:04.85 45.71 1:50.56 +4.09 44.18 4
 28 37 197861PASLIER Esther1997FRA 1:05.09 45.94 1:51.03 +4.56 49.25 3
 29 35 206460WENIG Michaela1992GER 1:06.00 45.35 1:51.35 +4.88 52.71 2
 30 36 435334GASIENICA-DANIEL Maryna1994POL 1:06.29 45.07 1:51.36 +4.89 52.82 1
 31 26 155699PAULATHOVA Katerina1993CZE 1:07.13 45.24 1:52.37 +5.90 63.73 0
 32 42 155586KMOCHOVA Tereza1990CZE 1:08.33 45.23 1:53.56 +7.09 76.58 0
 33 41 35089SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena1984ARG 1:07.43 46.48 1:53.91 +7.44 80.36 0
Did not finish 2nd run
 39 516373FLUETSCH Luana1995SUI 1:05.72 0
 38 206668WEIDLE Kira1996GER 1:06.30 0
 34 206652PFISTER Meike1996GER 1:06.09 0
 32 56392GRITSCH Franziska1997AUT 1:06.32 0
 30 516185HAEHLEN Joana1992SUI 1:05.21 0
 20 197497MIRADOLI Romane1994FRA 1:05.48 0
Did not start 2nd run
 40 506718IVARSSON Lin1996SWE 1:05.71 0
Did not finish 1st run
 43 35079SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen1982ARG 0
 16 298767SOSIO Federica1994ITA 0
Did not start 1st run
 28 6535600MERRYWEATHER Alice1996USA 0