CRANS MONTANA, Switzerland–Picture this: You’re standing at the bottom of a super-G race course. The snow is getting wet beneath your feet and sun is blazing down on your face. You know your goggle tan will be coming in hot by the end of the day.
That’s how conditions were on Saturday for the women’s World Cup super-G in Crans Montana, Switzerland. While the warm weather made a fun day for spectators, it made for soft, spring-like conditions for the athletes. Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec was able make the most of bib 5 to take her second career World Cup super-G win with a final time of 1:21.78.
Italy’s Elena Curtoni was the only athlete able to get within a second of the Slovenian, coming in second place just 0.5 seconds off the pace. Austria’s Stephanie Venier charged to a third-place result, 1.09 seconds away from the win.
Stuhec, who won the super-G portion of Friday’s alpine combined, knew she could ski fast on the slope and in the warm conditions.
“The set was a bit turnier I would say,” she explained. “ The speed was lower, so I guess they tried to make it a bit safer, but there was still some key points where you had to do what you had to do to maintain the speed and to carry it all the way down. I guess I did that pretty well.”
Stuhec is the first Slovenian woman to win multiple World Cup super-G races, and this victory puts her 100 points closer to the super-G title.
Curtoni was also able to ski tactically to earn her best-ever World Cup result. It was made extra special by the fact that her parents were in the audience.
“It’s always fun to have family,” she shared. “I mean you can share a good moment with them. I know that even if they are not on the slope, or the finish area, they are always with me.”
While other athletes struggled slightly with the course conditions, Curtoni said she enjoys the warm days.
“Snow is pretty challenging,” the Italian said. “It’s slidy and salty, but I like this kind of snow and these conditions. I always felt good on it, so I’m okay.”
For Venier, she was happy to be back on the podium for the second time in her career.
“I’m happy with the result, but I think my run was not so good,” she confessed. “There were too many mistakes, but I’m happy with the podium today.”
American Mikaela Shiffrin was on the same page as Venier, feeling happy, but also like there is room to improve for Sunday’s alpine combined after her 13th place finish.
“I mean it’s still warm, so it’s a little bit soft, but there was a solid base and surface, so definitely when I went number two, the surface was smooth and it was fine,” Shiffrin said. “And I just didn’t quite handle the peeling snow as well as I could have. I was a bit conservative in sections that I didn’t want to be, but I’m happy to get a run on this hill.”
Shiffrin was the fastest of the eight U.S. Ski Team starters. Alice McKennis, Jacqueline Wiles and Anna Marno finished 32nd, 34th and 37th, respectively. Lindsey Vonn, Laurenne Ross, Stacey Cook and Breezy Johnson did not finish.
Alpine Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon had a strong day, moving from bib 42 to 12th place. This was her best super-G result since she earned sixth place at St. Moritz in 2013.
In the hunt for the discipline globe, Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather surpassed Switzerland’s Lara Gut with her fourth-place finish. Weirather has 306 points and Stuhec sits less than 20 points behind her with two super-G races left this season.
The women have one more day of racing in Crans Montana, a second alpine combined, before they head to South Korea for the Olympic test event from Feb. 2-5.
- Ilka Stuhec (SLO) – Stoeckli / Lange /Atomic
- Elena Curtoni (ITA) – Head / Head / Head
- Stephanie Venier (AUT) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Tina Weirather (LIE) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Federica Brignone (ITA) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
- Kajsa Kling (SWE) – Head / Head / Head
- Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) – Head / Head / Head
- Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
- Raghnild Mowinckel (NOR) – Head / Head / Head
- Tiffany Gauthier (FRA) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points||WC Points|
|15||25||426043||TVIBERG Maria Therese||1994||NOR||1:24.18||+2.40||31.69||16.00|
|29||34||197124||FRASSE SOMBET Coralie||1991||FRA||1:25.12||+3.34||44.11||2.00|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|63||35089||SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG|