CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy — A perfect weekend of racing wrapped up on Sunday in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, as the women took on the super-G down the Olympia delle Tofane slope. It was another day of blue skies and snow you could only dream of racing on as Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec took her first career World Cup super-G win with a time of 1:19.81. Italy’s Sofia Goggia grabbed her second runner-up finish in as many days in second place, 0.31 seconds back, and Austrian star Anna Veith returned to the podium after missing last season with a torn ACL in third, 0.70 seconds off the pace.
After choosing to run bib one at Saturday night’s bib draw, Stuhec set the early pace with smooth and powerful skiing, and then nervously waited at the bottom for the rest of the field to challenge. Goggia threatened the lead during her run, but was not able to match the Slovenian’s pace on the bottom and slid into second as Veith settled for a solid third-place finish after some very encouraging skiing from her as well.
“I feel great,” Stuhec said of her race. “It was a great course and felt really, really good to ski, so I’m definitely happy with the outcome. It was definitely stressful to stand here and watch everyone coming down, but it’s part of the game. At the end, we need to ski fast and show our best no matter what course is set.”
Although Goggia was happy to find the podium in her home country for the second day in a row, she admitted that she feels that she left a lot in the tank after failing to finish the previous two super-Gs and could have charged more during her run. Goggia’s dog, Belle, was also seen in the finish cheering her on.
“I just tried to ski,” she explained. “It was not that easy coming from two DNFs in the last two super-Gs, and I was happy when I crossed the finish line and saw I made another podium. It was really ok, even though my skiing performance was not pushing at one-hundred percent, but I think I skied from seventy-five to eighty percent of what I can do.”
It was a well-earned return to the podium for Veith, who has struggled some in her return to top form, following her knee injury in October of 2015.
“It’s pretty emotional,” said Veith. “When I came to the finish, I didn’t expect that because I was seven-tenths behind and I didn’t feel that it was that good of a run because it was very fast, and I was fighting for a good position, and it wasn’t so easy. Now, I’m pretty happy that all the work has paid off now, and I’m on the right way. It’s been pretty hard because I know that everybody knows how my skiing was before my injury, and I’m not at that point now because my body isn’t like how it was before. It was tough the last weeks because I was always fighting against myself and today, I just wanted to ski fast and nothing more, and I’m pretty happy that it paid off.”
For the Americans, a surprise fourth-place finish came from none other than Mikaela Shiffrin, who charged the course from bib 31 and even threatened to take the win after matching Stuhec until the final interval.
“I let the skis run, and I could really feel it every turn; I felt like I was charging,” Shiffrin explained. “It was super smooth, the surface was like, the most amazing skiing I’ve skied, it was so nice; You could feel it when you were clean, and you could feel it when you were dirty. Every turn that I felt wasn’t totally clean, I was like, ‘No! You’ve got to make time up on this next turn.’ I really wanted the speed to some to me instead of backing away from it and that was really fun, it was a good feeling.”
This fourth-place result increases Shiffrin’s lead in the overall standings over Switzerland’s Lara Gut. Gut, who did not finish the super-G, had been closing the gap thanks to a series of successful downhill races including a win on Saturday. Shiffrin has 1103 points while the Swiss athlete has 1023.
Following Shiffrin was the U.S. Ski Team’s Laurenne Ross, who walked away with a solid tenth-place finish after some struggles of her own this season, including being on a fast pace in Saturday’s downhill before a mistake derailed her chance at the podium.
“It wasn’t an easy transition (from the downhill),” Ross admitted. “Every day has been tough to get up from not doing well and keep believing in myself. It’s always a difficult task, but I’m just trying to stay calm and stay grounded and take every day as it comes and hopefully bring momentum into World Champs.”
For the rest of the American contingent, Lindsey Vonn continued to find her race speed in 12th place, Jacqueline Wiles finished 21st, and Breezy Johnson finished 24th. Outside the top 30, Stacey Cook, Leanne Smith and Anna Marno ended the day in 34th, 45th and 50th. Alice McKennis and Alice Merryweather did not finish their runs.
The men and women now head to Stockholm, Sweden, for a city dual event on Jan. 31.
Fans can stay up to date on World Cup by downloading the U.S. Ski Team – Ski Racing app for iOS and Android.
- Ilka Stuhec (SLO) – Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
- Sofia Goggia (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Anna Veith (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
- Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) – Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
- Stephanie Venier (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Tina Weirather (LIE) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Elena Curtoni (ITA) – Head/Head/Head
- Kajsa Kling (SWE) – Head/Head/Head
- Laurenne Ross (USA) – Voelkl/Lange/Marker
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points||WC Points|
|42||45||426043||TVIBERG Maria Therese||1994||NOR||1:22.91||+3.10||41.95|
|44||36||197124||FRASSE SOMBET Coralie||1991||FRA||1:22.96||+3.15||42.63|
|53||60||35089||SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG||1:25.16||+5.35||72.40|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 1st run|