The second run of Sunday’s Val d’Isere GS featured a tough right-footer less than 30 seconds into the Austrian-set course. The turn was progressively less troublesome for the later racers, those who were faster in the morning, including the day’s winner, Tina Weirather, who extended her lead in the overall standings.
It was a dark and bumpy day of racing on the Oreiller Killy slope, but a fairly straightforward set once past the tricky upper section, where all three French skiers and Julia Mancuso were removed from the course.
As she has been on other occasions this season, Weirather was a skier unto herself, picking up speed at every split and ultimately besting runner-up Lara Gut by 0.73 seconds.
“It took me a very long time to get here,” said Weirather, for whom the result is just her second career podium and first-ever victory in GS. “I’ve been trying to be good in GS since I’ve been skiing on the World Cup tour, like when I was 17. Now I’m 24 and I have my first win, and it just feels great to get here. … I think I did a good job over the past two or three years, and I changed some things and now it’s working.”
The daughter of World Cup racers Harti Weirather and Hanni Wenzel, Weirather has been in the top five in every race she’s finished this season (all but three) and ascended the podium in three separate disciplines (GS, super G and downhill). Sunday was her second win of the season and the third of her career.
Lara Gut, another contender for the overall title, skied well enough through the upper section but really charged the lower half to secure second place, her seventh podium of the winter.
Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner has been knocking on the door all season, and finally landed a podium. She was clean up top, may have over-skied the middle part of the course but was able to generate speed toward the bottom. It was a good day all around for the Swedes as Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, the GS winner in Beaver Creek, skied to sixth. Kajsa Kling, starting bib 40, laid down the early time to beat, occupying the leader’s box for almost two-thirds of the race — she ended up 10th on the day.
American Mikaela Shiffrin, who has not been performing to the best of her abilities since returning to Europe, improved on her recent outings. The 18-year-old skied the technical upper section as well as anyone, but just wasn’t quite able to generate speed through the middle part of the course like some of the other women. She finished eighth, certainly an improvement from 12th in the Courchevel slalom and a DNF in the St. Moritz GS.
“The first run was definitely pretty open, and they were both really awesome courses so it was a matter of charging every gate,” said Shiffrin. “I felt like I was skiing solid, but the first run maybe not as much charging as I needed. On the second run I attacked a little bit more.
“I’m really excited with where I’m taking my giant slalom right now,” added Shiffrin. “In training, I’m skiing faster than in racing, so I have a lot of potential, but the trick is getting the training skiing into the races. That’s not always so easy, but there’s something to be said for the girls who can do that.”
Maria Hoefl-Riesch snatched up a short-lived lead held by Shiffrin to finish fifth. The German has been amassing solid results across all disciplines, making her a threat in the tight overall standings, where she now sits third (535) behind Gut in second (568) and Weirather in first (595).
See more pictures from today’s race in our gallery.
By Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup giant slalom, Val d’Isere, France. Dec. 22, 2013
Equipment – Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic
2 Gut, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Brignone, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
5 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
6 Lindell-Vikarby, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Fenninger, Head/Head/head
8 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Gisin, Dynastar/Lange/Marker
10 Kling, Head/Head/Head
Women’s World Cup giant slalom, Val d’Isere, France. Dec. 22, 2013. … It is the 13th of 32 races on the women’s schedule… the fourth of eight scheduled GS’s. … It is the 163rd event held at least in part at Val ‘Isere. … the 44th GS.
It is the third career World Cup win for Tina Weirather, her first in GS. … All three wins have come in this calendar year starting March 1 in super G at Garmisch, with the second at St. Moritz Dec. 14. … The only other Liechtenstein winner at Val d’Isere was Tina’s uncle Andreas Wenzel in a combined in 1981.
It is Lara Gut’s 14th World Cup podium result… her fourth in GS. It is her fifth podium finish of the season, the first that is not a win.
It is the fifth career World Cup podium for Maria Pietilae-Holmner, the first in GS. … Her last podium came Nov. 27, 2011 at Aspen.
It is the 22nd career World Cup top 10 for Mikaela Shiffrin and matches her third best GS result. … It is the sixth time this season Marie-Michele Gagnon has finished in the top dozen of a World Cup race. … The third score of the season for Maire-Pier Prefontaine. … It is the second GS score of the season for Megan McJames.
Weirather leads the World Cup overall standings 595-568 over Lara Gut. … Mara Hoefl-Riesch (fifth in race) is third overall with 535pts. … Mikaela Shiffrin in sixth with 274pts and Gagnon leads Canada in 12th with 219pts.
Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (sixth in race) leads the giant slalom standings 252-205 over Weirather. … Maria Pietilae-Holmner is third with 186pts. … Shiffrin is sixth with 152pts. … Gagnon in 15th with 68pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|67||465098||CAILL Ania Monica||1995||ROU|
|66||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA|
|62||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR|
|56||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|