Much like the downhill globe, the women’s super-G title was hotly contested by two long-time competitors, Lara Gut of Switzerland and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein. The red bib swapped back-and-forth between them this season. Weirather topped the leaderboard after each of the first five super-G races this season before Gut leapfrogged her after the race in Cortina d’Ampezzo in January. Weirather responded with a win in Crans Montana and retook the lead by 46 points, coming into the final battle in Are, Sweden, on Thursday. A sixth-place finish along with Gut’s crash allowed the Liechtensteiner to defend her super-G globe, becoming the fifth woman in history to do so in this discipline.
“It’s incredible,” Weirather said. “It’s so much pressure on the last race and last year was even worse. I was more nervous last year. It was easier for me to deal with it this year. Of course, I’m just really grateful for my whole team that brought me here because, just if you look at it from a sports side, its the best you can win even more than an Olympic medal, so I’m just super happy with it.”
Gut ultimately finished second in the discipline standings, 86 points behind Weirather. Anna Veith of Austria, who skied to eighth place in Thursday’s race, ended the season standings in the third with 339 points.
While Weirather walked away with the end-of-season prize, Italy’s Sofia Goggia carried her speed from Wednesday’s downhill in the more technical discipline, winning by 0.32 seconds over Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg. It was a challenging day with wind that forced organizers to lower the start and varying degrees of visibility down the length of the course.
Goggia had not won a super-G yet this season before World Cup Finals, though she claimed two second-place results in Val d’Isere during December. In 2017-18, there have been seven different winners in ladies’ super-G, matching the record for most winners in a single season. Other winners included Weirather, Gut, Lindsey Vonn, Veith, Federica Brignone and Jasmine Flury.
Similar to Goggia, Rebensburg had a season-best super-G race, standing on the podium for the first time since Garmisch-Partenkirchen in February 2016. The result marked the fifth time that the German has stood on a World Cup super-G podium.
Goggia and Rebensburg were joined by Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. Ski Team in third place. Wearing bib 19, she charged to her second super-G podium of the season after winning in Val d’Isere. The American could be heard chatting with the German and Italian in the finish area, expressing excitement about the end of the season and the opportunity to give her body some rest.
“It was a good run today,” Vonn said. “Kind of difficult conditions with the wind on the top and on the bottom, but I’m happy with my skiing. It’s nice to close out the season with a podium in super-G.”
Looking back on the season, Vonn said her best race was either the downhill in Are or the super-G Val d’Isere “because I’d come off a series of crashes and you know, my knee wasn’t doing well, and to be able to pull through in that situation and come up with a win, I think, was really important for my confidence and it kind of got me on the right track for the rest of the year,” she said.
This was Vonn’s last race of the 2017-18 season. As she prepares for 2018-19, her primary focus is the all-time wins record, which she is only four wins away from matching. If she can repeat her five wins from this season next year, the American will surpass it, and her offseason preparations will hopefully put her in a position to do that.
“At this point in my career, I don’t need a lot of volume as far as on snow training. I just need to make sure I’m healthy and strong, so this summer, I’m really going to work on my physical strength, trying to get my right leg a little bit bigger. As I progress through the season, I definitely lose strength because I’m just not able to lift as much as I need to to keep that knee supported, so that’ll be my focus all summer and hopefully continue on this nice positive train of winning and podiuming.”
Vonn was the only American to qualify for the World Cup Finals super-G. Racing continues on Friday with the Team Event.
- Sofia Goggia (ITA) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) – Stoeckli / Lange / Marker
- Lindsey Vonn (USA) – Head / Head / Head
- Michelle Gisin (SUI) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
- Federica Brignone (ITA) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
- Tina Weirather (LIE) – Head / Head / Head
- Nadia Fanchini (ITA) – Dynastar / Lange / Look
- Anna Veith (AUT) – Head / Head / Head
- Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) – Head / Head / Head
- Stephanie Venier (AUT) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points||WC Points|
|19||21||426257||LIE Kajsa Vickhoff||1998||NOR||1:09.87||+1.95||31.01||0|
|Did not finish 1st run|