Gut Celebrates First Win Since Injury
On Sunday, Lara Gut ended a year-long victory drought by winning the challenging super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. The Austrians set “a very unrhythmical, tricky course,” according to U.S. Ski Team coach Chris Knight. That coupled with intense gusts of wind, poor visibility and use of the reserve start made for an interesting day that eventually forced the jury and organizers to terminate the race after 44 athletes.
Big names like Italy’s Sofia Goggia and Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. both did not finish while American Breezy Johnson did not have the opportunity to start. Still, the results were valid.
The Swiss skier last stood on the top spot in World Cup at the same venue in the 2017 downhill. She bested Italy’s Johanna Schnarf and reigning Super-G World Champion Nicole Schmidhofer with a time of 1:14.78.
“It’s good to be back, to be back winning,” Gut said.
The victory also marked her first time winning since February 2017 when she suffered a knee injury that sidelined her for the remainder of the season after World Championships. It was also the 12th super-G win of her career. Gut felt like this race was where she found her balance.
“I crashed in St. Moritz, but I was feeling fast. In Val d’Isere, the results weren’t there, but my skiing was alright, so super-G it has already been great from the beginning…It’s some amount of time after an injury, you have somehow to find the balance between patience and pushing forward,” Gut said.
Schnarf and Schmidhofer handled the challenges better than the rest of the field to finish second and third, respectively. For the Italian, it was special to stand on the podium on home snow. She had been absent from the podium for 8 years. Her last and only other World Cup podium result was in the Crans Montana, Switzerland, in March 2010.
“It means a lot to me because one: it’s my second podium since 10 years,” Schnarf said. “And two: it’s so near to my home it’s like a home race. I love Cortina. I love the mountains here in Cortina and my family was here, my mom, my husband. It’s just amazing.”
Schmidhofer has made a limited number of World Cup podium performances in her career as well, appearing a total of four times including Sunday’s result. Seventy-five percent of those finishes came at Cortina, so this venue has always been friendly to the Austrian.
“It’s a really good slope for me, and the run today was really tricky from our coach,” she said.
After winning Saturday’s downhill, it was a tough day for American Lindsey Vonn, who ended the day in sixth place. The ski racing powerhouse tweeted an explanation just minutes after her run, typing “Well an unlucky day…never had such a strong wind gust in a race ever in my life. Oh well, can’t change it. I’ll save the good luck for February I guess. Now go USA!!!”
The rest of her teammates had solid performances. Jacqueline Wiles skied to one of her best super-G results of the season, coming in 19th after yesterday’s downhill podium. Laurenne Ross and Alice McKennis ended up 21st and 23rd, respectively. Alice Merryweather and Stacey Cook did not finish.
The next stop for the ladies’ tour is Kronplatz, Italy, for the giant slalom.
- Lara Gut (SUI) – Head / Head / Head
- Johanna Schnarf (ITA) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
- Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
- Anna Veith (AUT) – Head / Head / Head
- Tina Weirather (LIE) – Head / Head / Head
- Lindsey Vonn (USA) – Head / Head / Head
- Tamara Tippler (AUT) – Volkl / Dalbello / Marker
- Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) – Head / Head / Head
- Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT) – Head / Head / Head
- Michelle Gisin (SUI) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points||WC Points|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|36||426257||LIE Kajsa Vickhoff||1998||NOR||0|
|Did not start 1st run|
|58||465098||CAILL Ania Monica||1995||ROU||0|