Gagnon attacks from the back for combined victory in Andorra
Alpine combined creates a potent mix, combining a speed run and a slalom run into a single race and throwing top athletes like Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin out of their element on one run or another.
In Soldeu, Andorra, the World Cup ladies took on the challenge of a super G and slalom and some new faces found the podium. Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon, better known for her prowess on the technical circuit, took advantage of a shortened super G run to claim her second World Cup victory – her first win was also in combined in Zauchensee, Austria, in 2014.
“I mean I wasn’t expecting a win,” Gagnon said. “I was surprised. I was hoping for a podium. That’s always a good result, and I knew that I was skiing strong.”
Second place went to Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, who is fresh off of her win in the Stockholm city event. This marks her fifth career World Cup podium finish.
“I can say that the last 10 years were a little bit difficult and so today it’s like we won a little bit,” she reflected. “There was a lot of frustration during those 10 years and today was just one race, it managed to erase everything. Just a wonderful day and think maybe it can also be a fresh start.”
Barthet was not the only one who made some impressive moves. Of the top 10 finishers, more than fifty percent of the athletes started from outside of the top 30.
Mikaela Shiffrin, who recently returned to competition, moved from her 40th-place super G finish to a final result of eighth place. She was narrowly beat by Austria’s Stephanie Brunner, who moved to seventh place from bib 45, and Canada’s Candace Crawford, skied from bib 44 to a ninth-place finish and her first World Cup top-10 result.
While the two women leading the overall rankings could not find their way onto the podium, their saga continues. Lara Gut skied out in the slalom while Lindsey Vonn, who suffered an injury to her left knee yesterday, led the field after the super G run and was able to grab a 13th-place finish and 20 World Cup points. This increases her lead over the Swiss skier to 28 points in the overall.
Vonn’s teammate, Stacey Cook, finished in 25th place. Jacqueline Wiles finished outside the top 30 while Alice Mckennis and Laurenne Ross did not finish.
Women’s racing continues in Jansa, Slovakia, with a giant slalom on Saturday, March 5.
by Hank Mckee
- Gagnon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Holdener, Head/Head/Head
- Barthet, Head/Head/Head
- Brignone, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Kopp, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Miradoli, Dynastar/Lange/Look
- Brunner, Head/Head/Head
- Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Crawford, Head/Head/Head
- Schnarf, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Women’s World Cup alpine combined, Soldeu, Andorra, Feb. 28, 2016. … It is the 32nd of 41 races on the women’s schedule. … The third of four alpine combined races but only the second held. … It is the fourth World Cup hosted by Andorra and the first combined.
- It is the second career World Cup win for Marie-Michele Gagnon, the first also in combined from Altenmarkt Jan. 12, 2014. … It is the first Canadian win of the season … and the first since Dustin Cook won the Meribel super G March 19, 2015. … The winning margin is 0.20 of a second. … Top four are within the same second. … Top 13 within two seconds.
- It is the fifth career World Cup podium for Wendy Holdener, her first in combined. … She won this year’s Stockholm city event and was also on the podium in the Lienz slalom Dec. 29.
- It is the first career World Cup podium for Anne-Sophie Barthet. … Her previous best had been sixth, once in slalom (Aspen 2009) and once in GS (Ofterschwang 2013).
- It is the first combined scoring finish for Mikaela Shiffrin. … She started the second run from 40th, 1.93 seconds out. … It is the third career scoring finish for Candace Crawford and her second of the weekend. … It is her first top 10 finish. … It is the first time in 18 World Cup combined races Lindsey Vonn has finished worse than sixth. … It is the 14th time this season Stacey Cook has scored World Cup points. … It is the seventh score of the season for Marie-Pier Prefontaine.
- Lindsey Vonn holds the lead of the World Cup overall standings 1235-1207 over Lara Gut (DNF 2nd). … Viktoria Rebensburg (DNF 1st) is third overall with 914pts.
- Gagnon, Gut and Vonn are tied for the lead of the combined standings with 100pts each.
- Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 3663-3458 over Italy. … Switzerland is third with 3105pts. … The U.S. is fourth at 2639pts and Canada eighth at 1112pts.
|Rank||Bib||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|36||50||SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG||1:00.78||50.23||1:51.01||+7.35||81.54|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 2nd run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|54||SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG|
|Did not finish 1st run|