Image Credit: GEPA

Wednesday marked the first day of World Cup speed competition at Aspen, Colo. in a decade, but the venue has a long history with the World Cup, hosting its first race in March of 1968. The 2016-17 World Cup Finals kicked off with the men racing downhill at 9:30 am local time, and the women starting off at 11:00 am local time. The sun blazed down on Ruthie’s Run, making the snow progressively softer throughout the morning.

The not-so-overnight Slovenian sensation Ilka Stuhec held nothing back in the final World Cup downhill run of the season, winning the race with a total time of 1:36.95 and securing her first ever World Cup downhill globe with a total of 597 points. Coming into the race with a 97-point lead in the discipline standings, Stuhec could have skied conservatively, but that’s not her style.

“I wanted to do like every other time this season like ski the best way possible and do my best and we’ll see what comes, and ending the season with a win and a globe, it’s pretty good,” she shared.

Stuhec is the first Slovenian woman to ever win the downhill crystal globe, and has already locked up the alpine combined globe.

ASPEN,COLORADO,USA,15.MAR.17 - ALPINE SKIING - FIS World Cup Final, downhill, ladies. Image shows Lindsey Vonn (USA). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Daniel Goetzhaber

American Lindsey Vonn put on a good show for the home crowd, coming in second place, just 0.66 seconds away from the win. Vonn has been making a valiant effort to regain her confidence and strength this season after a year off snow due to a fracture in her tibial plateau last February and a spiral fracture in her right humerus in November. Despite not racing a complete season, she was able to end the season in fourth position in the downhill rankings.

“Wasn’t too fast on the splits and on the flats, but think I skied really well most other sections of the course,” Vonn said. “I’m excited for tomorrow because we don’t have to ski the flats at the beginning, so hopefully I’ll be faster.

Rounding on the podium was Italy’s Sofia Goggia in third place. The Italian was the only possible threat to Stuhec’s downhill globe, and her third-place result means she ends the season in second place in the rankings with 460 points.

“It was really an unexpected season and I am really happy with the results I achieved, but still it’s never enough,” Goggia explained. “Results are never enough, and I’m hungry for more.”

In the small 20-skier field, six of the athletes were on the U.S. Ski Team, meaning Americans made up about 30 percent of the field. Laurenne Ross skied to a fifth-place finish, one of her best results of the 2016-17 season. Jacqueline Wiles finished in 14th place while Stacey Cook and Alice Merryweather ended the day in 16th and 19th, respectively. This was Merryweather’s World Cup debut. The young athlete earned her spot thanks to her Junior World Championship downhill win in Are, Sweden.

“I wanted to podium at World Juniors, and knew I could do it, but never thought I’d win – and even if I did win, I never imagined I’d actually be here racing at World Cup Finals in Aspen,” Merryweather said.

Breezy Johnson did not finish after taking a gnarly crash towards the end of the course. She was able to walk off the course on her own.

World Cup Finals action continues on Thursday, March 16 with the men’s and women’s super-G races, where Stuhec will try to secure the super-G globe.

Fans can stay up to date on World Cup by downloading the U.S. Ski Team – Ski Racing app for iOS and Android.

Top 10

  1. Ilka Stuhec (SLO) – Stoeckli / Lange /Atomic
  2. Lindsey Vonn (USA) – Head / Head / Head
  3. Sofia Goggia (ITA) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
  4. Tina Weirather (LIE) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
  5. Laurenne Ross (USA) – Voelkl / Marker / Dalbello
  6. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
  7. Tamara Tippler (AUT) – Voelkl / Marker / Dalbello
  8. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) – Stoeckli / Lange / Marker
  9. Johanna Schnarf (ITA) – Fischer / Fischer / Fischer
  10. Christine Scheyer (AUT) – Head / Head / Head

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
1 1 565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO 1:36.95 0.00 100.00
2 9 537544 VONN Lindsey 1984 USA 1:37.61 +0.66 8.51 80.00
3 3 298323 GOGGIA Sofia 1992 ITA 1:37.98 +1.03 13.28 60.00
4 7 355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE 1:38.66 +1.71 22.05 50.00
5 17 538573 ROSS Laurenne 1988 USA 1:38.68 +1.73 22.31 45.00
6 15 55970 SCHMIDHOFER Nicole 1989 AUT 1:38.92 +1.97 25.40 40.00
7 6 56088 TIPPLER Tamara 1991 AUT 1:39.08 +2.13 27.46 36.00
8 11 205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria 1989 GER 1:39.22 +2.27 29.27 32.00
9 5 296427 SCHNARF Johanna 1984 ITA 1:39.45 +2.50 32.23 29.00
10 13 56198 SCHEYER Christine 1994 AUT 1:39.53 +2.58 33.26 26.00
11 2 56177 VENIER Stephanie 1993 AUT 1:39.57 +2.62 33.78 24.00
12 8 516248 FLURY Jasmine 1993 SUI 1:39.79 +2.84 36.62 22.00
13 16 56087 SIEBENHOFER Ramona 1991 AUT 1:39.80 +2.85 36.75 20.00
14 12 539536 WILES Jacqueline 1992 USA 1:40.10 +3.15 40.61 18.00
15 4 296431 STUFFER Verena 1984 ITA 1:40.12 +3.17 40.87 16.00
16 19 537582 COOK Stacey 1984 USA 1:40.27 +3.32 42.81
16 14 516319 SUTER Corinne 1994 SUI 1:40.27 +3.32 42.81
18 18 297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA 1:40.57 +3.62 46.67
19 20 6535600 MERRYWEATHER Alice 1996 USA 1:41.22 +4.27 55.05
Did not finish 1st run
10 6535455 JOHNSON Breezy 1996 USA
Article Tags: Alpine, Top Rotator, Top Story

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Gabbi Hall
Digital Content Editor
- A California native, Gabbi moved to Vermont to ski on the NCAA circuit for St. Michael’s College, where she served as team captain and studied journalism. Before joining Ski Racing, she worked as a broadcast TV producer and social media manager in higher education. She can be reached via email at
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