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Fresh snow, soft surface conditions, and dramatic speed courses with sweeping turns and tricky compressions made for an exciting women’s World Cup weekend in Crans Montana, Switzerland. While the Italian women dominated in Friday’s and Saturday’s downhills, with Sofia Goggia securing back-to-back wins to hold on to the downhill leader bib, American Breezy Johnson continued on her speed tear to claim her fourth consecutive third-place finish in Friday’s downhill. She then finished fifth in Saturday’s downhill race.
Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami also doubled-down on her win in the last super-G event in St. Anton, Austria to take the victory in Sunday’s super-G on home snow. Here are the highlights from the women’s World Cup speed events in Crans Montana.
Jan. 22 Crans Montana Women’s Downhill: Goggia Claims Third Downhill Victory, Johnson Snags Fourth Downhill Podium
On Friday, Jan. 22, Sofia Goggia became the first Italian woman and the first woman since American Lindsey Vonn to win three consecutive World Cup downhill races. Goggia, who claimed victories in the last two downhill events in St. Anton, Austria and Val d’Isere, France, and finished second in the season-opening downhill in Val d’Isere, went into Friday’s race already wearing the red leader’s bib in the downhill discipline.
The Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka, best known for winning Olympic gold in super-G in the 2018 PyeongChang Games and also competing in snowboarding at the same Olympics, finished just 0.20 seconds off Goggia’s winning time to take second place.
American Breezy Johnson, who has been on a tear this season after finally returning to World Cup racing after back-to-back season-ending knee injuries between 2018-2020, claimed her fourth consecutive third-place. She finished 0.57 seconds behind Goggia’s winning time.
WATCH: American Breezy Johnson Finishes 3rd in Jan. 22 Crans Montana Downhill
“If I get third one more time… I will be really excited. Third is sick,” Johnson posted on her Instagram after the race.
Johnson’s teammate Isabella Wright was the only other American to score World Cup points in Friday’s downhill after finishing 20th, a career-best for the 23-year-old who is starting in only her second World Cup Tour.
Jan. 23 Crans Montana Women’s Downhill: Goggia Victorious Again, Johnson Finishes Fifth
Italian Sofia Goggia used the second downhill race of the weekend to add another win, record, and additional World Cup points to her growing downhill tally. Goggia became the first Italian woman to win four consecutive downhills in World Cup history and now ties Lindsey Vonn for the most single-season downhill victories on the women’s World Cup with 4.
Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami crossed the finish 0.27 seconds behind Goggia’s winning time to take second on home snow. Goggia’s fellow countrywoman Elena Curtoni finished third to claim her first World Cup downhill podium since winning the 2020 Bansko downhill.
Breezy Johnson, staring with bib 13, crossed the finish line in second place behind Goggia despite a costly mistake in the final turns of the course. After seeing her time and rank in the finish area, Johnson seemed surprised at her good fortune. But her second place didn’t last long.
Gut-Behrami was the second racer to come down the course after Johnson and knocked the American down to third. While it looked like Johnson might eke out another third-place finish after three more racers crossed the finish behind Johnson’s time, that bubble burst when Curtoni crossed the finish in third with bib 19. Immediately after that, Italian Laura Piravano finished just 0.07 seconds faster than Johnson, knocking the American down to fifth place.
“I came down and I thought, ‘There’s no way this is going to be a podium run, and then I was in second and I [thought] maybe I broke the streak in a good direction,’” Johnson told U.S. Ski and Snowboard after the race. “Then I broke the streak in the not-as-good direction. But, I’m still happy with fifth place, it’s a great step forward for me and I’ll keep building and moving up.”
American Isabella Wright had another successful race on Saturday, finishing 25th to collect points in her fourth consecutive World Cup race.
After Saturday’s downhill—the fifth of the 2021 World Cup Tour—Goggia has a commanding lead in the discipline with 480 points. Johnson is currently ranked second with 285 points, leading Switzerland’s Corrine Suter in third by just 15 points.
Jan. 24 Crans Montana Super-G: Gut-Behrami Wins on Home Snow
There was no contest during Sunday’s super-G on the Crans Montana track—Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami was the resounding winner, staving off her competition by almost a full second. Sunday’s win marks Gut-Behrami’s second consecutive super-G victory after winning the most recent super-G in St. Anton, Austria.
It was Austria’s Tamara Tippler who came closest to Gut-Behrami’s time, finishing 0.93 seconds behind the Swiss skier to take second place. Italy’s Federica Brignone, last season’s runner-up for the super-G Crystal Globe, finished third.
WATCH: Lara Gut-Behrami’s Winning Run, Crans Montana Super-G
Sunday’s super-G course featured two big jumps that quite literally threw a number of racers, including World Cup veterans Stephanie Venier, Wendy Holdener, Petra Vlhova, and even American Breezy Johnson, who did not finish the course after crashing or missing a gate.
The only American to score points in Sunday’s super-G was Isabella Wright, who wrapped up a successful weekend in Crans Montana with a 28th place finish.
“I’m super pumped that I have been consistently in the points for the past five races,” Wright told U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “That’s exciting and I feel like I have a lot of momentum going right now. I think that after my first downhill points in St. Anton, that really gave me the confidence to know that I can just do it. Every race since then I’ve been wanting more and more and more to just build on top of.”
Thanks to her win on Sunday, Gut-Behrami leads the women’s World Cup super-G standings with 245 points. Corinne Suter, also from Switzerland, is ranked second with 169 points. Brignone is in third place with 165 points.
The weekend’s races also slightly shift the women’s overall standings. Vlhova still leads with 861 points thanks to a fourth-place finish in Friday’s downhill race. Despite disappointing results in Crans Montana, Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin still finds herself in second with 743 points. Gut-Behrami, however, moves up to third place with 667 points. Italian Marta Bassino slides down into fourth place with 655 points, just one point ahead of teammate Sofia Goggia.
From Crans Montana the women’s World Cup Tour moves to Kronplatz, Italy, for the next giant slalom race of the season on Jan. 26.