The women competing in speed events on the World Cup tour hoped to have one more opportunity to test themselves in downhill on the fabled Kandahar slope in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, before the FIS World Championships kick off in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy on Feb. 8. But Mother Nature had other plans.
Torrential rain and wet, heavy snow made it impossible to host the scheduled downhill on Saturday, Jan. 30, so race organizers quickly pivoted to turn the weekend into a super-G double-header.
The move favored Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami, who capitalized on her double victories in the most recent super-G events in St. Anton and Crans Montana to sweep both races this weekend and become the first woman in World Cup history to win four consecutive super-G events.
Gut-Behrami’s good fortune at the change in schedule proved to be Italian Sofia Goggia’s misfortune. Goggia crashed while making her way down the side of the course with the other competitors after Sunday’s race was rescheduled and sustained a season-ending injury. Here’s the Garmisch-Partenkirchen weekend in review.
Jan. 30 Garmisch Super-G: Lara Gut-Behrami Clinches Third Consecutive Super-G Win; American Isabella Wright Continues to Collect World Cup Points
Coming hot off of two victories in as many super-G races, Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami firmly cemented her lead in the discipline by throwing down a fast and aggressive run on a sloppy snow surface to claim her third super-G victory in three weeks.
More than half a second separated Gut-Behrami’s time from the competition, with Norway’s Kajsa Vickhoff Lie finishing 0.68 seconds out to take second. Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon rounded out the podium in third, 0.93 seconds off the winning time.
Lie’s second-place-finish marked her first World Cup podium, a welcome reward after 45 World Cup starts and first cracking the top 10 this season in Val d’Isere.
Saturday’s podium finish also came as Gagnon’s first in super-G. Though the World Cup veteran has stood on the podium five times throughout her career, her last top three finish was in 2016. The Canadian’s strong performance is all the more impressive because she started with bib 29 to overtake the rest of the field.
American Isabella Wright has collected World Cup points in the last six races she started in and showed no signs of slowing that trend. Wright led the American women in Saturday’s super-G in 29th place. Teammates Breezy Johnson, Jacqueline Wiles, and AJ Hurt finished just outside the top 30.
See the full results from the Jan. 30 super-G here.
Feb. 1 Garmisch Super-G: Lara Gut-Behrami Becomes First Woman to Win 4 Successive Super-G races; Italian Sofia Goggia Sustains Season-Ending Injury
The margins were slightly slimmer in Monday’s rescheduled super-G, but there’s no denying that Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami is pulling away from the competition in this discipline after clinching her fourth successive super-G victory. With this win, Gut-Behrami became the first woman in World Cup history to show this kind of consistency in super-G.
Gut-Behrami’s victories may no longer come as a surprise, but Petra Vlhova’s second-place finish just 0.28 seconds off the winning time in Monday’s race was indeed surprising. Though the Slovakian currently leads the overall standings, she’s never podiumed in a super-G before now. Her best World Cup result in super-G to date was a fourth-place finish in La Thuile, France, last season. Vlhova may have even won her first super-G on Monday had it not been for a mistake in the lower section of the course.
Austria’s Tamara Tippler, always a contender in the women’s speed events, rounded out the podium in third. Tippler’s third place in Monday’s race comes as her third World Cup podium finish this season.
"Super-G has been a bit of an enigma to me this season, but it's good to be back in the top 30 and feel like I had some good skiing again."
American Breezy Johnson, who is currently ranked second in the downhill standings, has struggled to find her footing in the super-G events this season. But she seemed to have found a good line in Monday’s race, finishing 20th after a solid run down the Kandahar.
“I feel very relieved,” Johnson told U.S. Ski and Snowboard after the race. “Super-G has been a bit of an enigma to me this season, but it’s good to be back in the top 30 and feel like I had some good skiing again. I am definitely looking forward to the Cortina super-G.”
Johnson led two other American women into points in Monday’s race. Isabella Wright finished 28th to collect points in her seventh consecutive race, while AJ Hurt finished 30th to score points in her fourth discipline this season.
See the full results from the Feb. 1 super-G here.
Noticeably absent from Monday’s super-G was Italian Sofia Goggia. The Italian finished fifth in Saturday’s race, but was unable to start in Monday’s super-G after she crashed while skiing outside of the course and sustained a season-ending lower leg injury on Sunday. With the World Championships hosted in Goggia’s home country just a week away, the injury comes as a huge blow to Goggia and her fans. Goggia led the World Cup standings in downhill heading into the World Championship.
After the weekend’s super-G races in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Gut-Behrami now catapults to the super-G lead with 445 points, 195 points ahead of countrywoman Corinne Suter with 250 points. Tippler now finds herself in third with 240 points.
Thanks to her second-place finish in Monday’s race, Vlhova still leads the overall standings with 989 points, though by a slimmer margin. Gut-Behrami is now close behind in second with 947 points. Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin sits in third with 807 points.