In the second super-G event of the women’s World Cup season in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Italy’s Sofia Goggia returned to the top of the podium by a mere 0.01 seconds ahead of countrywoman Federica Brignone, while Mikaela Shiffrin, just 0.13 seconds out from Goggia’s leading time, landed in third to secure her first super-G podium of the season.
Saturday’s race proved an exceptionally exciting one thanks to a tight super-G course that favored the technical skiers among the speed racers and showcased some truly athletic skiing. The downhill-oriented racers like Slovenia’a Ilka Stuhec and Austria’s Stephanie Venier struggled to make the necessary quick transitions between gates, while Brignone, always a major contender in giant slalom, excelled at those transitions and was therefore able to take a very direct, aggressive line. Wearing bib number 9, Brignone crossed the finish 0.71 seconds faster than Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami, who until then sat in the leader’s box.
Brignone enjoyed a significant lead until Shiffrin, starting with bib number 13, was able to ski a similarly direct line and crossed the finish line just 0.12 seconds off Brignone’s time. Shiffrin remained in second place until Goggia crossed the finish—with just one pole—0.01 seconds faster than Brignone.
“Today was so much fun and the surface was perfect!” Shiffrin posted on Instagram following the race. “Congrats to [Sofia Goggia] and [Federica Brignone], and to my teammates for an awesome collective result.”
Shiffrin’s teammates Alice Merryweather and Alice McKennis showed consistency in Saturday’s race, placing 20th and 29th, respectively, to both secure World Cup points. Jacqueline Wiles finished outside of the top-30.
See full St. Moritz super-G results here.
Shiffrin’s podium in St. Moritz marks just her fourth career World Cup super-G podium; last season, Shiffrin made headlines by winning the St. Moritz event—her second consecutive super-G win following her first ever victory in the event at Lake Louise the week prior. Thanks to Saturday’s result, Shiffrin moves up the super-G ranks, from 10th to sixth. The podium also extends Shiffrin’s overall World Cup lead to 532 points, 251 points ahead of Brignone, currently second overall.
Fans were eager to learn if Shiffrin would take advantage of the following day’s parallel slalom event in St. Moritz—the first such event of the World Cup season—to extend her overall lead even further. But Shiffrin, who excelled at the head-to-head technical race last season, opted out of Sunday’s race, choosing to conserve energy and focus on the upcoming giant slalom event in Courchevel, France on Dec. 17.
“Obviously it’s not an easy decision, but I’m opting out of the race tomorrow,” Shiffrin posted on Instagram after Saturday’s super-G. “There are quite a few reasons for this but at the top of the list is that for several years I have been longing to race Val d’Isere but have never been able to because the [World Cup] schedule is always too tough (for those who race in all disciplines), but one of my goals this season is to get on track and to race a little more speed in general so I’m trying to manage energy and focus accordingly!”
With Shiffrin out of the running of Sunday’s parallel slalom, Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova’s path to her first slalom win of the season was free and clear. Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson finished second to land her second slalom podium of the season, while Austria’s Franziska Gritsch rounded out the podium in third. Nina O’Brien, the only American to compete in the event, finished in 24 to add more World Cup points to her season’s tally.
See full St. Moritz parallel slalom results here.
From St. Moritz, the women’s World Cup circuit moves to Courchevel, France on Dec. 17 for the third giant slalom event of the season.