After an exciting first women’s World Cup downhill race in Lake Louise on Friday, perfect course and weather conditions promised another nail-biter for Saturday’s second downhill. Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer, who nabbed her first World Cup victory in Friday’s downhill event, doubled down on her first ever World Cup victory by again crossing the finish line with the fastest time, 0.44 seconds ahead of Austrian teammate Cornelia Huetter finishing in second, and 0.47 ahead of France’s Michelle Gisin, who finished third.
Read more: Shakeup at Lake Louise Women's Downhill
It was clear from the start that a number of women who were disappointed with their results on Friday made a point of skiing more aggressively the second time down. That was especially true for Mikaela Shiffrin, who finished ninth in Friday’s race.
Racing with bib number 13, Shiffrin launched herself out of the start gate with a few powerful pushes, then hunkered down into a tight tuck and stayed in it for the first section of the course, skiing a more direct line than both Schmidhofer and Huetter.
Shiffrin’s attack paid off through the first few gates, and she held the lead on Schmidhofer until the fourth split, midway down the course. Shiffrin opened up slightly to navigate the steeper pitches, losing 0.63 seconds on Schmidhofer by the finish and ultimately sliding into fourth.
Though she narrowly missed the podium by 0.16 seconds, Shiffrin was able to move up five spots from Friday’s results, ranking her fifth overall in the World Cup downhill circuit and adding to her overall World Cup lead.
Americans Laurenne Ross and Alice Merryweather were looking to improve on their top 30 finish in Friday’s downhill after coming in 26th and 27th place, respectively. Ross, who started with bib number 27, had to deal with a bumpy and rutted course, making for another tough run. She finished in 31st overall, just missing out on a top 30 finish to collect additional World Cup points.
Merryweather laid down a stronger run in this second Lake Louise downhill, finishing in 21st and climbing six spots to secure additional World Cup points.
With their first two downhill events of the season behind them, the women are now preparing for their first Super G event, which will take place in Lake Louise on Sunday. Find the full event schedule here.