Gut checks in with victory
lake louise, alberta» Lara Gut won what the weather turned into a World Cup super-G sprint Sunday at Lake Louise.
The Swiss ski star claimed a third career super-G victory at the Alberta resort after previous wins in 2013 and 2014.
Last season’s overall World Cup champion finished second in the downhill Saturday, which Gut said was an indicator she’s skiing well.
“It’s my third win in super-G here so I knew that super-G wasn’t a big issue. It was always a fight in downhill,” Gut said. “Yesterday and the last days I had the feeling I was finally starting to build something.”
The start was lowered due to weather a second straight day. Sunday’s snow-globe conditions turned the super-G — already a shorter distance than downhill with more turns — into a dash of just over a minute.
The race was also delayed 75 minutes to groom and reset the top of the course.
“I’m getting to be old enough to learn how to handle that,” Gut said. “I just had to wait an hour longer, but that’s not the first time that’s happened. The key is to stay focused and take it easy. If they say the race is on, someone is going to win and I don’t want to go to the start and already be beaten because I lost all my energy.”
Gut’s finished in 1 minute, 2.68 seconds. Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein was a 10th of a second back of Gut. Italy’s Sofia Goggia, second Friday in the opening downhill, was third in 1:03.27. Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, the winner of both downhills, was fifth.
American ski star Lindsey Vonn, who swept all three races in 2015, is sidelined with a broken arm. Vonn has made it difficult for anyone else to win at “Lake Lindsey” with 18 victories.
Faivre gets first win
B val d’isere, france» Mathieu Faivre led a fierce French challenge on first-run leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria to win a giant slalom for his first World Cup victory.
Faivre secured the fastest second run to beat Hirscher, the five-time defending World Cup overall winner and a Val d’Isere specialist, by 0.49 seconds.
France placed four racers in the top five, roared on by a noisy crowd that sang the French anthem — La Marseillaise — when an emotional Faivre stood on the top step of the podium.
Faivre had 0.01 to make up from the first leg, and the 24year-old racer’s debut victory denied Hirscher a fifth GS win on this course since 2009.
France team leader Alexis Pinturault was third, trailing 1.11 behind the winner. Teammates Thomas Fanara and Victor Muffat-Jeandet placed fourth and fifth.
Hirscher has now lost to two Frenchmen in defense of his season-long giant slalom trophy after being runner-up to Pinturault in the season-opening race at Soelden, Austria.
Faivre, a former world junior champion, has had three podium finishes in World Cup giant slalom in 2016 and Pinturault was alongside him each time.
In what has become the France team’s top event, its streak of placing at least one racer in the top-3 of men’s giant slalom now extends to 14 World Cup races since March 2015.
France also got its only alpine skiing medals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in men’s GS, when Steve Missillier and Pinturault took silver and bronze behind Olympic champion Ted Ligety.
Ligety led a five-strong United States challenge Sunday in 11th place, 2.63 back. He had been the only racer other than Hirscher to win a Val d’Isere GS in recent years.