Next weekend the Women's World Cup is back to Crans Montana with three days of action: two Downhills, and a Super-G.
Last season Sofia Goggia won in Crans Montana her 4th race in the Mont Lachaux Downhill racecourse.
The 30-year-old speed specialist finished 0.15 seconds ahead of teammate Federica Brignone, with French Laura Gauche in third 0.41 seconds behind Goggia. The 28-year-old French skier achieved in Crans Montana her maiden podium in the World Cup.
Crans Montana (SUI)
February 16th Downhill / Women 10:30 CET
February 17th Downhill / Women 10:30 CET
February 18th Super-G / Women 10:30 CET
The Mont Lachaux Downhill racecourse was remodeled in 2006-2007. The slope winds its way down from the spectacular Cry d'Err vantage point and on through the mountain forest down to the Barzettes ski stadium.
Mont Lachaux Racecourse facts:
Start Elevation: 2210 m (Downhill) / 2116 m (Super-G)
Finish Elevation: 1545 m
Vertical Drop: 665 m (DH) / 571 m (SG)
Length: 2451 m (DH) / 2045 m (SG)
Max. slope: 53 %
Average slope: 31 %
Mikaela Shiffrin, still recovering from a knee injury suffered in Cortina, will not return to competition in Crans Montana. Shiffrin was back on the snow and working on testing her knee, but the injuries to her left knee are preventing her from returning.
With 13 races still on the Calendar, -4 Downhills, 5 Super-G, 2 Giant Slaloms, and only 2 Slaloms-, the situation seems to be leaning more and more in favor of a second Overall Crystal Globe for Lara Gut-Behrami.
The situation is inevitably reminiscent of the 2015-2016 season when Gut-Behrami won the Alpine Ski World Cup title for the first and so far only time. At that time, Lindsey Vonn, another American star, was injured in February in Soldeu. Vonn, who was 28 points ahead of the Swiss, announced on March 2nd that her season was over. Gut-Behrami seized the moment and won the Overall Crystal Globe.
The last seven Women's World Cup Downhills were won by seven different women: Kajsa Vickhoff Lie, Ilka Štuhec, Mikaela Shiffrin, Jasmine Flury, Sofia Goggia, Stephanie Venier, and Ragnhild Mowinckel.
Lara Gut-Behrami has been participating in the Alpine Skiing World Cup for 16 years and has won 12 women's World Cup Downhills, the last one in Zauchensee in January 2022, for a total of 21 podiums.
In October Gut-Behrami won the Alpine Ski World Cup Opener in Sölden. She became the third woman to claim at least one World Cup win in 13 different seasons, after Renate Götschl (14) and Lindsey Vonn (13).
Gut-Behrami won the Giant Slalom in Soldeu to earn her sixth win of the season and claimed the lead of the Overall World Cup standings five points ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin. The 32-year-old Swiss looks unstoppable at the moment and celebrated her 43rd win in the Alpine Ski World Cup. It's her 85th podium in the World Cup.
The skier from Ticino has won two Downhill races in Crans Montana in 2020, and finished in second place in 2021.
Gut-Behrami is in third place in the Downhill standings with 209 points.
Stephanie Venier earned in Cortina d'Ampezzo the first victory for Austria in the Women's Downhill since Nicole Schmidhofer won in Lake Louise on December 7, 2019. For the 30-year-old Austrian skier from Tirol, it was her second World Cup victory, the first in almost five years, since she won the Downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on January 27, 2019.
Venier finished in second place in the Downhill in Zauchensee. it was her first Downhill podium since February 2020 in Crans Montana.
Venier is in second place in the Downhill standings, 89 points behind Sofia Goggia who after her injury will not race again this season.
Austria won the women's Downhill Crystal Globe five times in a row from 2002-2003 to 2006-2007, but only once since Nicole Schmidhofer won in the 2018-2019 season.
Cornelia Hütter has won one World Cup Downhill race: in Lake Louise on December 1, 2017. She finished on the podium 25 times, all of them in speed events. She climbed up to the podium Downhill in the World Cup 13 times, the last time in Val d'Isère on December 2023.
Mirjam Puchner shared in Zauchensee the third place on the podium with Nicol Delago. Puchner was on the podium seven times in the Alpine Ski World Cup.
Downhill Gold medalist in Méribel Jasmine Flury won the second Downhill of the season in Val d'Isère.
It was her second victory in the Alpine Ski World Cup, and the first one in Downhill, following a victory in the Super-G in St. Moritz in December 2017. Before Val d'Isère Flury's only podium in the Downhill was second place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in January 2022.
Ragnhild Mowinckel achieved in Cortina d'Ampezzo her first victory in the Downhill in the Alpine Ski World Cup. Her three previous World Cup victories were in the Ofterschwang Giant Slalom in 2018, and in the Super-G, in Courchevel-Meribel in 2022, and last season in Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Kajsa Vickhof Lie became the first Norwegian woman to win a Downhill Alpine Ski World Cup when she won in Kvitfjell on 4 March. Vickhof Lie can join the group of four other Norwegian women who have won multiple World Cup events: Andrine Flemmen (3), Ragnhild Mowinckel (3), Trine Rognmo-Bakke (2) and Nina Haver-Løseth (2).
Jacqueline Wiles earned in the first Downhill held in Cortina her best result and third career World Cup podium. The last time the US 31-year-old skier finished on the podium was also in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2018 in the Downhill. She has another podium finish in the Downhill in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee in 2017.
28-year-old Christina Ager achieved in Cortina d'Ampezzo her first podium in the Alpine Ski World Cup.
Federica Brignone finished in third place in St. Moritz in the Downhill. The 33-year-old Italian Skier has finished on the Downhill podium in the Alpine Ski World Cup six times but she never won a race in this discipline.
Brignone celebrated her 24th World Cup victory in Val d'Isère. She finished on the podium 63 times in the World Cup.
Slovenian Ilka Stuhec won the last Downhill of the season at the Finals in Soldeu, her fourth podium of the season, and finished in second place in the Downhill standings. Stuhec confirmed in Andorra her come back at the very top of women’s Alpine Downhill skiing. The 33-year-old and double Downhill World Champion at St. Moritz 2017 and Are 2019, become the oldest winner in a women's World Cup Downhill race since Lindsey Vonn won in Åre on 14 March 2018 at age 33.
Lara Gut-Behrami won the last World Cup Super-G held in Cortina d'Ampezzo on January 29, 2023. It's her third victory in the Super-G in the Olympia delle Tofane (2014, 2018, and 2024). She also won the second Super-G held in Zauchensee.
Gut-Behrami is the first woman to win successive World Cup Super-G races since she won four in a row herself in 2021: St. Anton, Crans Montana, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (2).
Lindsey Vonn (28) is the only female skier to have celebrated as many Super-G World Cup victories as Gut-Behrami (21).
After her victory in Cortina, Gut-Behrami is leading the Super-G standings with 320 points, 10 ahead of Cornelia Hütter who today did not finish the race.
Gut-Behrami won the last Super-G of the 2022-2023 season at the Finals in Soldeu and grabbed the Crystal Globe. It was the fourth time that the 32-year-old Swiss has won the Super-G Crystal Globe after winning the title of the speed discipline in 2013-2014, 2015-2016, and 2020-2021. Only Katja Seizinger and Lindsey Vonn, five times each, have won the Super-G Crystal Globe more times.z
Cornelia Hütter won the first Super-G held in Zauchensee and gave Austria the first-season victory in the Women's Alpine Ski World Cup. She finished ahead of Kajsa Vickhoff Lie (+0.09) and Lara Gut-Behrami (+0.21). It was her fifth World Cup victory and the fourth in a Super-G.
Hütter achieved in the second Super-G held in Zauchensee her fourth podium of the season, the third one in the Super-G. She finished 25 times on the podium in the Alpine Ski World Cup.
Federica Brignone won the second Super-G of the season held in the Oreiller-Killy course at La Daille in Val d'Isère. The 33-year-old set the best time in a challenging course setting to take the victory with a lead of 0.44 seconds over Kajsa Vickhoff Lie. Sofia Goggia rounded out the podium 0.59 seconds behind Brignone.
Last season, Federica Brignone finished in second place in the discipline standings.
With 9 wins in her career, Brignone is aiming to become the seventh woman to win at least 10 World Cup Super-G races, following Lindsey Vonn (28), Lara Gut-Behrami (20), Renate Götschl (17), Katja Seizinger (16), Carole Merle (12), and Michaela Dorfmeister (10).
Brignone is joint-second alongside Gustav Thöni and Sofia Goggia (24) for most World Cup wins by an Italian alpine skier, behind only Alberto Tomba (50).
25-year-old Kajsa Vickhoff Lie could become the fourth woman representing Norway to achieve a World Cup victory in the Super-G, after Merete Fjeldavlie (1992), Ingeborg Helen Marken (1996) and Ragnhild Mowinckel (2022 and 2023).
Lie's podium in Zauchensee was her third one in the Super-G in the World Cup. She is looking for her first victory in the discipline after winning her first World Cup Downhill in Kvitfjell last March.
Mirjam Puchner finished on the podium, in third position, in the second Super-G held in Zauchensee. It's her 7th podium in the Alpine Ski World Cup.
Ragnhild Mowinckel rounded out the podium in the last race of the season in Soldeu, her 13th World Cup podium, in third place +0.47 seconds behind the Swiss, and finished in third place in the discipline standings. In a neat image of symmetry, Soldeu's Gut-Behrami-Brignone-Mowinckel race podium matched the Crystal Globe podium.
Two of her four World Cup wins were in Super-G: Courchevel-Meribel on March 17, 2022, and Cortina d'Ampezzo on January 22, 2023.
Stephanie Venier completed a perfect weekend in Cortina d'Ampezzo with a victory in the Downhill and a second place in the Super-G, her 4th World Cup podium in the discipline.
Marta Bassino is the current Super-G world champion. On February 8, 2023, in Courchevel-Méribel, she won her second World Champion title (she won gold at the Parallel in Cortina 2021). Bassino finished ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin (silver), Cornelia Hütter, and Kajsa Vickhoff Lie (shared bronze medal).
Bassino has yet to win a Super-G event at the World Cup. She finished on the podium four times, two second places (Bansko 2020, and St. Anton 2021), and two third places (St. Anton 2023, and Cortina d'Ampezzo 2023).
Located on a sunny plateau at 1,500 m above the Rhone Valley, Crans Montana offers visitors an outstanding Alpine panorama over the most beautiful peaks in the Alps, such as the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. The ski domain of Crans Montana (1500-3000) allows skiers and snowboarders to enjoy snow thanks to 30 lifts and 140 km of pistes including the mythical Plaine Morte and the National. The Mont Lachaux Downhill racecourse was remodeled in 2006-2007. The slope winds its way down from the spectacular Cry d'Err vantage point and on through the mountain forest down to the Barzettes ski stadium.
Crans-Montana stretches up to the Plaine Morte glacier at an altitude of 3,000 meters, where the first alpine ski race took place in 1911 when the English skiing pioneer Sir Arnold Lunn organized the world's first timed downhill ski race, on the high Valais plateau from the Plaine Morte glacier to Mollens. Crans-Montana has so far hosted more than 25 FIS European Cup and FIS World Cup competitions, two World Cup Finals (1992 & 1998), the European Cup Finals 2009, and the unforgettable 1987 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.