Lara Gut-Behrami Wins Alpine Ski World Cup Opener in Sölden
Lara Gut-Behrami won the Alpine Ski World Cup Opener in Sölden today ahead of first run leader Federica Brignone (+ 0.02) and Petra Vlhova (+0.14).
In front of 15,400 spectators at the Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden, on an amazing sunny day, Gut-Behrami set the fastest time in the second run to win the sixth World Cup Giant Slalom of her career.
Despite a mistake in the first run, and thanks to a consistent and aggressive performance in the decisive run, she was able to climb from 4th to first place.
"Yesterday when I drew number 1, I was really happy, but in the morning I was a little bit nervous,. It was the first time to me to start the season as the first one starting. And I paid for that a little bit in the first run", Gut-Behrami said.
It's the 15th time the 32-year-old Swiss skier was racing in Sölden. She has equaled Tina Maze's record of three World Cup Giant Slalom wins in Sölden. Gut-Behrami was on the podium 4 times in Sölden (3-1-0) (2013, 2016, and 2023 - 2021).
The skier from Ticino was in the Top 10 a total of seven times in the first race of the season.
“Giant Slalom means a lot to me because it is the base for everything. If you're good at Giant Slalom, I think you're a better skier. I really like Sölden. It's steep, and difficult and I like to ski aggressive. Many athletes need more races to get going, but for me it was always the other way around. I hope that I can continue the season like this", she added.
It's her sixth win in the Giant Slalom discipline and her 38th overall in the World Cup.
Lara Gut-Behrami became the third woman to claim at least one World Cup win in 13 different seasons, after Renate Götschl (14) and Lindsey Vonn (13).
Federica Brignone missed her second win in Sölden, after her 2015 victory, by a mere 0.02 seconds. Today's second place means her 30 podium in the Giant Slalom.
Brignone has raced in the Rettenbach glacier 13 times and finished four on the podium (1st 2015, 2nd 2018, 2020, and 2023).
"I’m happy about second place. The first run was good, in the second run I don’t know what was going on. I think I can ski better. I was stressed and my legs weren't doing what I wanted. But it's a podium finish and only two hundredths behind", Brignone said.
Petra Vlhova finished in third place. She finished also in third place in Sölden in 2020 and 2021. Eighteen of her 67 podiums in the World Cup came in the Giant Slalom.
"It's good to start with a podium in the first race of the season, but of course I think I could be a little bit higher on the podium", Vlhova said.
Big favorite Mikaela Shiffrin, who won seven of ten Giant Slalom races and the discipline Crystal Globe last season, finished in sixth position and leaves Sölden without a podium finish.
The disqualification of Ragnhild Mowinckel due to a violation of the newly introduced fluorine wax ban caused a stir, and was the only negative note of an otherwise enjoyable day of skiing.