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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Lienz World Cup Giant Slalom and Slalom Races Preview

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Lienz is the cultural, economic, and social center of East Tirol. It lies at the foot of the Lienz Dolomites, at the intersection of the Isel and Drau rivers. The ski resort of Hochstein in the mountains above the city of Lienz in Osttirol is a regular host of the Alpine Ski World Cup. The first races were held in 1969. The Hochstein and Zettersfeld ski resorts in Lienz have been managed since 1971 by the Lienzer Bergbahnen company.

At the end of December, the world's best women skiers will again take on the challenging slopes of the Lienz Schlossberg mountain in the final 2023 stop of the women's FIS Alpine Ski World Cup tour.

Lienz Program:

Giant Slalom, Thursday, December 28th. 1st run 10.00; 2nd run 13:15 (CET)

Slalom, Friday, December 29th. 1st run 10.00; 2nd run 13:00 (CET)

  • Start Elevation: 1008m (Giant Slalom) 880m (Slalom)

  • Finish Elevation: 680 m

  • Vertical Drop: 328 (Giant Slalom) 200m (Slalom)

  • Length: 1300m (Giant Slalom) 644m (Slalom)

  • Average slope: 23 %

  • Max. slope: 47 %

  • Min. slope: 18 %

On December 28, 2021, Tessa Worley won the last Giant Slalom held in Lienz. She skied the fastest first run and with a solid second run finished 0.30 seconds ahead of Petra Vlhova. Sara Hector rounded up the podium in third place +0.38 seconds behind Worley.

In 2021 Petra Vlhova was unbeatable. In Lienz, she confirmed she was then number one in Slalom with another flawless performance. Vlhova won after setting the fastest time in the first run and the second faster in the final run. Katharina Liensberger finished in second place, +0.51 seconds behind Vlhova. Michelle Gisin completed the podium +0.68 seconds behind the Slovakian.

Lienz World Cup Giant Slalom and Slalom Races Preview

Federica Brignone won the two Giant Slaloms held in Tremblant (December 2 and 3). She became the oldest woman to win a World Cup Giant Slalom race. The Italian skier achieved 10 of her 24 World Cup victories in Giant Slalom. Also, 32 of her 61 podiums came in the same discipline.

Italian women won at least one World Cup Giant Slalom event in each of the last seven seasons (2015-2016 to 2021-2022).

Back in 2020, Federica Brignone Grabs the Overall, Giant Slalom, and Alpine Combined Globes. Brignone can be proud to be the first Italian woman to conquer the Overall Globe. Brignone joined the Italian-Overall club composed of Piero Gros, Gustav Thoeni, and Alberto Tomba on the Men's field.

Federica Brignone finished in second place in the Giant Slalom in Sölden.

Since her first win in 2015-2016, she has only failed to win a World Cup Giant Slalom race in 2020-2021 and 2022-2023.

Lara Gut-Behrami won the first two Giant Slaloms of the season in Sölden and Killington. The 32-year-old skier from Ticino became the first Swiss woman to win back-to-back World Cup Giant Slalom races since Sonja Nef did it in 2001. It's her seventh win in the Giant Slalom discipline. She was on the podium 78 times in the World Cup, 21 of them in Giant Slalom.

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).

In the 2022-2023 winter season Gut-Behrami finished in second place on the Giant Slalom standings. She has another Top-3 finish in the Giant Slalom standings, a third place in the 2015-2016 season.

She finished in the Top-10 in 23 of the last 25 World Cup Giant Slaloms. She made it to the podium 9 times and won 3 times.

Lara Gut-Behrami claims her first Olympic Giant Slalom medal in Beijing 2022. She also won the gold medal in Giant Slalom in Cortina 2021.

Thanks to her second place in the second Giant Slalom held in Tremblant, she was able to defend the first position in the Giant Slalom standings. The 32-year-old is 5 points ahead of Brignone.

Brignone won the Giant Slalom World Cup in Lienz on December 29, 2017. She finished fourth in the last two Women's World Cup giant slalom races in Hochstein in 2019 and 2021.

Mikaela Shiffrin won seven Giant Slalom events in the 2022-2023 winter season (Semmering I and II, Kranjska Gora, Kronplatz I and II, Are, and Soldeu). The only alpine skier (male or female) to record more than seven Giant Slalom victories in a single season is Ingemar Stenmark: 10 in 1978-1979.

After winning the last race of the 2022-2023 season in Andorra, with 21 victories, Mikaela Shiffrin is the woman with the most World Cup event wins in the Giant Slalom.

Last season, the 28-year-old won the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe. It's her second Crystal Globe in the discipline. In total, Shiffrin finished the 2022-2023 season with a total of 15 Crystal Globes (5 total, 7 in Slalom, 2 in Giant Slalom, and 1 in Super-G).

Shiffrin can become the first woman to successfully defend her Giant Slalom title since Anna Veith in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

The US skier finished three times on the podium, all in third place, in four Giant Slalom races this season.

In 2019, Shiffrin won the women's Giant Slalom and Slalom events in Lienz.

Petra Vlhova finished in the Top-3 in the Giant Slalom standings twice: two-second places in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. She finished sixth, fourth, and fifth in the last three seasons respectively.

The 28-year-old finished in third place in the Alpine Ski World Cup Opener in Sölden, and in second place in the first Giant Slalom held in Tremblant.

Petra Vlhova claimed the first-ever World Championships gold medal for Slovakia at the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre (SWE) in the Giant Slalom event.

Six of her 28 victories in the World Cup came in the Giant Slalom, and 18 of her 68 podiums were also in this discipline.

Sara Hector claimed 13 World Cup podiums in the Giant Slalom, including four wins in Courchevel, Kranjska Gora, and Kronplatz in the 2021-2022 winter season. Her injury deprived her to become the second Swedish winner of the Women's Giant Slalom Crystal Globe, after Anja Pärson (2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2005-2006).

Hector won the Olympic Giant Slalom gold in Beijing.

Marta Bassino finished last season in third place in the Giant Slalom standings. She celebrated her first career World Cup podium, a third place, in the Giant Slalom in Sölden on 22 October 2016.

In 2021Bassino won the discipline title with the Italian emerging as the dominant force. Bassino became the fourth Italian skier to win the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe after Deborah Compagnoni did it in 1997, Denise Karbon in 2008, and Federica Brignone in 2020.

She was on the podium 28 times in the World Cup, 20 of them in Giant Slalom. She won six races all in Giant Slalom.

Katharina Liensberger is the latest Austrian woman to stand on the Giant Slalom World Cup podium: a third place in Lienz on December 28, 2019.

Austria has won a record 93 Women's World Cup Giant Slalom events, but its most recent victory was more than seven years ago when Eva-Maria Brem won in Jasná on March 7, 2016.

Slalom Preview

Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhová have recorded a 1-2 finish in 23 Alpine Ski World Cup Slalom events. Shiffrin finished ahead of Vlhová 13 times and it was the other way around 10 times.

Mikaela Shiffrin and/or Petra Vlhová finished on the podium in each of the last 12 World Cup Slalom events (6 wins for Shiffrin, 4 for Vlhová).

The last three events of the Women's Slalom World Cup in Lienz were won by Shiffrin or Vlhová. Shiffrin won in 2017 and 2019, and Vlhová won in 2021.

Petra Vlhová is the reigning Olympic Champion in Slalom. Last season she finished third in the Slalom standings. She recorded podium finishes in the Slalom standings in each of the past five seasons, claiming two Crystal Globes: 2nd-1st-3rd-1st-3rd.

Petra Vlhová won the last Slalom in Courchevel. She finished ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin. Katharina Truppe rounded up the podium in third position.  It was her second win and third podium of the season in the discipline and her 30th World Cup victory.

The 28-year-old skier is now joint-fourth alongside Erika Hess with 21 wins in the all-time women's ranking for most World Cup Slalom wins, behind Mikaela Shiffrin (53), Marlies Schild (35), Vreni Schneider (34).

Mikaela Shiffrin won the Slalom events in Levi and Killington. Shiffrin recorded 55 of her 91 wins in the Slalom, a record for most wins in a single event. Ingemar Stenmark follows with 46 wins in the Men's Giant Slalom, and Lindsey Vonn with 43 wins in the Women's Downhill.

With 140 podiums is in second place all-time for most Alpine Ski World Cup podiums. Ingemar Stenmark with 155 holds the record. Only Stenmark (81) has recorded as many podiums in Slalom as Shiffrin (79).

Last season Shiffrin won the Slalom title. In total, Shiffrin finished the 2022-2023 winter season with a total of 15 Crystal Globes (5 total, 7 in Slalom, 2 in Giant Slalom, and 1 in Super-G). In 2023-2024, Shiffrin can equal Ingemar Stenmark (8) for most Slalom Crystal Globes.

Besides Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn (8 in Downhill) and Annemarie Moser-Pröll (7 in Downhill) are the only other women to have won a World Cup title in one discipline at least seven times.

Since 2018-2019, Shiffrin has recorded just one DNF in 46 Slalom World Cup starts: in Kranjska Gora on January 9, 2022. Mikaela Shiffrin has finished on the podium in 11 of her last 12 appearances in Slalom World Cup events, except for a fourth-place finish in Levi on November 11, 2023.

United States (88) is tied with Austria (88) for most women's World Cup Slalom victories.

Lena Dürr finished second and third respectively in the two Slaloms held in Levi. It was her tenth podium in the World Cup, her sixth one in Slalom. The 32-year-old German skier achieved her first Slalom World Cup victory last season in Špindlerův Mlýn on January 29, 2023.

Dürr won the bronze medal in the Slalom at the 2023 Alpine World Ski Championships in Méribel. The German skier finished fourth in the discipline standings last season. In 2021-2022 she finished in third position, her first time in the Top-3.

Katharina Liensberger returned in Levi to a World Cup Podium. The 26-year-old from Vorarlberg surprised the audience with two consistent runs. The last time she finished in the Top-3 was in March 2022, when she won the Slalom in Åre.

The winner of the 2021 Slalom Crystal Globe and World Champion in Cortina, faced a highly challenging 2022-2023 season, finishing in the Slalom Top-10 just twice.

Katharina Liensberger was the latest Austrian woman to win a World Cup Slalom in Åre on March 12, 2022.

Leona Popovic finished second on Sunday's Slalom in Levi. It was her second Alpine Ski World Cup podium.

Last season, Zrinka Ljutic (3rd in Špindlerův Mlýn) and Leona Popovic (2nd in Soldeu) recorded the first Slalom podiums for Croatia in the Women's World Cup since Ana Jelusic in 2007.

Janica Kostelic (30), Ivica Kostelic (26), and Filip Zubcic (3) are the only three Croatian skiers to have won a race in the Alpine Ski World Cup.

Anna Swenn-Larsson finished fifth in the Slalom standings last season. Her best Slalom standings finish was a fourth place in 2018-2019.

Swenn-Larsson shared the first place with Holdener at the Slalom event held in Killington last season. At the age of 31, the Swede became the oldest debut winner in a World Cup event.

Anna Swenn-Larsson had achieved eight Slalom podiums in the Alpine Ski World Cup.

Laurence St-Germain became World Champion in the Slalom at the 47th Alpine World Ski Championships in Meribel on February 18. She left the US favorite Mikaela Shiffrin behind by 0.57 seconds. Bronze went to German Lena Duerr (+0.69). For the second time, a Canadian won the world title in Slalom. Anne Heggtveit achieved this feat in 1960 in Squaw Valley.

St-Germain's best result in a World Cup Slalom event was fifth place in Åre on March 11, three weeks after becoming a world champion.


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