Sölden 2023 Women's Alpine Ski Giant Slalom Preview
Updated: Oct 28
In 2021 (last year the Women's race was canceled due to weather conditions), 75 skiers from all over the world were in Sölden for one of the sport’s most exciting events for ski fans.
After months of waiting, the Women's Giant Slalom kicks off the new World Cup, and the favorites to win the 2023 Giant Slalom on the Rettenbach glacier will be Lara Gut-Behrami, Petra Vlhova, Federica Brignone, Sara Hector, Marta Bassino, and defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin.
It was the second time she won in the Rettenbach Glacier. In 2014 she shared the first position on the podium with Anna Fenninger.
The 28-year-old American beat Lara Gut-Behrami in an exciting duel, setting the fastest time in the second run to prevail with a margin of 0.14 seconds.
In perfect conditions, the American and Swiss skiers were in their own league.
After the first run, Gut-Behrami led by merely 2 hundredths and held up well in the second run. In the last section, the two were practically tied before the Swiss lost some time in the flat final section.
Petra Vlhova rounded out the podium in third place +1.30 behind.
Katharina Liensberger fourth was the best Austrian (+1.39).
Last season, Mikaela Shiffrin won the Overall Crystal Globe for the fifth time in her career, after 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2021-2022. Only Marcel Hirscher (8), Annemarie Moser-Pröll (6) and Marc Girardelli (5) won the overall World Cup at least five times. She goes past Lindsey Vonn as the American with the most Big Globes to her name.
Mikaela Shiffrin won seven Giant Slalom events last 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 season in Andorra, with 21 victories, Mikaela Shiffrin is the woman with the most World Cup event wins in the Giant Slalom.
Shiffrin is the first woman since Anna Veith (5 between December 2013 and October 2014) to win five successive Giant Slalom races in the women's World Cup. She can become the third skier to win at least six successive
World Cup Giant Slalom events, after Ingemar Stenmark (14 in a row in 1978-1980) and Deborah Compagnoni (8 in a row in 1997-1998).
The 28-year-old secured the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe at Are. 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.
Last season, on March 11, in the same place Shiffrin won her first ever Alpine Ski World Cup Race 11 years ago, the US ski Ace set a new record for the most Alpine Ski World Cup wins of all time.
Shiffrin was on the podium 6 times in Sölden (2-3-1) (2014 and 2021 - 2015, 2016 and 2019 - 2018). She finished in 5th position in 2017 and 6th in 2013. In her first appearance in the Rettenbach Glacier racecourse in 2012 she did not qualify for the second run. Shiffrin can equal Tina Maze's record of three World Cup Giant Slalom wins in Sölden. She could also become the first woman to win the Sölden Giant Slalom in successive World Cup seasons.
Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 38
Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 21
Lara Gut-Behrami claimed 5 of her 37 World Cup wins in the Giant Slalom, two of them in Sölden.
Last season she finished in second place on the Giant Slalom standings. Gut-Behrami has another Top-3 finish in the Giant Slalom standings, a third place in the 2015-2016 season.
She was on the podium 74 times in the World Cup, 18 of them in Giant Slalom.
In the 2022-2023 winter season, Gut-Behrami won the first Women's World Cup Giant Slalom race of the year in Killington on 26 November 2022 but failed to win another race in the tech discipline afterward (7th-7th-2nd-5th-3rd-2nd-5th-DNF).
Gut-Behrami's won the gold medal in Giant Slalom in Cortina 2021. She became the most decorated Swiss woman in world championships history. She has won eight medals in total at the world championships 2 Gold (Cortina 2021, SG and GS) 3 Silver (Val d'Isere 2009, SG and Comb.; Schladming, SG), and 3 bronze (Vail-Beaver Creek 2015, DH; St. Moritz 2017, SG; and Cortina 2021, DH).
Lara Gut-Behrami claims her first Olympic Giant Slalom medal in Beijing 2022. Lara Gut-Behrami rounded out the Olympic podium after a consistent second run, and despite a mistake in the upper section, she was able to set the best time in the second run climbing from 8th to 3rd place. It was her third Olympic medal. She won Super-G gold also in Beijing 2022, and Downhill bronze in Sochi in 2014.
Gut-Behrami (12) can become the third woman to claim at least one World Cup win in 13 different seasons, after Renate Götschl (14) and Lindsey Vonn (13).
Lara Gut-Behrami was on the podium 3 times in Sölden (2-1-0) (2013 and 2016 - 2021). Gut-Behrami was in the Top 10 a total of six times in the first race of the season. It's the 14th time the 32-year-old Swiss skier will be racing in the Rettenbach glacier. Gut-Behrami can equal Tina Maze's record three World Cup Giant Slalom wins in Sölden.
Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 18
Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 5
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. The Italian won Sölden's opener in 2020-2021.
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.
Bassino made it to the podium in her first five World Cup Giant Slalom events of last season but failed to finish on the Top-3 in the following five (5th-10th-DNF2-11th, and 6th).
She raced in the Rettenbach glacier 8 times and finished two on the podium (1st in 2020, and 3rd in 2016) and DNF1 four times.
Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 20
Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 6
Federica Brignone achieved eight of her 21 World Cup victories in Giant Slalom. Also, 29 of her 56 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 Beijing 2022, earning her second Olympic medal, after winning Bronze in the same discipline at Pyeongchang 2018.
Federica Brignone claimed the silver medal in Giant Salom at the 2011 Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the 2023 Championships in Courchevel-Meribel.
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.
Federica Brignone, 33 years old, can become the oldest women to win a World Cup Giant Slalom race, surpassing Anita Wachter who was 32 years and 319 days old when she won in Lienz on 28 December 1999.
Federica Brignone won in Sölden back in 2015. She raced in the Rettenbach glacier 12 times and finished three on the podium (1st 2015, 2nd 2018, and 2020). The Italian finished in second place in 2018 and 2020.
Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 29
Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 8
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.
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 17 of her 66 podiums were also in this discipline.
Petra Vlhova finished in third place in Sölden in 2020 and 2021. Previously, in her six first appearances, Vlhova's best result was an 8th place in 2016.
Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 17
Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 6
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.
Hector's best result in her ten participations in Sölden was 7th place in 2015.
Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 13
Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 4
On 26 October 2019, Alice Robinson won the women's World Cup Giant Slalom event in Sölden at age 17. She became the youngest winner of a World Cup event since Mikaela Shiffrin, who was also 17 years old when she won her first World Cup events (in 2012-2013).
Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 5
Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 3
The last women other than Shiffrin to emerge victorious in a women's World Cup Giant Slalom was 26-year-old Valérie Grenier in the first Kranjska Gora Giant Slalom on 7 January. This was Grenier's first World Cup victory.
Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 2
Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 1