Sölden Women's Alpine Ski Giant Slalom Preview
Updated: Nov 9, 2022
Since the 2000-2001 season, Sölden in Tirol has been the venue for the opening races of the Alpine Ski World Cup.
Last season 75 skiers from all over the world were in Sölden for one of the sports’ 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 2022 Giant Slalom on the Rettenbach glacier will be Tessa Worley, Lara Gut-Behrami, Petra Vlhova, Federica Brignone, Marta Basino, and defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin.
Last season Mikaela Shiffrin won the Alpine Ski World Cup Women’s race opener in Sölden, Tirol, Austria.
It was the second time she wins in the Rettenbach Glacier. In 2014 she shared the first position on the podium with Anna Fenninger.
The 27-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).
Mikaela Shiffrin won the Overall Crystal Globe for the fourth time (2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2021-2022).
Mikaela Shiffrin has claimed 14 World Cup victories in the Giant slalom. She is fourth in on the women's list for most World Cup wins in the Giant Slalom after Vreni Schneider (20), Tessa Worley (17), and Annemarie Moser-Pröll (16).
In 2019 Mikaela Shiffrin won the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe. She was the first alpine ski athlete to win the following combination of World Cup Crystal Globes in a single season (2019): Overall, Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super-G. After winning her first Super-G race at Lake Louise in December 2018, Shiffrin became the first athlete in FIS Ski World Cup history to win in all six disciplines.
Mikaela Shiffrin is the only woman to finish in the top three of the Giant Slalom standings in each of the last six World Cup seasons (3rd in 2022, 2nd in 2021, 3rd in 2020, 1st in 2019, 3rd in 2018, and 2nd in 2017).
In 2018 Mikaela Shiffrin won the gold medal in Giant Slalom at Pyeongchang 2018.
The American superstar won the silver medal in Giant Slalom in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships held in Cortina in 2021. She also has won a bronze medal in Åre 2019 and another silver in St. Moritz 2017.
Mikaela Shiffrin has won 74 World Cup events, ranking her in third place all-time behind Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Lindsey Vonn (82). This season she could equal the women's record of winning at least one World Cup event in 11 successive seasons, by Vreni Schneider (1984-85 to 1994-95) and Renate Götschl (1996-1997 to 2006-2007).
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 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.
Last season Tessa Worley won the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe. The tension in the battle for the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe was hard to beat and held until the final race in Courchevel-Meribel.
Sara Hector was leading the standings ahead of Tessa Worley and Mikaela Shiffrin going into the final race. But Hector, suffering from an inner ligament injury, had to settle for 13th place in the first run and looks out of the final fight for the title (she finished today in the 14th position). Shiffrin thanks to a super clean first run was in the lead with Worley in 8th position. Tessa Worley set the best time in the second run. But when only Shiffrin was at the starting gate, it was clear that a win would be enough for her to win the Giant Slalom world cup for the second time. The 27-year-old then looks completely tense up and stiffly to fall back to 7th place with the worst time in the second run. Worley finished in 4th place and clinched the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe. Hector was second overall with Shiffrin ending third.
It's her second World Cup title after winning the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe in the 2016-2017 season. She is also the second French female skier -Carole Merle won the discipline's title in 1991-1992 and 1992-1993-, to win two times the women's Giant Slalom globe.
Tessa Worley could become the first woman to successfully defend her Giant Slalom globe since Anna Veith in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.
There are only five female skiers who have won at least three crystal globes in the Giant Slalom discipline: Vreni Schneider (5), Annemarie Moser-Pröll (3), LiseMarie Morerod (3), Anja Pärson (3) and Viktoria Rebensburg (3). Worley is the only active skier who could join them.
With 16 victories, Tessa Worley is is tied with Annemarie Moser-Pröll in second place on the women's list for most World Cup wins in the Giant Slalom. Vreni Schneider tops this list with 20. She has claimed her 16 wins in 10 different seasons, already a record number among women. On the men's side, Ingemar Stenmark (12) and Ted Ligety (10) have picked up a Giant Slalom victory in as many as 10 different World Cup seasons.
Tessa Worley claimed the gold medal in Giant Salom at the 2013 Schladming and 2017 St. Moritz FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. She also won the bronze medal in the GS at the 2011 Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Worley has been on the podium 3 times in Sölden (1-1-1) (2018 - 2017 -2019). She was on the Top 10 in her last 8 races in the Giant Slalom Opener. It's the 16th time the 33-year-old French skier will be racing in the Rettenbach glacier.
Lara Gut-Behrami claimed 4 of her 34 World Cup wins in the Giant Slalom, two of them in Sölden.
The triple-medal winner in Cortina, -she won the world titles in the Super-G and Giant slalom and the bronze medal in the Downhill-, with 34 victories is in ninth place on the all-time women's list for most World Cup wins in all events.
She was on the podium 65 times in the World Cup, fourteen of them in Giant Slalom.
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 SComb.; 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.
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 31-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.
In the last World Cup Giant Slalom before the Finals in Courchevel Slovakia's Petra Vlhova emerge victorious for the first time in the season. One year after her last win in the Giant Slalom in Jasna, in Åre, in the same place she won gold in 2019, Vlhova put on a show of strength and determination on an extremely demanding slope and difficult course setting, especially in the first run.
Petra Vlhova has 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 26 victories in the World Cup came in the Giant Slalom, and 14 of her 57 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.
Federica Brignone earned her first Giant Slalom win of the season at the Courchevel-Meribel 2022 Finals. After being second in the first run, Brignone skied a solid second run to beat teammate Marta Bassino by 0.31 seconds. Petra Vlhova rounded up today's podium in third place, +0.37 seconds behind Brignone. The 31-year-old celebrated her 20th World Cup victory.
Italian women won at least one World Cup Giant Slalom event in each of the last seven seasons (2015-2016 to 2021-2022).
Brignone achieved eight of her 20 World Cup victories in Giant Slalom. Also 26 of her 49 podiums came in the same discipline.
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 by Piero Gros, Gustav Thoeni and Alberto Tomba on the Men's field.
Federica Brignone finished in second place in the Giant Slalom at 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.
Federica Brignone won in Sölden back in 2015. She raced in the Rettenbach glacier 12 times and finished three of them on the podium. The Italian finished in second place in 2018 and 2020.
Sara Hector claimed six World Cup podiums in the giant slalom last season, including wins in Courchevel, Kranjska Gora, and Kronplatz. The Swede had collected three podiums in her first 76 Alpine Ski World Cup Giant Slalom participations combined.
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 best result in her ten participations in Sölden was a 7th place in 2015.
Marta Bassino 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 raced in the Rettenbach glacier 8 times and finished two of them on the podium and DNF1 four times.