Alpine skiing: double blow for Lara Gut-Behrami, best skier in the world at the end of the 2023-2024 season

It’s a brilliant return to prominence

Alpine skiing: double blow for Lara Gut-Behrami, best skier in the world at the end of the 2023-2024 season

It’s a brilliant return to prominence. Eight years after her first big crystal globe, Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami won, on Sunday March 17, for the second time, the general classification of the Alpine Ski World Cup, also winning, at the end of the giant from Saalbach, his first globe in the specialty.

At 32 years old and while she expressed her doubts, in the summer of 2023, about the rest of her career, Lara Gut-Behrami is still in the running to win two other globes by the end of the winter, since she is provisionally at the top of the downhill and super-G rankings, the finals of which take place next week.

Sunday in the Austrian resort, the Ticino certainly appeared less sharp than usual on soft snow and in spring conditions which she did not like, but she ensured the minimum: 10th in the last giant of winter – won by the Italian Federica Brignone – a place sufficient to win her first giant globe and win the general classification.

“I did it and that was enough.”

“It’s incredible, the giant has always been very important to me, so to win this globe is just great,” Gut-Behrami, Olympic super-G champion, told the International Ski Federation. favorite discipline, in which she has already won four globes.

“I was very stressed today because I really wanted to win this globe, I skied badly but in the end I performed and that was enough,” added Lara Gut-Behrami, 90 podiums, including 45 victories in World Cup (including 16 podiums and eight victories this season).

The Swiss knew it before setting off on Sunday: without the American Mikaela Shiffrin, who gave up the general after a fall and an injury in Italy at the end of January, only Federica Brignone was still mathematically able to worry her and, in the event of victory for the Italian, Gut-Behrami had to finish in the first fifteen to mark being uncatchable.

Leading in downhill and super-G

Fluid without being sharp in the first as in the second round, Gut-Behrami displayed a satisfied smile as she crossed the finish line, understanding that her provisional ranking would be enough to be crowned.

For her part, even if she knew that she was no longer in the race to win the globe, Brignone, already excellent on the first route, produced an impeccable second round to win the last giant of winter in style. , ahead of her rivals of the day by more than a second: the New Zealander Alice Robinson (2nd at 1 sec 36) and the Norwegian Thea Louise Stjernesund (3rd at 1 sec 67).

The Alpine Skiing World Cup concludes on March 23-24 with downhill and super-G, two disciplines in which Lara Gut-Behrami also provisionally leads the rankings.

If she wins both globes quickly, she would join skiing legends Lindsey Vonn, Tina Maze and Mikaela Shiffrin, the only skiers to have managed to win four globes at the end of the same winter.

Clément Noël fifth in the slalom

Among the men, the Norwegian Timon Haugan won the last slalom of the winter on Sunday, also in Saalbach. At 27, he scored his first World Cup victory.

In the lead from the first round, Haugan beat the Austrian Manuel Feller (40 hundredths behind) and the Austrian Linus Strasser (44 hundredths behind). Manuel Feller received the specialty globe, after winning four of the ten slaloms of the season.

The French Olympic champion Clément Noël took 5th place (63 hundredths behind) and ends his winter with four podiums but without any victory. As for the women, the men's Alpine Skiing World Cup ends next week with the downhill and super-G finals. In downhill, Cyprien Sarrazin, double winner this winter in Kitzbühel, is still in the race to win the small globe.