Weirather leads race to super-G title after beating Gut
CRANS MONTANA, Switzerland (AP) — Tina Weirather won a World Cup super-G Saturday to overtake Lara Gut for first place in the discipline’s standings with one race left
The Olympic bronze medalist from Liechtenstein overtook Gut to go top of the standings. Weirather will carry a 46-point lead over her Swiss rival, who finished the race in seventh, into the final event on March 15 at the World Cup finals in Are, Sweden.
Weirather won the globe for the best super-G racer last season, edging Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia by five points. Set for another close showdown with Gut, Weirather called winning the trophy again “very important.”
“It’s the biggest prize you can win in our sport,” she said. “This means more than an Olympic medal, which is just one race and where luck always plays a part. But a globe is never a matter of luck.”
On a shortened course due to weather conditions, Weirather timed 1 minute, 2.17 seconds to beat Olympic silver medalist Anna Veith of Austria by 0.36. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland trailed by 0.38 in third for her career best super-G result. Gut finished 0.59 off the lead.
The surprise gold medalist from the Pyeongchang Olympics, Ester Ledecka of Czech Republic, didn’t compete as she started in a snowboard parallel giant slalom in Turkey.
Also, overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin and her American teammate Lindsey Vonn both sat out the race. Shiffrin was preparing for next week’s technical races in Ofterschwang, Germany, while Vonn will only race again at the finals.
Shiffrin’s lead over Holdener, her only remaining rival for the overall championship, was reduced to 611 points on Saturday, but the Swiss skier has been left with only a mathematical chance of closing the gap with seven races remaining.
Wearing bib No. 7, Weirather was able to learn from problems at the final jump before the finish for most of the early starters, including runner-up Veith. They came wide and lost time in making the next gate.
“I did a good job today. At the start I watched the first four skiers and saw they had big problems,” said Weirather, who competed in a Europa Cup super-G on the same course last Wednesday.
“This is the most difficult hill all year,” she said. “Every time I misjudge something, so it was important to find out how the rolls are, how the course feels.”
Veith acknowledged she probably lost the victory just before the finish.
“Everything was possible today,” the former two-time overall champion said. “I felt like I wanted too much and that’s why I made the mistake at the bottom part.”
A combined event, adding the results of another super-G and a slalom run, is scheduled for Sunday.