Final World Cup races called off, Rebensburg wins GS title
Viktoria Rebensburg won her third season title in the giant slalom on Sunday without hitting the slopes at the World Cup finals in Are, Sweden.
Strong winds forced the cancellation of the season-ending GS while the German skier led the standings by 92 points from world champion Tessa Worley of France, who won the title last season. With a win worth 100 points, Rebensburg was a strong pre-race favourite to wrap up the title.
The last men's slalom was also cancelled, but that didn't affect the final standings because Marcel Hirscher had already locked up the overall and discipline titles two weeks ago.
Both races were called off shortly before their respective starts as gusts made conditions on the hill potentially unsafe for the skiers. According to FIS rules, events at World Cup finals cannot be rescheduled.
Rebensburg, the Olympic GS gold medallist in 2010, also won the World Cup GS title in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
"It's really something special. It's been a few years now since my last globe. I am very proud that I managed to win it again," said Rebensburg, who struggled with injuries in recent seasons.
She ruptured ligaments in her left knee three years ago and fractured the tibial plateau in her right leg just before the start of last season.
"Every globe has a special meaning but this one is more emotional because of the time in-between," Rebensburg said. "I know what's behind winning a globe. You have to be consistent throughout a whole season."
In the overall standings, Rebensburg finished third behind winner Mikaela Shiffrin and runner-up Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.
Shiffrin, who had secured her second straight overall title last week, wrote on Twitter that she agreed with the decision to call off the last event of the season.
"Ahhhhhhh shoot! The race is cancelled! But it's really windy up here so probably a good call," the American said.
Shiffrin finished the season on 1,773 points, 130 more than last season when she won her maiden overall title. Holdener was the only other skier to gather more than 1,000 points this season — 1,168.
The men's overall champion also applauded the cancellation.
"If you see the wind and how the slalom gates are moving, you don't have to talk about a fair race or a quality race," said Hirscher, who missed out on the chance to set a World Cup record by winning his 14th race of the season.
"That's not the important thing," he said. "It's the right decision."
After the cancellation of the women's race, Manuela Moelgg announced her retirement after 18 seasons on the circuit. The Italian veteran secured 14 podiums, including three third-place finishes this season, but failed to win a race in 283 World Cup starts.
With files from CBC Sports