Road To The Olympic Games

Skiing

Switzerland's Gut-Behrami wins 2nd straight downhill, eyes season title

Lara Gut-Behrami let out a brief scream of joy and held up her right arm after crossing the finish, then nodded her head moments later. The Swiss skier won her second World Cup downhill in two days at Val di Fassa in Italy on Saturday to maintain her chance of winning the discipline title this season.

Canada's Marie-Michèle Gagnon finishes 9th

Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami celebrates after winning a women's World Cup downhill, in Val di Fassa, Italy, on Saturday. (Alessandro Trovati/The Associated Press)

Lara Gut-Behrami let out a brief scream of joy and held up her right arm after crossing the finish, then nodded her head moments later.

The Swiss skier won her second World Cup downhill in two days at Val di Fassa in Italy on Saturday to maintain her chance of winning the discipline title this season.

Gut-Behrami led Corinne Suter, the downhill world champion, by 0.32 seconds for a Swiss 1-2 finish, posting a time of one minute 25.53 seconds.

Kira Weidle of Germany followed in 1:26.21, 0.68 behind Gut-Behrami, as the podium included the same three skiers who won the medals at the world championships downhill in another Italian resort, Cortina d'Ampezzo, two weeks ago.

Marie-Michèle Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., coming off a seventh-place finish on Thursday, ended Saturday's event in ninth in 1:26.47.

WATCH | Marie-Michèle Gagnon races to top-10 finish:

Back-to-back top-10's for Canada's Marie-Michèle Gagnon

Sports

3 months ago
1:57
Lac-Etchemin, Quebec's Marie-Michèle Gagnon had another top-10 World Cup downhill result Saturday at Val di Fassa, Italy finishing ninth with a time of 1:26.47. 1:57
"It's nice I can improve from one day to another," said Gut-Behrami, adding her run was better than Friday. "I am happy that I could do better what I didn't do well yesterday."

Gut-Behrami won gold in super-G and giant slalom as well as bronze in downhill at the worlds, and she drew praise from Suter for her recent successes.

"Lara can just do what she wants, everything works out super for her," Suter said.

WATCH | Gut-Behrami wins back-to-back downhill races:

Back-to-back World Cup wins for Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami

Sports

3 months ago
2:18
Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland captured her second consecutive alpine world cup downhill race at Val di Fassa, Italy Saturday crossing the line with the winning time of 1:25.53. 2:18

Gut-Behrami and Suter are the only racers left who can overtake discipline leader Sofia Goggia in the season-ending downhill at next month's World Cup Finals in Swiss resort Lenzerheide.

Goggia is out with a knee injury but the Italian still tops the standings, having won four straight races in December and January. Suter is 70 points behind and Gut-Behrami trails by 97, with a race win worth 100 points.

Suter would need a top-two finish to win the title.

Outstanding technical skills

"I don't look at the standings. I am not chasing the globe, I only want to ski fast," said Suter, who won the downhill and super-G titles in the shortened last season.

With clouds throwing a shadow over most of the course and reducing visibility for the racers, conditions were vastly different from Friday's race, which took place in sunshine.

It didn't affect Gut-Behrami, who took advantage of her outstanding technical skills to win time on her rivals in the turning middle section.

Her 32nd career victory, and 11th in downhill, also strengthened her lead in the overall World Cup standings, a day after she overtook Petra Vlhova. Gut-Behrami is chasing a second overall title after winning it in 2016.

Vlhova, was had held the top spot since November, finished Saturday's race in 12th.

The Slovakian skier dropped 107 points behind Gut-Behrami, who could even increase her lead as she will start as the favourite in Sunday's super-G.

However, the next two weekends of World Cup skiing only include Vlhova's strongest events: slalom and GS.

Ramona Siebenhofer of Austria, who was runner-up in Friday's race after losing to Gut-Behrami by 2-100ths of a second, finished fourth and missed the podium by eight-hundredths.

With Michelle Gisin in seventh and Jasmine Flury in eighth, Switzerland had four racers in the top eight.

With files from CBC Sports

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