Lara Gut-Behrami well on course for World Cup Crystal

Ski CenterMarch 4, 2024

First and second places in the two Super-G races in Kvitfjell see Lara Gut-Behrami further extend her lead in the overall World Cup and the Super-G discipline. The HEAD Worldcup Rebels celebrate a double victory on Saturday with Lara Gut-Behrami and Cornelia Hütter. In Aspen, Atle Lie McGrath finishes third on Friday, returning to the Giant Slalom podium for the first time in more than three years.

“If you can bag points the way Lara Gut-Behrami does despite the difficult conditions, then that’s brilliant. She is in excellent form and I’m hoping she will maintain her performance over the coming weekends. That would be great,” says HEAD Racing Director Rainer Salzgeber. “Cornelia Hütter said herself that she is satisfied with her performance. She is missing the points after dropping out in Cortina, otherwise it would be even closer between the two of them. On the men’s team, Atle Lie McGrath’s podium in the Giant Slalom was very positive. The younger athletes like Lukas Feurstein also skied really well. Considering his bib numbers in these races, he has come up with really great results. This gives us a good outlook for the future. With Alexis Pinturault and Joan Verdú out of the competition, we are missing two athletes who have podiumed in the past. Nevertheless, eight in our team notched up the points on Saturday.”

Double victory in the Super-G on Saturday

The HEAD Worldcup Rebels celebrated a double victory in the first Super-G in Kvitfjell on Saturday with Lara Gut-Behrami twelve hundredths of a second in front of Cornelia Hütter. This is the Swiss athlete’s 45th World Cup victory; her 22nd in the Super-G and the eighth this season. “I could have done better on the upper section of the run, but I’m not an expert on tricky snow. There were more turns at the bottom, so I was able to pick up the speed,” is how Lara Gut-Behrami analysed the race. “At the start I always want to give it everything I’ve got and show that I can ski well. Don’t even think about the points you need to win one World Cup title or the next, because then you tighten up and lose the agility.”

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Fourth podium in the Super-G this season

For Cornelia Hütter, finishing second saw her podium in the Super-G for the fourth time this season. “When you come second, you have to be pleased with that. It’s not something you can take for granted. It’s cool that I was able to get that result and show what I’m capable of. I’m skiing a good and solid season, which makes me feel very positive,” said the Austrian athlete. Three more HEAD Worldcup Rebels finished in the top 15 with her compatriot Stephanie Venier in eleventh place, Ragnhild Mowinckel from Norway twelfth, and Teresa Runggaldier from Italy finishing 13th. It was Teresa Runggaldier’s best result in a Super-G so far; previously, she finished 24th in Val d’Isere in December 2023.

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326-point lead for Lara Gut-Behrami

In the second Super-G in Kvitfjell on Sunday, which was interrupted by fog several times, Lara Gut-Behrami notched up more points in second place. Following a first and second place this weekend, the 32-year-old has further extended her lead in the overall World Cup. She is now 326 points in front of Federica Brignone and 385 in front of Mikaela Shiffrin. In the Super-G, the Swiss athlete heads to the final race in Saalbach with a 69-point lead over Cornelia Hütter. “It was a very special race. It was at the limit, but it wasn’t dangerous because it wasn’t high speed. It wasn’t an exciting course to ski because the snow was softer than the day before. I didn’t feel I was doing well, but the main thing was to finish safely,” says Lara Gut-Behrami. The top ten also included HEAD Worldcup Rebels Kajsa Vickhoff Lie from Norway in fourth place, Stephanie Venier sixth, Cornelia Hütter seventh, Ariane Rädler from Austria eighth and Ragnhild Mowinckel in tenth place. Ragnhild Mowinckel announced at her home event in Kvitfjell that she will retire at the end of this season.

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Second Giant Slalom podium for Atle Lie McGrath

After more than three years, Atle Lie McGrath podiumed for the second time in this discipline by finishing third in the Giant Slalom in Aspen on Friday. In December 2020, the Norwegian athlete raced to second place in Alta Badia. After the first run the 23-year-old was in seventh place. The strong team performance by the HEAD Worldcup Rebels in the second Giant Slalom in Aspen on Saturday was outstanding. No fewer than eight HEAD athletes bagged points with Atle Lie McGrath finishing in ninth place, Alexander Schmid from Germany twelfth, Tommy Ford from the USA 16th, Justin Murisier from Switzerland 19th, Lukas Feurstein and Patrick Feurstein from Austria 21st and 23rd, Halvor Hilde Gunleiksrud from Norway 24th and Anton Grammel from Germany 27th.

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Johannes Strolz just misses the podium

In the final Slalom race in Aspen on Sunday, Johannes Strolz finished fourth and missed the podium by just eleven hundredths of a second. It was the best World Cup result for the Austrian athlete since his fourth place in the Slalom in Flachau in March 2022. On the first run, the 31-year-old was in 13th place, and on the second run he stopped with clock with the third-fastest time. Laurie Taylor’s eighth place was also impressive. The British athlete started the race with bib number 49, was in 19th place after the first run, and moved up another eleven slots to nail his first top-ten result with the fastest time on the second run. Twelfth place went to Armand Marchant from Belgium.

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