The only Swiss victory of the weekend is the work of Lara Gut-Behrami, who won on Saturday in the descent of Zauchensee. Deprived of competition for two weeks after contracting Covid-19 in mid-December, Gut-Behrami therefore very quickly returned to the top of the hierarchy. Fifth from the Kranjska Gora giant a week earlier for her return, she triumphed for the second time this season in a race marked by the minor fall of the Italian Sofia Goggia, who had won the first three descents of the season. . The Italian was in the lead when tackling the most technical part of the track.
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The bulky Kriechmayr
Friday, the twelfth place of Vincent Kriechmayr in the first descent of Wengen had satisfied everyone, except the Austrian. Forfeited from practices due to quarantine but cleared to line up after being able to line up for a mock practice round, his presence made people cringe. So when he won the second downhill on Saturday, ahead of Beat Feuz, the discomfort was palpable. He doesn’t care. He celebrated his tenth World Cup victory with a few whistles and left his rivals wondering if he had owed his privilege to his nationality or to his ski brand, the one whose boss is also the president of the FIS.
The Swiss second
If Lara Gut-Behrami signed the only Swiss victory, the Swiss athletes managed a good group shot by climbing on all the podiums, each time on the second step. In Zauchensee, Corinne Suter took second place in the super-G, only four hundredths behind the Italian Federica Brignone (Gut-Behrami 10th). This is the best result of the winter for the Schwytzoise, third in the second descent of Lake Louise at the beginning of December. Corinne Suter therefore returns to the front of the stage less than three weeks before the Olympic Games.
In Wengen, the day after Beat Feuz’s second place in the downhill, Daniel Yule signed the first podium of the season for the Swiss men’s slalom on Sunday by taking second place, 22” behind the Norwegian Lucas Braathen. If the Valaisan had not been on a World Cup podium since January 2020 in Schladming (3rd), Swiss skiing had been waiting to see this in Wengen since… Michael von Grünigen in 1999. “This result will do me a lot of good hopes Daniel Yule, second in the general classification of the specialty.
Braathen’s mad victory
The victory went to Lucas Braathen, after the best comeback in the history of the World Cup. Only 29th in the first heat, the Norwegian took advantage of a track deteriorating very quickly in the sun to recover more than two seconds of handicap and sign an unexpected success, a year after a serious knee injury. Best time of the first run, his compatriot Henrik Kristoffersen made a mistake three gates from the finish. “It’s really extraordinary,” said Braathen, between laughter and tears, still flabbergasted to have triumphed in “one of [ses] favorite places in the world to ski.
Much more discreetly, the placid Carlo Janka bid farewell to the White Circus during the Wengen speed trials. On Saturday, Graubünden contested its 287th and last World Cup race, which it finished in last place but received a standing ovation from the public. He had celebrated in Wengen the most beautiful of his 11 successes at this level by winning the downhill in 2010.
It was another time, when “Iceman” was the best skier in the world. In two seasons, from 2008 to 2010, Janka became giant world champion in Val d’Isère (also bronze medalist in downhill) before being crowned king of skiing in 2010 with the big crystal globe and the title of champion. Giant Olympics in Vancouver at age 23. At 35, plagued by back problems, he preferred to finish “on my favorite track” rather than tempting the devil for a hypothetical Olympic qualification.