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Sofia Goggia wins first speed race of weather-hit World Cup ski season in super-G. Shiffrin is 4th

Italy's Federica Brignone reacts after completing an alpine ski, women's World Cup super G race, in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Sofia Goggia won a women's super-G Friday as skiing's World Cup was finally able to hold its first speed race of a weather-affected season, with Mikaela Shiffrin finishing just off the podium.

The first seven speed races of the season for men and women were all canceled, but Goggia — a downhill specialist — showed top form immediately by dominating in the more technically demanding super-G to build a huge gap of 0.95 seconds ahead of Cornelia Huetter. Olympic super-G champion Lara Gut-Behrami was 1.02 back in third.

Shiffrin was fourth, 1.08 behind Goggia, and extended her points lead in the overall World Cup standings in what she said was her first true super-G run since April because of the weather conditions during offseason training.

“It felt really good but I will look at the video to see what I can improve,” Shiffrin told Swiss broadcaster RTS. A second super-G is scheduled Sunday.

Valerie Grenier, of St. Isidore, Ont., was the top Canadian in 14th place.

A spectacular crash for Elena Curtoni, racing immediately after her Italy teammate Goggia, lifted her airborne and sent one of her skis spinning high and about 30 meters down the mountain.

Curtoni was having a fast run when she was unbalanced by the shifting terrain and flipped around into a tumbling fall facing backward. She was stopped by course-side safety nets and was soon standing up while attended by race workers.

Several weeks of heavy snow and strong winds at Beaver Creek, Colorado, and at the Matterhorn mountain on the Swiss-Italian border forced the cancellation of all seven previous speed races for men and women.

On an overcast day, Goggia wore the No. 7 start bib and fog started rolling across the upper section of the Corviglia course when Shiffrin started No. 11.

Goggia quickly found her speed and posted the fastest split times at every section after the first check. Racers were hitting 108 kph (67 mph) at the fastest section.

“I am a bit surprised,” Goggia said of her big lead, which held up when her biggest rivals raced after her. “I was a little bit at the limit because I couldn’t see so well with this kind of visibility.”

The 31-year-old Italian’s 23rd career win in World Cup races was her first in super-G for two years. It also was her first time on a super-G podium since that December 2021 win at Val d’Isere, France.

Goggia likely will start as favorite for a downhill on Saturday. She won that race last year with broken fingers in her left hand that required a cross-border trip to Milan for surgery between the Friday and Saturday races.


AP skiing:

The Associated Press

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