Lara Gut-Behrami will be leading a strong Swiss squad

Nine Swiss have been selected for the two women’s downhill and Super-G races in Valais next weekend, including Lara Gut-Behrami and Michelle Gisin.

Lara Gut-Behrami will of course be the Swiss headliner in Crans-Montana next week. The athlete from Ticino will be one of the main favourites in the three races on the Mont Lachaux piste, and the leader of the overall World Cup standings will be looking to extend her lead over Mikaela Shiffrin (who will be absent from this year's races in Crans-Montana), having already won three times, in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Kronplatz and Soldeu. The Olympic Super-G champion has also won three times previously on this piste.

Lara Gut-Behrami isn’t the only Swiss representative aiming for a podium finish between Friday and Sunday in the two downhill and Super-G events on the programme. Jasmine Flury also has her sights set on the top rung, and the reigning downhill world champion has confirmed her position this winter with her win in Val d'Isère. Priska Nufer will be returning to the place of her 2022 victory - her only World Cup podium - when to everyone's surprise, she won the downhill.

Another Obwalden native will be delighted to see "her" public again. The event's ambassador, Michelle Gisin, will indeed be taking part, despite her fall a few weeks ago in Cortina d'Ampezzo. The double Olympic combined champion has just made an excellent 4th place comeback in the slalom in Soldeu this Sunday, just 0.05 away from the podium. She will be testing herself during the training sessions scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday to see if she feels ready to compete in the races in Crans-Montana. The same goes for Noémie Kolly, who is more confident in the Super-G than the downhill this winter.

As for Nidwalden’s Delia Durrer, she will be looking to build on her third-place finish in Sunday’s second European Cup downhill on the Mont Lachaux piste. She has yet to score any points in the World Cup in Valais. Stephanie Jenal, Jasmina Suter and Janine Schmitt complete the strong Swiss contingent, which will be missing Corinne Suter, Joana Hählen and Malorie Blanc. The Valais local was due to make her World Cup debut in front of her home crowd, but unfortunately suffered an injury in the European Cup on Sunday.

Photos: Agence Zoom