Federica Brignone champion in Crans-Montana

The Italian secured a win in Valais. Thanks to her victory in the combined, her fourth in Crans-Montana, she moves to the top of the World Cup standings. The Swiss only just missed podium places.

She didn’t dare believe it as she arrived in Crans-Montana, however she managed to do it. Federica Brignone leaves Valais with the red leader bib for the general World Cup standings. The Val d’Aosta athlete won the combined on Sunday on the Mont Lachaux piste, flying past the competition from the Super-G heat onwards. It is her fourth victory in 4 years in the discipline (5 races) in Crans-Montana. Furthermore, she won the very first race of the season in the discipline in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, and is heading for the Globe in the discipline, as she is 75 points in front of Wendy Holdener, just before the last race of the season in a week’s time in La Thuile (ITA).

In Crans-Montana, Federica Brignone benefited in particular from Petra Vlhova crashing out. The Slovak, second in the Super-G, was racing against the Italian for the victory, but straddled a gate. It should be noted that she has hurt her knee.  According to a few rumours, notably amongst the RAI and RSI, the holder of the third place in the overall World Cup standing has cartilage degeneration in the tibial plateau. Although she has been advised to rest, she decided to continue her season, as she still has a chance of winning the overall Globe.

Top of the overall rankings for Brignone

The podium was completed by the Austrian Franziska Gritsch and the Czech Ester Ledecka, who took 2ndand 3rd places on the World Cup podium.  As for the Swiss, they didn’t manage to continue their winning streak after two doubles in two days in the downhill. Michelle Gisin (8th in the Super-G) took the final 4th place, just 0″11 away from the podium. Wendy Holdener (10th in the Super-G) didn’t do so well in the slalom leg, and had to make do with 5th place in the final results.  

Thanks to her victory, Federica Brignone is at the top of the overall World Cup standings, 73 points ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin. Absent in Valais, the American is recovering from the sudden death of her father. A reminder; there are four stages left in the women’s World Cup this winter (La Thuile, Ofterschwang, Åre, Cortina).

DEPREZphoto sa, cransmontana/Agence Zoom

1 10
1st Federica Brignone/ITA  
7 12
2nd Franziska Gritsch/ALL  
 4  11
3rd Ester Ledecka/CZE  
6   13
4th Michelle Gisin/SUI  
2 14
5th Wendy Holdener/SUI  


Michelle Gisin: “A positive result”

Michelle Gisin and Wendy Holdener fail at the foot of the combined podium in Crans-Montana. Although this 4th place is particularly welcome for the former, the second has regrets.

After Lara Gut-Behrami and Corinne Suter’s two doubles in the downhills, the Swiss had to make do with places of honour on Sunday in the combined that brought the weekend of competitions in Crans-Montana to a close. Finishing in fourth and fifth places, Michelle Gisin and Wendy Holdener were unable to fight for victory against Federica Brignone.

This fourth place is an excellent result for Michelle Gisin, who fell on Friday during the first downhill. “It wasn’t easy after my fall, it cost me a lot of energy. I cried all afternoon. It was very positive to let it all out, as I felt much better afterwards. So I’m really pleased with my result in the combined.” She missed out on a podium place by just 0.11, behind Ester Ledecka. Dit’s a shame for the Swiss skier who made a few little mistakes both in the morning Super-G and the slalom in the afternoon.

However she isn’t concerned about it. “I took too many risks, particularly in the Super-G, where I made a big mistake. So in the slalom, I wanted to attack, as that’s all there was to do. It’s a shame that I missed out on a podium place because of these mistakes, but the most important thing was to ski well, to attack and really go for it.”

Wendy Holdener: “I was hoping for much better”

Behind Michelle Gisin, Wendy Holdener had a very different view, and wasn’t satisfied with her performance at all. “My expectations were completely different”, confirms the double champion, who didn’t find the key to the discipline on the Mont Lachaux piste, having finished in third place in the combined in Crans-Montana last year.

“I need to analyse Federica (Brignone), to see what I can do better.”

On Sunday, Wendy Holdener already missed out in her Super-G, lagging one and a half seconds behind Brignone. A huge difference, when we know that the piste had already warmed by the slalom.

Video: Johan Tachet/SkiActu