Lara Gut opens the season with victory in Sölden
Lara Gut gave the HEAD World Cup Rebels a perfect start to the new season as she won the opening race of the 2016 – 2017 World Cup in Soelden. A first run lead was held onto in the second run to finish ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin and young Italian Marta Bassino with Stephanie Brunner producing her best World Cup form to date in taking fourth place overall.
Relaxed and ready to race in the start gate of the first run, HEAD World Cup Rebel Lara Gut produced one of the great runs of her career as she ended the first run almost one and a half seconds ahead of the rest of the field. With seven Rebels making it into the second run, the most of any brand, Kajsa Kling and Stephanie Brunner were in fifth and sixth after the first run.
Gut’s first run was not perfect as she felt, there were mistakes but the way she kept her skis running and running fast, was the key to her super impressive time. If no one knew how they were skiing in the run in to the race, the rest of the field knew that Gut and her HEAD skis were skiing fast now.
Wendy Holdener, better known as a Slalom racer, had been a little disappointed on the first run but produced a much better second run and posted a mark that took the lead in the finish. Holdener would eventually go on to place 16th overall. “I had some problems on the first run but I am really happy that I improved on the second run, I will keep fighting to be a GS racer as well!” Holdener explained.
Starting 30, into 20 after the first run and ending up in 11th, Coralie Frasse Sombet, was delighted with her performance. She explained that her coaches have been telling her that she could put in this type of performance for a while. Her second run proved to herself that she can do it, she felt.
While Kajsa Kling dropped away from the lead, Stephanie Brunner was delighted to post her career best result to date. Starting sixth, the feeling she had when she came over the ridge and onto the steep was one of taking risks and then crossing the line and seeing the green light was a great feeling! With three to go the podium was so close.
Bassino and Shiffrin both took the lead after their runs yet with Gut so far ahead after the first run, the world was watching her second run. With her team giving her ‘so much energy’ and her mind telling her she loved skiing, Gut ‘just went skiing’ she explained after the second run. “I am here because I love to ski,” Gut explained. The smile and the laughter was there and this, she explained is one of her key ingredients to skiing fast.
A lead of 1.42 after the first run became 1.44 after the second for Gut. A green light and a win for Gut, her first of the season. The season is up and running. Whats your limit?
Soelden, Women’s Giant Slalom
1. Lara Gut (SUI) HEAD
2. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
3. Marta Bassino (ITA)
4. Stephanie Brunner (AUT) HEAD
11. Coralie Frasse Sombet (FRA) HEAD
16. Wendy Holdener (SUI) HEAD
21. Kajsa Kling (SWE) HEAD
26. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) HEAD