LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP)Italy’s Sofia Goggia won the first World Cup women’s downhill race of the season Friday at Lake Louise by holding off Olympic champion Corinne Suter of Switzerland.
The ninth racer to take the course, Goggia finished in a time of 1 minute, 47.81 seconds, which edged Suter by 0.04 seconds. Cornelia Huetter of Austria was third for her 18th World Cup podium finish.
Goggia is chasing after a third straight World Cup downhill globe this season. It would make her the first woman to win three straight World Cup downhill titles since Lindsey Vonn captured six straight from 2007-08 to 2012-13.
The 30-year-old Goggia won an silver medal in the downhill at the Beijing Olympics in February despite a bad knee. Goggia was 0.16 seconds behind Suter’s winning time that day.
Goggia also is off to another fast start to the season; she won the first three women’s downhill events last season, including two held in Lake Louise. In the end, Goggia ended up with four wins in nine downhill events.
Last season’s other winners included Lara Gut-Behrami, Suter, Ester Ledecka, Priska Nufer and Mikaela Shiffrin.
Shiffrin skipped the Lake Louise speed races this weekend in order to train for the tech events. Shiffrin has 76 World Cup wins, trailing only Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86).
Ledecka, who also competes in snowboarding events, is sitting out the early0season competitions to mend a collarbone injury.
Isabella Wright was the top American finisher in 13th place. Breezy Johnson tied for 16th in her return to racing after knee injury that kept her out of the Beijing Olympics.
Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia made quite a charge as she started 28th in the race and finished fifth overall.
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