SOLDEU, Andorra (AP)Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami won the women’s World Cup super-G on Thursday and Mikaela Shiffrin finished 14th in her first race since setting the record for most career victories with 87.
Gut-Behrami had a near-flawless run on the Aliga course to win the last super-G of the season and overtake Italian rival Elena Curtoni in the standings. Curtoni finished 1.23 seconds behind in 10th, a day after she crashed in the downhill on the same hill.
“It’s been a rollercoaster this season and I’m happy today,” Gut-Behrami said. “I just wanted to ski to don’t have regrets. Sometimes that’s the best way, just stop thinking. I didn’t focus on the lines and just tried to be fast.”
Curtoni said her crash in the downhill didn’t affect her performance on Thursday.
“I’m a little bit sore but that’s not an excuse, for sure,” said the Italian, who was the super-G junior world champion in 2011. “I know I can do good, I was showing it the whole season. I will keep on working.”
Federica Brignone finished 0.22 seconds behind in second place and Ragnhild Mowinckel was 0.47 back in third. Both needed to finish ahead of Gut-Behrami to maintain their chance of winning the super-G title.
Shiffrin has locked up the overall, giant slalom and slalom titles before the last races in her strongest events. The final slalom is on Saturday and the giant slalom is Sunday.
The American surpassed Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark on the all-time winners list with het 87th career victory last Saturday.
“This last week it’s just been a lot of media, and a lot of talking about what I have achieved, like kind of past tense,” Shiffrin said. “In my own mind, I think about basically where I am now, how I want to ski, and the possibility for motivation in the future.”
Gut-Behrami won the season-long super-G title for the fourth time. She also won Olympic gold in the event in 2022 and the world title in 2021, and was the overall World Cup champion in 2016.
After her triumph in St. Anton two months ago, Gut-Behrami became the only skier this season with multiple super-G victories.
While all other disciplines titles had been decided before the final week, five racers had a shot at the super-G globe coming into the race after the previous seven races produced seven different winners.
Shiffrin won once, in St. Moritz in December, but was out of contention for the discipline title after sitting out three races.
On Thursday, the American avoided risks in her run and trailed leader Gut-Behrami by 0.79 seconds at the first split. She slowed before a jump but picked up time again by posting the fastest time in the finishing sector. She ended up 1.46 seconds behind Gut-Behrami.
“It can be a little bit tiring, World Cup Finals, but it’s also such a pleasure to be here racing with no pressure from the globes,” Shiffrin said. “So it’s really just basically my own motivation to see if I can execute good skiing.”
Thursday’s race was the last for Nicole Schmidhofer, who wore a traditional Austrian outfit and skied down at a leisurely pace, hugging coaches along the course. The Austrian who was the super-G world champion in 2017 and won four World Cup races, announced her retirement on the eve of the race.
Schmidhofer and Gut-Behrami shared a podium at the junior worlds in 2006.
“It’s an emotional day, the win, the globe, Nicole quitting,” Gut-Behrami said. “I’m getting older and getting more emotional. It’s crazy. I’m crying all the time, but it’s a nice feeling sometimes.”
The race was interrupted after a crash from Kira Weidle, who lost balance when her ski tips crossed after a jump and slid into the safety nets. The German skier appeared to be unhurt.
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