Brignone dominates to win World Cup super-G, cuts gap to Shiffrin after the American skies out

Full Screen
1 / 12


The winner Italy's Federica Brignone celebrates after an alpine ski, women's World Cup Super G race, in Val d'Isere, France, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)

VAL D'ISERE – VAL D'Federica Brignone dominated to win a World Cup super-G on Sunday and trim the gap in the overall standings to Mikaela Shiffrin, who was one of many top skiers to fail to finish at Val d’Isere.

Brignone beat Kajsa Vickhoff Lie by almost half a second, finishing 0.44 ahead of the Norwegian skier, who was a surprise second to prevent an Italian one-two in the French Alps.

Recommended Videos

The 33-year-old Brignone, who won a pair of giant slaloms at Tremblant, Quebec earlier this month, yelled in joy and put her head in her hands when she saw her time after crossing the line.

“I have to be honest, everything was good for me today, even in the parts that maybe I wasn’t at 100% immediately, I tried to get back into my rhythm and push even more, that was my strength today,” said Brignone, who won just one race last season.

It was a 24th World Cup win for Brignone, making her the most successful Italian female skier and moving her level with Gustav Thöni in second overall for her country, behind only Alberto Tomba who won 50 races.

“I don’t look at records, I look at how I’m doing today or recently. Each race is a story in itself and at the moment each race this season is fantastic in its own way,” Brignone said.

It was Lie’s fourth podium and her first in super-G since another second place in Garmisch, Germany almost three years ago.

“I’ve been struggling a bit going into the race season,” Lie said. “I know I can go fast and I’ve been really confident but I’ve just struggled to have the race level. I gave it all today and I trusted myself, so I’m super happy.”

Brignone’s Italian teammate Sofia Goggia was third after impressively managing to atone for an early mistake. Goggia, who is shaking off a cold, won the only other super-G so far this season earlier this month.

Shiffrin failed to finish after missing a turning gate on a blind section that troubled several athletes on Sunday. Olympic champion Lara Gut-Behrami also skied out.

“Lucky for me I didn’t see them (Shiffrin and Gut-Behrami),” Lie said. “I just saw Fede and it looked really easy so I thought, ‘OK, I’ll just do the same,’ and I need to thank her for that.”

Almost half of the 58 starters failed to finish on the O.K. course, which was set by one of the Italian coaches, Paolo Stefanini. The non-finish rate of 44.8% was the fourth-highest in all World Cup races since at least the 1999-2000 season, behind three slalom events.

Shiffrin, who skipped Saturday’s downhill on the Saslong course, still leads the overall World Cup standings where she is bidding for a record-tying sixth title.

However, the American skier saw her lead cut to 63 points ahead of 2020 champion Brignone, who is enjoying her best start to a season.

“I’ve certainly given myself some lovely Christmas presents,” Brignone said with a laugh. "I said before the season that I’d probably had my best summer training, I really missed very few days and managed to push almost always and that makes it easier to do it in the race.

“Honestly, up to now I’ve not really thought about (the overall title). It’s more the greatest dream again, but I’m just trying to enjoy the races ... I really want to ski in my own way, I want to try to give everything and see what happens. We’re only in December so let’s stay calm.”

Next up on the women's World Cup circuit is a night slalom in Courchevel on Thursday.


AP skiing:

Recommended Videos