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Austrian skier Venier wins women's World Cup super-G. Overall leader Gut-Behrami finishes 6th

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LA Post: Austrian skier Venier wins women's World Cup super-G. Overall leader Gut-Behrami finishes 6th
February 18, 2024
AP

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (AP) — Austrian downhill specialist Stephanie Venier won a women’s World Cup super-G for the first time Sunday, giving new impetus to the battle for the discipline title as leader Lara Gut-Behrami placed sixth.

In a tight race on the sunbathed Mont Lachaux course, Venier beat Italians Federica Brignone by 0.04 seconds and Marta Bassino by 0.15 for her third career win overall, a day after Bassino and Brignone went 1-2 in a downhill on the same course.

Venier bounced back from disappointing results in the two recent downhills, when she placed 10th and 17th, respectively.

“The skiing was good, better than the days before. I did some mistakes, but I’m very happy now," the Austrian said. “The last days weren't that easy for me with all the pressure and I had nothing to lose today. So, my ground speed is good and I handled it great, I think.”

Venier decided the super-G on the straight middle section, where she found a better line than her rivals to take speed into the twisty finish stretch.

Venier’s previous wins came in downhills in Germany in 2019 and in Italy last month – the race in Cortina d’Ampezzo where Mikaela Shiffrin hurt her left knee in a crash.

Shiffrin’s team said the American planned to resume training next week, but that she likely won’t return to the circuit earlier than the second weekend of March for a GS and slalom in Sweden.

Shiffrin lost her lead in the overall standings to Gut-Behrami last week. The Swiss star, who won the last two super-G races and a downhill Friday, finished nearly half a second off the lead in sixth on Sunday, extending her lead over the American to 205 points.

“I had some struggles on the slope, on that soft snow, it was not the best. I just tried to attack,” Gut-Behrami said. “But in the end, it’s a really solid weekend and I'm happy with that.”

The result set up a tight race to the super-G season title. Gut-Behrami, who won the globe for the fourth time last season, had her lead cut back to just five points from Cornelia Huetter. The Austrian was fifth on Sunday.

Brignone and Venier now also rank within 100 points of Gut-Behrami, with four more super-G races coming up this season, including two in Val di Fassa, Italy, next weekend.

The race was briefly interrupted after Ragnhild Mowinckel's nasty crash. The Norwegian caught a bump and lost control over her right ski before sliding into the safety netting, but ultimately got up and seemed to have avoided major injury.

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More AP skiing: https://apnews.com/hub/alpine-skiing

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