Cortina Women's Races Preview
Next weekend the Women's World Cup is back to Cortina, the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’. Two days of action with the Downhill, and Super-G.
Downhill. Saturday, January 22nd. 11:30 (CET)
Super-G. Sunday, January 23rd. 11:45 (CET)
Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the most charming ski resorts in Italy. The small town is located in the Northern Italian province of Belluno in the Veneto region, near the northeastern border with Austria. Surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Tofana, the Monte Cristallo, and the Sorapis Dolomites, Cortina is known as the "Regina delle Dolomiti". Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of the 12 ski areas of the Dolomiti Superski Ski Paradise, one of the biggest ski areas in the world with 1,200 kilometers of slopes, modern cable cars, and fabulous mountain scenery all around.
Cortina is immersed in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty, set in the spectacular Dolomite mountains, declared by UNESCO a World Natural Heritage Area.
Cortina d’Ampezzo made its debut on the FIS World Cup with the Men’s Downhill in 1969 and became a fixture on the Women’s Downhill tour for three years beginning in 1975. After a long hiatus, the venue has been an annual stop on the Women’s World Cup since 1993, hosting Downhill, Super G races on the marvelous Olimpia delle Tofane slope, one of the most spectacular settings on the circuit.
The Olympia delle Tofane, with 2,560 meters of length and stretches of absolute spectacularity such as the " Schuss ", with a maximum slope of 65%, where the speed specialists jump and reach speeds of over 130 km/h., the "Salto Duca d'Aosta" and the blind passage of the "Delta", the complicated "Gran Curvone" and the subsequent change of slope of the "Scarpadon" will be offering again ski fans a minute and a half of pure adrenaline.
Last weekend in Zauchensee Sofia Goggia, who had won the last seven World Cup Downhill races she participated in, failed to reach the podium in a World Cup Downhill for the first time since a fourth-place finish in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on 8 February 2020.
Goggia has won 11 World Cup Downhill races. She can claim her second World Cup win in Cortina d'Ampezzo, after winning the Downhill event on 19 January 2018. One month later, Goggia won gold in this discipline at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The Italian leads the overall downhill World Cup standings, 60 points ahead of Breezy Johnson. Goggia won her second Downhill crystal globe last campaign, after 2017-2018.
She is hoping to become the first woman to win the Downhill globe in successive seasons since Vonn (2014-2015, 2015-2016).
Goggia also leads the Super-G standings, five points ahead of compatriot Brignone. She won two World Cup Super-G races this season, the opening event in Lake Louise on 5 December, and in Val d'Isère on 19 December.
Lara Gut-Behrami won the World Cup downhill event in Zauchensee last Saturday, recording her first podium finish in this discipline of the season.
Gut-Behrami claimed 12 of her 34 World Cup wins in the Downhill. She is now level with Isolde Kostner in eighth place on the women's list for most World Cup Downhill victories.
The triple-medal winner in Cortina, -she won the world titles in the Super-G and Giant slalom and the bronze medal in the Downhill-, with 34 victories is in ninth place on the all-time women's list for most World Cup wins in all events.
Lara Gut-Behrami won the second Super-G of the season, in St. Moritz on 11 December. It was her 17th career World Cup Super-G victory, equalling Renate Götschl (17) in second place on the women's list for most wins in this discipline in the World Cup. Only Lindsey Vonn (28) won more World Cup Super-G events.
Gut-Behrami claimed two World Cup super-G wins in Cortina d'Ampezzo, on 26 January 2014 and on 21 January 2018.
Last season, she won her third Super-G crystal globe, after 2013-2014, and 2015-2016.
Federica Brignone has won six career World Cup Super-G events, more than any other Italian woman. Brignone's two Super-G wins of this season were in St. Moritz on 12 December and in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee last Sunday.
Brignone can become the first Italian woman to win back-to-back Super-G events in the World Cup.
She is hoping to become the second woman representing Italy to win a World Cup Super-G event in Cortina d'Ampezzo, after Isolde Kostner on 25 January 1997.
Brignone can become the first woman from Italy to win the Super-G crystal globe. Brignone has already won the Overall globe (2019-2020), the Giant Slalom globe (2019-2020), and two Globes in the Alpine Combined (2018-2019, 2019-2020).
Mikaela Shiffrin finished in the top six in 10 of her last 11 World Cup Super-G appearances (including all four career wins), with a 10th place in Lake Louise on 8 December 2019 as the exception in this run.
Shiffrin won the last World Cup Super-G event held in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2019. Her last win in this discipline in the World Cup was in Bansko on 26 January 2020.
Breezy Johnson finished second behind Sofia Goggia in each of the opening three Downhill events of this World Cup season but did not start in last Saturday's event in Zauchensee due to injury.
Johnson has claimed seven career World Cup podium finishes in the Downhill, the most among active female alpine skiers not to have claimed a single victory.
Ramona Siebenhofer finished in the top four in three of the four World Cup Downhill events of this season. Her third-place finish in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee last Saturday was her first podium finish of the season.
Siebenhofer has claimed two career World Cup Downhill victories, both in Cortina d'Ampezzo in January 2019. Only Lindsey Vonn (6), Renate Götschl (5), and Isolde Kostner (4) won more World Cup Downhill events in the Italian ski resort.
Kira Weidle finished second in the World Cup Downhill event in Zauchensee last Saturday to record her best finish in a World Cup event (any discipline). It was her fourth podium in the World Cup, all in the Downhill. Weidle was the silver medalist in Cortina.