Crans Montana Preview
After the Winter Games, the Ladies Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup returns in Crans Montana with two Downhill races.
Located on a sunny plateau at 1,500 m above the Rhone Valley, Crans Montana offers visitors an outstanding Alpine panorama over the most beautiful peaks in the Alps, such as the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. The ski domain of Crans Montana (1500-3000) allows skiers and snowboarders to enjoy snow thanks to 30 lifts and 140 km of pistes including the mythical Plaine Morte and the National. The Mont Lachaux Downhill racecourse was remodeled in 2006-2007. The slope winds its way down from the spectacular Cry d'Err vantage point and on through the mountain forest down to the Barzettes ski stadium.
Crans-Montana stretches up to the Plaine Morte glacier at an altitude of 3,000 meters, where the first alpine ski race took place in 1911 when the English skiing pioneer Sir Arnold Lunn organized the world's first timed downhill ski race, on the high Valais plateau from the Plaine Morte glacier to Mollens. Crans-Montana has so far hosted more than 25 FIS European Cup and FIS World Cup competitions, two World Cup Finals (1992 & 1998), the European Cup Finals 2009, and the unforgettable 1987 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Last season Sofia Goggia won both Downhills held in Crans Montana.
In the first one, Goggia finished 0.20 sec. ahead of Ester Ledecka, with American Breezy Johnson in third for the fourth time this season, 0.57 sec. behind Goggia.
A day after Italian Sofia Goggia won her fourth consecutive Downhill race. Lara Gut has finished in second place, only 0.27 seconds behind with Goggia's teammate Elena Curtoni in third place (+0.60).
Goggia also won the Downhill in the Swiss ski resort in 2019.
Sofia Goggia is leading this season's World Cup downhill standings with 400 points, 69 points ahead of Corinne Suter in second place.
If Goggia is still leading the downhill standings by at least 100 points after the races in Crans-Montana, she will become the first woman since Lindsey Vonn (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) to claim the downhill crystal globe in successive seasons.
Goggia can become the first woman to claim more than four World Cup Downhill wins in a single season since Vonn (5 in 2015-2016).
Corinne Suter won the last two downhill events she participated in, at the World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
Suter can become the fourth woman to hold the Olympic title (2022), world title (2021), and crystal globe in the Downhill at the same time, after Olga Pall (1968), Michela Figini (1984-1985), and Lindsey Vonn (2009-2010).
She finished on three World Cup Downhill podiums in Crans-Montana: third in 2019 and second in both races in 2020. She can become the third Swiss woman to win a World Cup downhill event at this venue, after MarieTheres Nadig (1981) and Lara Gut-Behrami (twice in 2020).
Ramona Siebenhofer is ranked third in the Women's Downhill standings.
Austria won the Downhill crystal globe a record 19 times, but only once in the last 14 seasons: Nicole Schmidhofer in 2018-2019.
Siebenhofer has claimed two career World Cup Downhill victories, both in Cortina d'Ampezzo in January 2019.
Kira Weidle took fourth in the Olympic downhill race in Beijing, finishing 14 hundredths of a second behind bronze medallist Nadia Delago. The German claimed four World Cup Downhill podiums but has yet to win one.
The last German woman to win a World Cup event in any discipline is Viktoria Rebensburg, who won in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2020.
The last 15 women's World Cup Downhill events were either won by Italian or Swiss skiers: eight by Sofia Goggia, five by Lara Gut-Behrami, and two by Corinne Suter.