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Lara Gut-Behrami wins the big and small balls

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Lara Gut-Behrami wins the big and small balls

Lara Gut-Behrami is the overall World Cup winner for the second time in her career and the winner of the giant slalom classification for the first time. A tactical tenth place was enough for the Swiss at the alpine skiing final in Saalbach-Hinterglemm on Sunday. The Italian Federica Brignone won, and the Austrians had a reconciliatory end to this RTL season with fourth place for Stephanie Brunner and fifth place for Julia Scheib.

The 33-year-old Brignone could have stolen the little ball from Gut-Behrami, but the Swiss would not have been allowed to write in and be in the top 15. New Zealand’s Alice Robinson came second (+1.36 seconds), Norway’s Thea Louise Stjernesund third (+1.67). “The victory was my focus for today, I gave it my all. I had a big mistake in the second, so I thought that was it. But I gave it my all again,” said Brignone after her 27th World Cup victory.

“Winning this ball is incredible. It means a lot to me, for me everything was always about the giant slalom. If I knew I was doing well there, I would also do well in the other disciplines. “I longed to be able to compete for the ball in the giant slalom at some point,” explained the visibly relieved Gut-Behrami. She can drive fast, but she had to drive smart on Sunday. And in snow conditions that don’t suit her.

Having the big ball in your pocket is a “wonderful feeling”. The 32-year-old can also secure the small crystals in downhill and super-G next week. “The goal is to reach the finish line healthy. I will do my best. If it works, it would be wonderful.” In the discipline ranking, she finished 21 points ahead of Brignone, and Scheib was the best Austrian in twelfth place.

Brunner’s best running time

Brunner and Scheib narrowly missed the first podium finish for the ÖSV giant slalomists in the World Cup since Katharina Liensberger’s third place on December 28, 2019 in Lienz. “I left the podium behind in the first round, but in the second I told myself I had nothing left to lose. I started like I do every training session, it was a load off my mind,” said Brunner, who set the best running time but was 1.92 behind overall. She is happy that she pushed through and ended the season like this.

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Scheib (+2.01) explained that she was no longer able to get going in the second round. “I wanted to do more, but fifth place is really good.” She is very happy with the season, she made it into the top 10 five times and came fifth twice. “I’ve secured the top 15, the start of the next season will be different, I’m happy to take that with me.” In the Nations Cup, the women’s team from Austria is ahead of Switzerland (4,536) with 4,579 points, and they want to take the lead no longer give up speed racing.

Haaser was eliminated

Katharina Liensberger came in 13th. “The second one was much more on the limit, there was a lot more risk involved, I take that with me,” said the Vorarlberg native. Franziska Gritsch remained 19th without any points. “Keep working, stick with it, there will be another season,” said Gritsch, who will first decide whether she will continue on her path with a private trainer like this year or return to the team. Ricarda Haaser was eliminated in the second round.

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