Swiss Lara Gut snapped a drought to win the final speed event of the World Cup season before the Sochi Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, on Sunday.
Gut prevailed in 1 minute, 27.81 seconds, beating Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather by .12. German overall World Cup leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch was third.
Americans Stacey Cook and Julia Mancuso were 13th and 16th, taking a step back after two straight days in the top 10 in the Italian Dolomites.
The victory was important for Gut’s medal hopes in Sochi. She had won three of the first four races this season in November after never winning more than one World Cup race in a single season.
Gut, a double 2009 world silver medalist, then disappeared beginning in mid-December, making the podium once over 10 races and tumbling to fifth in the World Cup overall standings.
“It was a difficult time,” Gut said, according to Agence-France Presse. “I could see success in my mind, but you couldn’t see it on the slopes. Now today, this win, it was very important for me.”
She has now won three of five super-G races this season and is the clear Olympic gold-medal favorite in the event. Weirather is her top challenger. Hoefl-Riesch is better in the downhill.
The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a giant slalom and slalom in Slovenia next weekend, the final races before the Olympics. American Mikaela Shiffrin will highlight the fields.
Cortina d’Ampezzo Super-G
1. Lara Gut (SUI) 1:27.81
2. Tina Weirather (LIE) 1:27.93
3. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) 1:28.42
4. Verena Stuffer (ITA) 1:28.49
5. Tina Maze (SLO) 1:28.53
6. Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) 1:28.63
7. Nadia Fanchini (ITA) 1:28.79
8. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 1:29.00
9. Marie Marchand-Arvier (FRA) 1:29.10
10. Nicole Hosp (AUT) 1:29.22
13. Stacey Cook (USA) 1:29.35
16. Julia Mancuso (USA) 1:29.71
29. Jacqueline Wiles (USA) 1:31.18
32. Leanne Smith (USA) 1:31.32
35. Laurenne Ross (USA) 1:31.84
DNF. Julia Ford (USA)
Kelly Clark beats 13-year-old for Winter X title