Austrian Nicole Schmidhofer earned her first World Cup win, while Mikaela Shiffrin placed ninth in her first downhill in 10 months at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.
Schmidhofer, 29, prevailed by .15 over Swiss Michelle Gisin. German Kira Weidle rounded out an unlikely podium with last season’s top two downhillers out injured (Sofia Goggia and Lindsey Vonn). Full results are here.
Schmidhofer, the 2017 World champion in super-G, made four podiums in her first 128 World Cup starts dating to 2007 coming into Lake Louise. Her best Olympic finish was 12th in the PyeongChang downhill.
Gisin, like Schmidhofer, had her greatest success at major championships, taking super combined gold in PyeongChang and silver at the 2017 Worlds. The younger sister of 2014 Olympic downhill gold medalist Dominique Gisin matched her best World Cup result with her fourth career runner-up.
The 22-year-old Weidle’s best World Cup finish before Friday was eighth.
Shiffrin, who won in Lake Louise a year ago in her fourth World Cup downhill start, tempered expectations in her least comfortable discipline because she’s had one or two days of downhill training in the last six months.
She improved from 21st place to eighth to fourth in training runs the previous three days before finishing 1.23 seconds behind Schmidhofer on Friday.
The women race another downhill Saturday and a super-G on Sunday. A full broadcast schedule is here.
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