Five skiers, including two World Cup season champions, crashed into the same area of fencing in a women’s downhill in Val d’Isere, France, on Friday.
In the first World Cup speed race of the season, Austrian Nicole Schmidhofer lost control in a compression near the bottom of the course and skied directly into red fencing at high speed, going through one set of fencing and piercing the next.
Schmidhofer, the 2019 World Cup downhill season champion, is suspected to have suffered a rupture of the ACL and LCL in her left knee, according to the International Ski Federation (FIS), citing Austria’s federation.
About 28 minutes after Schmidhofer’s crash, reigning World Cup overall champion Federica Brignone of Italy hit the same area of fencing. Brignone skied off on her own.
Another 15 minutes later, Swiss Joana Haehlen hit that fencing and walked off.
Then, 13 minutes after that, American Alice McKennis-Duran crashed there and, minutes later, skied down on her own. Extra fencing was put up. Frenchwoman Laura Gauche, the 40th starter, later crashed.
Swiss Corinne Suter won by .11 of a second over Italian Olympic champion Sofia Goggia, who had trouble of her own in the dangerous area of the course. Suter is the reigning World Cup season champion in the downhill and super-G.
American Breezy Johnson was third for her first World Cup podium. Johnson suffered major leg fractures or tears in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The women race another downhill Saturday. A full weekend Alpine skiing TV and live stream schedule is here.
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