Alpine skiing: seven years later, Hector returns to victory in Courchevel

Seven years after her only World Cup success, Sweden’s Sara Hector returned to victory by clinching the Courchevel giant slalom on Wednesday, ahead of the favorite Mikaela Shiffrin.

Best time of the first round, Hector, 29 years old, did not crack on the second track and was relegated Shiffrin, victorious the day before on this same track, to 29 / 100 e and the Italian Marta Bassino, 3rd, at 60 / 100 e.

“I got there, it’s crazy”, rejoiced the Swede, all smiles after her podium. She had already demonstrated her excellent form on Tuesday by placing second behind Shiffrin in the first giant.

Her only World Cup success dates back to 2014, already in giant, in Kühtai (Austria). “It’s true, it was a long time ago, but I remember that race well! I’m so proud!” She said.

Shiffrin n ‘ was able to repeat her exploit of the day before, when she had greatly outclassed the competition in the first giant of Courchevel – the 60 e victory of his dazzling career, at only 26 years.

Third in the first round behind Hector and the French Tessa Worley, she did not manage to catch up with the Swede, but she nevertheless performed an excellent operation by consolidating her lead at the head of the general classification of the World Cup.

The triple winner of the general classification (from 2017 to 2019) now has 115 points ahead of the Italian Sofia Goggia who did not score any on these two days, having been eliminated in quick succession from both giants of Courchevel.

Shiffrin is also very far ahead of the Sl ovaque Petra Vlhova, winner of the Big Globe of World No. 1 last winter, (3rd at 315 points and 5th of the giant on Wednesday, at 1 sec 24 / 100 e.

“A fourth place yesterday, a fifth today, I’m a bit far from the best but it was two solid days”, commented Vlhova. “It was more difficult today than yesterday, the track was more damaged, more bumpy”.

Italian Federica Brignone during the first round of the women’s giant slalom of the Ski World Cup in Courchevel, in the French Alps, on 22 December 2021. (AFP – Jeff PACHOUD) The Italian Federica Brignone, winner of the big crystal globe in 2019 – 19, who had confided on Tuesday suffering from stress and “not being able to ski at all”, was the victim of ‘a fall in the second round.

This second giant of Courchevel replaced that of Killington (United States), canceled at the end of November due to bad weather.

Among the notable absentees, the Austrian Katharina Liensberger and the Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami both have Covid – 12.