Italy’s Sofia Goggia dominates, maintains lead atop World Cup downhill standings

Olympic champion Sofia Goggia’s high-risk skiing was rewarded with a dominating win in a World Cup downhill on Saturday in St. Anton, Austria.

Goggia was fast and nearly flawless in the sunshine on the rarely raced Karl Schranz course to be 0.96 seconds faster than Tamara Tippler of Austria.

“I didn’t expect I could have won here today with this gap,” said Goggia, whose ninth career World Cup win was her sixth in the marquee discipline of downhill.

Breezy Johnson landed her third straight third-place finish in downhills this season, 1.04 back, after the American clocked the fastest speed of more than 122 kilometres per hour.

“I watched Sofia’s run and I think that it was incredible,” Johnson said. “She skied with a lot of courage.”

Goggia has finished ahead of Johnson in each downhill so far and the Italian now has two wins and a second place to lead the season-long standings.

Vlhova leads overall standings

Switzerland’s Corinne Suter, the only downhill racer to beat Goggia this season, tied for sixth Saturday with two-time world champion Ilka Stuhec.

Canada’s Marie-Michèle Gagnon did not finish.

Goggia’s ninth career World Cup win was her sixth in the marquee discipline of downhill. She rose to third in the overall World Cup standings led by Petra Vlhova.

The two previous World Cup downhills raced at the Austrian resort in the past 20 years were won by Lindsey Vonn in 2007 and Alice Mckennis in 2013.

The result was unofficial with lower-ranked skiers yet to start.

Though no paying spectators were allowed at the finish during the coronavirus pandemic, there were cheers for the racers from recreational skiers on adjoining slopes.

A super-G race is scheduled Sunday.