Sofia Goggia remains the measure of all things in downhill this season. As in the previous year, the Italian kept the upper hand in the first speed race of the season. Goggia won the downhill race in Lake Louise (Canada). However, it was very close. Goggia was just 0.04 seconds ahead of Corinne Suter from Switzerland. In third place, Styrian Cornelia Hütter missed victory by just 0.06 seconds. Mirjam Puchner was fourth.
Nina Ortlieb, on the other hand, was unlucky. In her first race after an injury break of almost two years, she missed out on a possible podium finish in the middle section. However, the woman from Vorarlberg could also be satisfied with sixth place. Ariane Rädler, Christina Ager and Nicole Schmidhofer missed out on the top ten.
At temperatures around minus 20 degrees below freezing point, Puchner with start number eight initially set a clear best time. She was seven tenths of a second ahead of Joana Hählen from Switzerland who was second at the time. But immediately afterwards, Goggia showed that things could be even better. Especially in the middle section, the 30-year-old Puchner took the decisive tenths with a balanced drive. Suter and Hütter then went head-to-head with the Italian, but both narrowly got out as losers.
Hütter said after the race: “It was really cool to drive, but while driving I was just overwhelmed because it dragged me from one passage to the other. It just went with me. That was real racing today,” emphasized Hütter. She didn’t want to mourn the hundredths. “I just want to stay injury free, be healthy and just have fun and enjoy.”
“I think I can be quite satisfied with that for the first race,” said Puchner in a first brief summary on ORF television. “It was a real fight. I just tried letting the skis down, stepping on the gas, not holding back.” Ortlieb was relieved: “It definitely feels good and is confirmation that the path is right and that the hard work is worth it.”
Ramona Siebenhofer had to endure a moment of shock at around 130 km/h. Suddenly a ski threatened to become independent. However, the Steirerhin was able to save the situation and ended up staying on her feet. “I’m glad nothing happened and that I still have a chance tomorrow,” she said in the finish area. After making small mistakes in the upper section of the course, Christine Scheyer couldn’t get back into the race and was more than three seconds behind. After Elisabeth Reisinger fell, the descent was briefly interrupted, and the Upper Austrian was able to get up again on her own.