Lara Gut-Behrami takes overall World Cup lead with downhill win in Val di Fassa

The two-time world champion claims her first downhill event of the season in Italy and overtakes Petra Vlhova in the overall standings.

By Alessandro Poggi
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Lara Gut-Behrami's irresistible form continued on Friday (26 February) in Val di Fassa, Italy, as World Cup alpine ski racing resumed after the 2021 World Championships.

Following two golds and one bronze at Cortina 2021, the 29-year-old claimed the first-ever downhill event at the Trentino resort and overtakes Petra Vlhova (joint-ninth today) to top the overall standings.

On 'La Volata' course, Gut-Behrami was behind Ramona Siebenhofer's time for most of the race, but found her speed in the last section (touching 128 km/h) to edge off the Austrian at the finish line by just 0.02 seconds.

Reigning world champion Corinne Suter finished third, 0.26 seconds behind the winner, and closes in on injured Sofia Goggia in the downhill rankings (270 points versus 480).

After four consecutive wins in Super G, Gut-Behrami took her first downhill event of the season, the 10th in her career - more than any other active female skier.

With ten events still on the calendar, the Swiss skier, who won the Crystal Globe in the 2016 season, now leads the overall rankings with 1,047 points, followed by Vlhova with 1,018 and Michelle Gisin with 807.

"This will only play a role when I am still ahead going to the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide," the new World Cup leader told Austrian TV ORF.

With a 195-point lead over teammate Suter, Gut-Behrami is also close to winning her first Super-G globe.

Today's race replaced the Beijing 2022 test event originally scheduled in Yanqing, China.

Val di Fassa will also host a downhill event on Saturday and a Super G race on Sunday (28 February).

You can watch more about alpine women's skiing on our original series Cirque Blanc, following the French speed team in this unique season.