Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia has officially returned from injury to rejoin the top ranks of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, as she won her second race in as many days by taking the Val Gardena Gröden (ITA) super-G on Wednesday. After nearly stumbling while skating to make speed out of the start and losing her line while attacking turns, she skied anything but a perfect run – yet it proved to be perfectly fast against her competition.
In a race separated by mere hundredths of a second, Stuhec claimed the win 0.05 seconds ahead of Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein who tied for second place. Jasmine Flury of Switzerland missed the podium by one-hundredth of a second, finishing in fourth place at only 0.06 seconds from the lead.
Extremely tight competition among the world's best skiers made for a highly energetic and entertaining race. Francesca Marsaglia of Italy kept the crowd on the edges of their seats with a blistering run from bib 29 that looked to threaten the podium through the bottom of the track. She produced a sixth-place finish to the delight of the home fans.
In addition to Schmidhofer, three more Austrians finished in the top 10 for a noteworthy team performance.
Super-G standings leader Mikaela Shiffrin opted to skip the event in order to train for the technical races at Courchevel (FRA) this week. Despite her absence, she was able to hold onto the leader bib heading into the next ladies' super-G at St. Anton (AUT). Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway is her closest competition with a 25-point deficit to catch the American.
The ladies now shift gears back to technical races heading into the holidays. They will race giant slalom and slalom in Courchevel on 21st-22nd December.