Bright sunshine and warm temperatures again greeted athletes and fans alike in Crans-Montana (SUI) on Sunday for the first and only alpine combined World Cup race of the ladies’ 2018/19 season.
Federica Brignone of Italy, winner of two of the last three alpine combined races held in Crans-Montana, took the lead in the morning’s downhill leg. Switzerland’s Priska Nufer sat second and Austria’s Nina Ortlieb impressively finished third with bib 24. Local favorite and current World Champion Wendy Holdener had 1.47 seconds to make up on Brignone in the slalom.
Holdener made up enough ground to move from 11th place after the downhill onto the podium in third position overall. Canadian Roni Remme, fifth in the alpine combined at World Championships, was able to hold her off with the fastest slalom run of the day despite a mistake to claim her career-first World Cup podium in second place. Finally, it came down to Brignone who charged hard enough in the slalom to claim her third alpine combined victory at the Swiss resort at 0.38 seconds ahead of Remmi. The Italian noted that the steep slalom slope in Crans-Montana actually brought out her best skiing in the discipline despite less training and racing than in the giant slalom and speed events.
An additional alpine combined race was originally scheduled in Val d’Isere (FRA) in December of 2018, but it had to be cancelled due to lack of snow. A replacement venue could not be named for this race, so the ladies only contested one alpine combined on the World Cup tour for the 2018/19 season. Since FIS rules require two races to be contested in order to award a discipline globe, there is unfortunately no alpine combined discipline title for the ladies in the 2018/19 season.
Swiss fans were also delighted to see three of their skiers place inside the top eight with Rahel Kopp finishing a career-best fourth and Priska Nufer in eighth.
The ladies’ tour next moves on to Sochi (RUS) for downhill and super-G races scheduled for 2-3 March 2019.
See complete results from today’s race here.