Gut wins her third World Cup race as Vonn crashes out

Lara Gut scored her first World Cup win for almost two years as she lead for almost the whole race in Val d’Isere. This was the first time the Swiss racer had won a Downhill in her career with her previous two wins coming in Super G. Leanne Smith continued the great run of form the American speed team has been on with second ahead of Swiss star Nadja Kamer. Lindsey Vonn crashed out in spectacular fashion after going on her inside ski high up on the course.

The race was slightly dictated by the weather as the first fifteen racers experienced better visibility than the later racers. At speed, good sight is a huge bonus. The high winds had already forced the organisers to drop the start to shorten the course by about 30 seconds.

Gut has come into this season without having to worry about her fitness and happy with her kit. The benefits are there for all to see. After the race she said: “I already said in St Moritz that I felt a podium would come soon for me but wasn’t expecting it to come so fast. Now that it has started, I’ll try my best to keep that pace. I benefited from a low bib number today and knew that the shortened course was going to be better for me without the flats in the top section. Knowing I had already got successful here in Val d’Isère in the past took some pressure off my shoulders and helped me as well.”

Leanne Smith expressed how pleased she was after getting her first World Cup podium ever. “I was really happy with the run that I put together today, this was beyond my expectations even if the 16th hundreds could have been made up. That’s really encouraging for future races”.

The 2nd Swiss on the podium, Nadja Kamer, acknowledged that she thought she would end in the top 10 after crossing the finish line and was kind of surprised in the end to stand on the podium. “A low bib number was a slight advantage today, we enjoyed sunnier conditions. But the most important thing is that I managed this year for the first time in a while to complete a full pre-season training program without having to deal with health issues and that definitely paid off today.”

Chemmy Alcott placed in the points again this time yet such is the determination and expectations, her hopes are higher. Chemmy is a competitor and wants to be fighting at the top of the race and so although she scored World Cup points for the second time this season, she wants more. Chemmy posted on Facebook after the race: “In the points but not really what I wanted. Was the latest racer to get into the top 30 – track was dark and bumpy and I did my best and attacked but made too many mistakes. Great support at the bottom of my run though so thank you everyone who watched and cheered!”