Italy break Austrian dominance in the Ladies’ GS

IT LOOKED AS though it could end in an all red and white podium. But Italian Laura Pirovano, who was second after the first run, wouldn’t let that happen. Wearing bib 29 in the second run she pushed her way all the way to the top. “I’m so happy now,” said the Italian.

Norwegian Kristin Lysdahl started second in the first run and really hit her marks. Lysdahl came in first, before German Jessica Hilzinger, and stayed there. Hilzinger’s time was good however and even though Italian Laura Pirovino pushed ahead into second place, Hilzinger stayed in third place for the remainder of the first run. Conditions were more difficult than during the previous days. It was cloudy, there was some rain and because of it there was some flat light.

“It was difficult because the ground was bumpy and the visibility was not so good. You couldn’t see the ground. It was obviously better in the second because I started with number 29 and it was similar to the first run for me,” says Laura Pirovano.

The Austrian team was really strong in the second run and for a while it looked as though they would be first, second and third. But Riikka Honkanen, Finland, had a good run, pushing Nina Ortlieb out of the top three. In the end however, Austria’s Chiara Mair finished third, ten-hundredths of a second ahead of Honkanen, who had to settle for fourth. Katharina Liensberger, Austria, was fifth after the first run and she did even better in the second, claiming second place.

Pirovano started as number 29 and had a really good second run, taking the lead ahead of Liensberger and Mair. Unfortunately, the first run’s winner, Kristin Lysdahl, Norway, skied out in the second run. She was the biggest threat to Pirovano’s lead and her DNF meant that Pirovano held first position to the end.

“I’m so happy because I haven’t done very well in the European Cup this season,” said Pirovano, who’s participating in her second FIS Junior Alpine World Ski Championships.

“I was in Sochi last year and was second in the first run, like today, but the second run was so bad. But this year it wasn’t so… wow. Thank you Åre,” she said, laughing.

For the British racers, Darcie Mead was best in 44th, Jessica Anderson in 47th and Yasmin Cooper finished in 58th.

Full results are available at www.are2017.com.