Can Sofia Goggia win the Cup? This is what has to happen

She found continuity, balance and the super-G, now to beat Shiffrin I have to get points from the giant too. A stellar duel, from Lienz to the Courchevel finals

Can Sofia Goggia aim for the World Cup? The 5 victories in the first 14 races of the season are more than a good sign. He knows that Mikaela Shiffrin’s return to the highest levels is obstacle number 1 and as he has already said: “Shiffrin is the number 1 favorite for the Cup”. But…

Until now

Results in hand, since the opening of the season with the giant from Soelden, Goggia has won 5 races (4 descents and a suprG) and reached the podium in St. Moritz. Shiffrin triumphed in three, was second three times and third twice. A continuity that allows her to be 115 points ahead of Sofia. The last two races of the year in Lienz – a giant on December 28th and a slalom on the 29th – and the calendar for the beginning of 2022, with the technical stages of Zagreb, Maribor and Flachau (3 slalom and a giant) the advantage is destined to increase, even if the awakening of Marta Bassino of Courchevel promises new challenges for the giant Shiffrin. Until the end of the month then it will be up to speed again, with 3 descents, 3 super-G between Altenmarkt, Cortina and Garmisch, in addition to the giant of Plan de Corones, and here Sofia could arm the comeback. Then there will be the long break for the Beijing 2022 Olympics and from there another season will start again until the finals in Courchevel, with the enthusiasm of those who have won medals and the desire to make up for those who have not made it. . In the final sprint of 10 races, Shiffrin and Goggia are on equal terms: 3 giants and two slalom for Mikaela, 3 downhill and 2 super-G for Sofia.

What has changed

In the past it rarely happened that after a victory the Goggia was able to repeat itself in a great way, after the peak of the emotions of a great day a “goggiata” always appeared. The most fitting example is what happened in the second descent of Cortina in January 2018, a few days before the departure for the PyeongChang Games: the day after beating Vonn, Sofia fell badly on the schuss jump. The airbag deployed and saved her from injuries bigger than the bruises and crunches of her left knee that accompanied her all the way to the Games. In addition, Goggia has found the perfect balance with the skiman Barnaba ‘Babi’ Greppi. With the experience of many years of the World Cup (he was also the skiman of the Gut, among others), as well as a top professional Babi is the perfect travel companion between one stage and another of the Cup. It helps to ease the tension by making her laugh, as evidenced by the self-produced videos posted on social networks.

The key

Without forgetting that skiing is a cruel sport – Sofia has experienced it many times in her career, the last one just under a year ago with the crash that prevented her from being at the start of ‘her’ World Championships in Cortina – which what could make a difference? Shiffrin has won 72 career races (46 slalom, 14 giants, 4 super-G, 2 descents and 5 parallel), has reached the podium in 114 of the 206 races in the World Cup, as well as being back the woman to beat in giant and slalom, has been seen in speed, with a 3rd and a 5th place in super-G. Now it’s up to Sofia to answer, if after the super-G she will be able to put together the pieces also in giant and collect heavy points in this specialty too the general Cup – after the two downhill – could become accessible. For now, after the sixteenth place in Soelden, two exits have arrived in Courchevel “because I can’t bring what I do in training into the race”, as he explained. But there is progress and, in Sofia’s words, “we are at December 20, I am not looking at these things yet”.

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Can Sofia Goggia win the Cup? This is what has to happen