The specialty brings together all the stars: Mikaela is ambitious, she has found serenity and love with Kilde, Lara is hungry. And watch out for young women
Three crowns and many queens. The giant is the mirror of a season that promises to be interesting like few others. Marta Bassino, Federica Brignone and Sofia Goggia on Saturday in Soelden will face the elite of women’s skiing. From Mikaela Shiffrin to world champion Lara Gut to general Cup holder Petra Vlhova, wide doors are the specialty in which all the best meet, confront the specialists, look for the sensations and points to pursue the three great goals of the season: Olympic gold, the general classification, the specialty cup.
the Queen has returned
Last year Mikaela Shiffrin approached Soelden shyly. On her skin she felt the mourning for the loss of her father Jeff, a backache prompted her to move back to Levi. A year later the attitude is the opposite. The American has already said that in Beijing 2022 she will want to participate in five races, and if she launches into a company that gave her more pain than smiles in PyeongChang, she has evidently done the math well. After all, the Cortina World Championships gave her important answers: four medals, with gold in combined, bronze in super-G and a competitiveness found everywhere. The impression is that at the age of 26 he has turned the page, has found joy again – who knows, perhaps also thanks to the love story with Aleksander Aamodt Kilde – and, after having lived a full preparation, he wants to regain his dominance in the technical specialties and always be on the podium in the fast ones. It has reached 69 cup victories: if in 2020-21 it added “only” 3, what will it be able to achieve this year?
lara and petra
Lara Gut-Behrami is another huge point of interest. It seemed lost and instead from January to March it was amazing: four victories and a second place in the last five super-G, first in the last two descents, the three medals at the World Championships with gold in super-G and giant and bronze in descent. She went to take the world title she was missing, which in 2017 in St. Moritz she had painfully missed and which had plunged her into crisis at Are 2019. One thing is still missing in the palmares of the Swiss champion, Olympic gold and last year he showed he learned not to turn these shortcomings into obsessions. And then there is Petra Vlhova. In 2020-21 she experienced the apotheosis of the crystal cup – in Slovakia she became a divinity – at the end of an exhausting path, which saw her participate in all the races, arriving at the World Championships in Cortina with energy at a glance – but he still took home the silver in slalom and combined – and close the relationship with Livio Magoni. Mauro Pini, his new coach, will certainly manage it more sparingly: it will be curious to see how he will react, if he will pay more or less.
meta and alice
The Bergamo technician has launched a new challenge by moving to lead Meta Hrovat. Third last year in the second race in Kranjska Gora and in Lenzerheide, the Slovenian appears in Austria to become a constant presence on the podium. It is not the only one. Those who have seen her at work recently argue that Alice Robinson is ready not only to replicate the coup of 2019 – she took Soelden before she turned 18 – but to repeat herself elsewhere as well. She seems faster than the others, if she can also limit mistakes, the New Zealander will become a very uncomfortable customer.
October 20, 2021 (change October 20, 2021 | 09:01)
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Shiffrin, Vlhova and Gut: how many queens in giant on the path of the blue