SOLDEN, Austria — Viktoria Rebensburg took the season-opening women’s World Cup race on Saturday in Soelden, Austria, for her 14th-career victory, seven years after winning her maiden giant slalom on the same hill.
The 2010 gold medallist got the perfect start into the 2018 Olympics season, beating last year’s World Cup discipline champion Tessa Worley of France in front of 14,500 spectators on the Rettenbach glacier. Ranked third after the opening run, Rebensburg used a strong finish to her final run to edge Worley by 0.14 seconds. First-run leader Manuela Moelgg of Italy finished third, 0.53 behind.
Marie-Michèle Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., finished 24th out of 28 competitors who qualified for the second run at 1:58.07. The veteran racer quickly commented about her performance on social media. “The love/ hate relationship between Sölden and myself continues…I love the vibe, the big crowd, the venue and (Austria), but I can’t seem to find my normal skiing on that crazy steep…Nevertheless, I still feel confident for the upcoming season (now that this one is done) and I’m very much looking forward to the rest!”
American Lindsey Vonn, who only decided a week ago that she was going to race, failed to qualify for the final run.
“It’s a great result and it makes me really happy,” Rebensburg said. “I like steep pitches and Soelden certainly has that.”
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