Worley edges Rebensburg in WCup giant slalom; Shiffrin 7th
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland — Tessa Worley had perfect timing to win her first World Cup race of the season Saturday in the final giant slalom before the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The world champion from France survived a tricky passage through the steep and twisting first three gates of her second run to hold off Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany by 0.07 seconds.
“This victory was built on the first run,” Worley said. “In the second one there were some errors, but really happy to be able to attack until the end.”
Unheralded 19-year-old Meta Hrovat placed third, 1.45 behind Worley. Hrovat gave the Slovenia team a first-time podium finisher for the second straight day.
Mikaela Shiffrin, the World Cup overall leader, placed seventh, almost two seconds back. The American star’s winless streak is five races after a five-race winning streak to start the year.
Support Local Journalism
On both runs, Shiffrin skied the top section cautiously, sliding into curves where it was risky to let the skis run fast.
Shiffrin stood fifth after the first run but, having completed the race out of the podium places, skied directly out of the finish area.
Still, she extended her big lead in the overall standings in defense of her title. Shiffrin earned 36 World Cup points and now leads by 799 from Rebensburg, who rose to take second place from Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, who placed 15th Saturday.
Holdener, who won the Alpine combined event Friday when Shiffrin rested, will resume their main rivalry in slalom on Sunday.
Worley’s 12th career World Cup win — all in giant slalom — followed three runner-up finishes this season. Her previous victory was taking her second Worlds gold medal, at St. Moritz last February, when Shiffrin got silver.
Lenzerheide staged the last GS before the Olympic medal race on Feb. 12 — the first women’s event on the Alpine program in South Korea.
Though Worley will likely start favorite, Rebensburg is aiming for a GS medal at a third straight Olympics. The 28-year-old German got gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games and bronze four years later at the Sochi Games.