Marta Bassino (ITA) achieved today in the World cup women’s season opener in Soelden (AUT) her second career World Cup victory (her maiden triumph was also in GS, in Killington, last season where she also defeated Brignone). The 24-year-old Italian stood out above all in the first run where she was able to exploit her skiing fluidity on one of the most difficult racecourses of the whole Circuit.
“I was skiing very well in training, so I tried to ski as in training also today”, Bassino said in the finish zone, “it came naturally, and that’s why I’m so proud”.
“The first run was easier”, said Bassino, adding that the second “was hard but I tried to push hard from the start gate to the finish line”.
Marta beat her teammate Federica Brignone (ITA) by 0.14 seconds. For Brignone, it is the fortieth podium in the World Cup and for Italy, it is the first double in Sölden.
Following the Italian duet was Petra Vlhova (SVK), the protagonist of a great comeback in the second run that allowed her to recover 7 positions and finally conquer her first career podium in Sölden.
Last season winner, New Zealander Alice Robinson, missed the top 10. She was tied for fourth after the first run, 1.18s behind Bassino, but struggled on the second to finish down in 12th place due to a bad mistake on the steep part of the slope.
Paula Moltzan (USA) who started with bib 62, was 17th in the first run and finished 10th in her second World Cup Giant Slalom race ever.
It was a distinctly quiet event in Austria's Ötztal Valley with just 200 guests watching the race rather than the 15,000-crowd with cowbells usually in attendance.
“It feels really weird,” Brignone said. “For me, Sölden is a lot of noise, a lot of people, crowded, everyone is excited. But this is the compromise to begin the season and I think that is OK”.