Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wendy Holdener Takes Victory in Lenzerheide and the Alpine Combined Globe


It was a dream day for Switzerland as the Alpine nation saw Wendy Holdener ski to her second career victory, topping the field by a convincing 0.46 margin in the third alpine combined race of the season. Putting the exclamation mark on the banner day was Lara Gut’s third-place finish which lifted her to the 2015/16 Overall Season Title.
Holdener, who just earned her first career victory a few weeks ago at the City Event in Stockholm, has been on a roll since then, taking two more second-place finishes, including in the alpine combined in Soldeu (AND). That finish, together with today’s victory also lifted Holdener to the alpine combined Season Title.
"I feel like I still don't know that I won a globe", said the 22-year-old. "Maybe tomorrow I will realise it. I honestly didn't think it would happen this morning".
Due to foggy conditions, the slalom was run first today before the deciding super-G. Holdener led the field after the slalom run, and despite a slight mistake in the super-G managed to hold onto that lead as she came down to the finish area with tears in her eyes celebrating the victory in front her home fans.
"My slalom run was really solid", said Holdener. "But I thought that it wouldn't be enough that's why I had to give it all out in the second run. I actually made so many mistakes in the super-G that I thought it was over. But then I saw the spectators cheering so loud and told myself 'oh maybe that's a podium.' When I actually saw the green light it was such a relief".
Gut, who was 9th after the slalom, came down as fastest skier in the super-G, until eventual runner-up Michaela Kirchgasser (AUT) knocked Gut out of the leader box for just a mere 0.01 seconds. But Gut was still all smiles despite missing the top step on the podium as she knew her performance was enough to secure the Crystal Globe.
"Now I can go to St. Moritz and only focus on my skiing", Gut said at the press conference. "There is no need to speak about points but just about the races. I will only get the Globe on the last day anyway".
For Gut, the Overall Title adds to her impressive collection of accolades. She earned the small globe in super-G in 2014, in addition to owning four World Championship medals and one Olympic medal. In total, the Swiss star has 18 World Cup victories and 31 podiums in her still-young career.

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