Friday, December 16, 2016

Ilka Stuhec Wins Alpine Combined in Val d'Isère

Ilka Stuhec from Slovenia claim her third World Cup victory after winning both Downhills in Lake Louise this season. Michelle Gisin from Switzerland crossed the finished line 0.12 seconds behind to claimc her first ever World Cup podium. Joining them in third place was Sofia Goggia 0.16 seconds back of the winner.
Slovenian Ilka Stuhec was noticeably emotional during the awards ceremony in the finish area.
"It feels great like every win. Well, all three of them. I felt confident in the start of the slalom, but still I know I could push a bit more, but maybe one part of me just wanted to get to the finish as well. But apparently, fast enough", said Stuhec, whose mother works as her ski technician. "It’s really awesome that I have [my mom] around all the time. I’m really glad she does that even though it’s really hard work. It’s, I guess, really tiring for her. But in the moments like this, I think everything is repaid."
Stuhec chased down Michelle Gisin of Switzerland who held the leader box for 16 challengers who could not better her combined time. Ultimately, Stuhec squeaked out the win by a slim 0.12-second margin.
"Amazing – I feel champagned. I invented a new word because Ilka, when she opened the bottle, it was all in my eyes so I couldn’t see and I just started to cry and run around the girls. But it’s so cool, I’m so happy, just overwhelming joy", said Gisin. "I had tough weeks in the beginning of the season, tough weeks in the States when I really didn’t ski well in Killington. I lost my confidence; I kind of lost the eyes on the prize. I just wanted to ski perfect and very secure. And then I realized I have to enjoy the freedom of skiing again, and that’s it. I think I can rely on so many great people that support me, and that’s what brought me here".
Sofia Goggia, third in the race and 0.16 seconds off the winner, has now finished on the podium in four separate disciplines this season. She busted out her dance moves in the finish area after the flower ceremony. 
"I’m just happy with my skiing and with my performance today. I knew I could have something great today, but you know slalom, I get in my danger [zone] there. So I just tried to stay in the rhythm and focus", said Goggia. "It feels great. No other words needed. Great".
Goggia has been identified as an overall contender considering her performances since Killington, but she prefers to focus on individual races.
"You know my philosophy of living: I’m just focusing day by day. Tomorrow is another race, and tomorrow I’m going to do my best in downhill. But of course I’m not thinking of the overall. It’s so far away, I can’t see it".

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