Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Federica Brignone Wins World Cup Giant Slalom in Kronplatz


For the first time ever, Kronplatz, Italy, hosted a World Cup on Tuesday, becoming the 23rd Italian resort to do so. The technically demanding ERTA piste with a downward slope of 61 percent at its steepest point challenged the ladies in the Kronplatz giant slalom to ski a clean line.
Federica Brignone of Italy led the charge, winning with a combined time of 2:10.05. She was joined on the podium by current GS standings leader Tessa Worley and her teammate Marta Bassino, who were 0.55 and 0.57 seconds off the winning pace, respectively.
Federica Brignone was the first Italian woman to win a GS on home snow in a decade, as Karen Putzer was the last to do so in January 2007 in Cortina d’Ampezzo.Brignone won the first run, and she was able to expand on that lead in the second to take a win in front of her fellow countrymen. The Italian, whose other World Cup Giant Slalom victory was at Soelden in 2015, believes that steep hills like this play to her strengths–mostly because they scare her.
"When it’s tough, I just try to do my skiing because I’m already preoccupied on how to do the slope, so then I like the ice and today was icy", Brignone said. "So, I just tried my best really to make every turn after every turn, but in the second run, I felt awful and then, I don’t know if you saw me, but I crossed the finish line and said, ‘No, no. It’s never gonna work.’ And then I saw one, and it was amazing. It was incredible".
Her winning margin, which was just over half a second, surprised Brignone, but her competition knew she was skiing well. The lone Frenchwoman in the top 30 was happy with second place behind the Italian.
"It’s another podium", Worley said. "It’s another second place, and Federica really skied so well this last part, and I had a tough time over there, but I mean I fight it ‘til the end and it was totally worth it, so happy with second place".
Rounding out the podium in third was Marta Bassino, who has podiumed at Soelden before just like Brignone, but doing it in Italy, in front of a home crowd, is a bit more special.
"It’s a dream in Italy with all these people", Bassino shared. "It’s amazing".

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