SR Staff Report
Valerie Grenier Celebrates her Win – Photo: GEPA Pictures
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia – The skies in Kranjska Gora continued to be overcast. Given the temperature, the surface remained remarkably good. If the first run course set was straightforward, the second one is even more so. Today Canadian Valerie Grenier is the winner. Skiing at a level she had previously never achieved, she left no questions unanswered. She was the best skier of the day. Grenier not only has her first podium but she has her first victory. Grenier was fastest for the day by 0.37 of a second. It is the first Women’s Canadian GS victory in nearly 50 years. Notably, the emotional Canadian champion didn’t know what to say at the finish.
Italy’s Marta Bassino adds to her discipline lead, finishing 2nd and Vlhova, only 0.03 slower than Bassino, finishes 3rd. Slovakian Petra Vlhova skied the second-fastest final run but remains winless during the 2022-23 season.
The excitement accelerated when Vlhova, tired of not winning, crossed with a 0.93 lead. She skied well at the top of the course but then found additional speed at the bottom. She could stay ahead of the next skier, Mikaela Shiffrin, who crossed tied for second but could not beat the World Cup GS leader Marta Bassino. Bassino who finished only 0.03 of a second ahead of Vlhova but moved into first. Fellow Italian Federica Brignone threatened through the final split before falling behind to cross into third. They then watched as Switzerland’s Lara Gut-Behrami, 2nd after the first run, crossed in 4th. However, they all witnessed as the Canadian Grenier left no doubt by winning both runs and the race.
Shiffrin’s run of consecutive victories had to end eventually. Today she ends the day in a very respectable tie for sixth. Her miraculous season continues and she remains the most dominant skier in the world. Tomorrow will offer her the next opportunity to start a winning streak and add to her already seven victories this season.
The home crowd experienced lots of excitement from their own Ana Bucik. The only Slovenian in the second run crossed with a 0.27-second lead. She scored her career-best World Cup GS result, finishing 8th place.
The first North American to ski the second run was USA’s Paula Moltzan. Even though she didn’t cross with the lead, a happy Moltzan said hello to her father through the TV camera before exiting the finish. Moltzan ends the race 19th.
To finish among the fastest required the athletes to attack and push their comfort zone. The first racer to stand out was Norway’s Thea Louise Stjernesund. She used the 3rd fastest second run to occupy the leader’s chair to watch the next eight skiers and move up positions from 23rd place to finishing 11th.