The first day of Women’s World Cup in Sestriere has been a huge success. Thanks to a beautiful sunny day, 20.000 people packed the tribunes and the slope along the Kandahar Giovanni Alberto Agnelli course between the first and second run of the Giant Slalom. Italian flags, banners, cowbells and a warm support -despite the quite freezing temperature- were the background of this event that drew the attention of the whole world of ski. A contagious enthusiasm that fostered the show and the race of the athletes. Once again, Sestriere proved to be a welcoming host of international ski events, just as it happened back in 2016. The Kandahar Giovanni Alberto Agnelli course, “pampered” in the night to make it perfect after the heavy snowfall of the previous evening, meet the expectations of both skiers and technician. The preparation and the climate facilitated the perfect condition of the course. The success of Federica Brignone, joint winner with the Slovakian Vlhova was just the icing on the cake.
20.000 CUBIC METRES OF SNOW All just ended well, but yesterday low-pressure area put the event in jeopardy. The Organizing Committee had to clean the course out of the 20.000 cubic metres fallen in the afternoon and in the evening, and the help of some 80 ski instructor was critical. “We worked very hard to make everything right. I don’t deny we had to face some unexpected difficulties, like yesterday’s snowfall, but I am, or rather, we are very satisfied.” said Mr Gualtiero Brasso the President of the Organizing Committee, that for weeks has been following the various phases of the preparation of the course. “Beside the result of the race, which was extraordinary, what I’d want everyone to remember is the effort we made and the feedbacks we received. It wasn’t an easy challenge, but we accepted it.” he stated. To make a final appraisal he waits tomorrow, when the second race -the Parallel Giant Slalom- ends.
FEDERICA BRIGNONE. The emotion of the joint winner was contagious: “It’s been wild, for the whole day I just heard people screaming Federica! Federica! and this energized me. The second run was just like a heart palpitation, I could feel the pressure of the public. It was crazy! This day has been so exhausting, I did my best, I did the things I wanted and this was enough to win the competition on a razor’s edge. I still can’t believe it, in front of all this public. When I arrived I saw I was first, then I saw it was a tie with Vlhova, and then that I had a hundredth of a second over Shiffrin. I’m skiing well, I fell well and hope I’ll go on like this”
PETRA VLHOVA. Of course also the other winner, the Slovakian Petra Vlhova, is satisfied: “It’s been my first win in a GS, it’s incredible. I pushed to the limit in the second run, I am thrilled and happy. I feel strong and focused, I must go on like this. How important is Livio Magoni for me? He’s my coach, he’s very important. He knows what I have to do and I’m very happy to work with him.”
MIKAELA SHIFFRIN. Third place at one hundredth of a second from the pair Brignone-Vlhova for the American Mikaela Shiffrin: “Can you be third for one hundredth of a second? Yes, it happened. Sometimes it may happen; sometimes things don’t go the right way. Many times during last season I won for a one hundredth, this hasn’t been one of those times. It’s never easy to win, just ask Petra and Federica, they both skied very well. Sometimes there might be an advantage of a hundredth, other times of a second, but everyone here wants to win,”
TOMORROW THE PGS Last day of antagonisms tomorrow on the Kandahar course, with the Parallel Giant Slalom. Qualification starts at 9.15 am and the race at 11.45 am. There is a great curiosity for this peculiar competition. “It’s new, but I’m ready, I’m skiing well. I must reset and start all over after today’s flow of adrenaline” said Federica Brignone.
Please note the gallery, constantly updated, where you can download the pictures of the event