Bassino wins third race of the season

Marta Bassino won her third Giant Slalom of the season with a hard fought race down the Podkoren track just outside Kranjska Gora in Slovenia. Bassino won the race ahead of Tessa Worley and Michelle Gisin with Petra Vlhova and Federica Brignone rounding out the top five.

Perfect visibility was countered by snow conditions that were particularly brutal and made many world class racers look strongly pedestrian. Just surviving was hard for some racers and 15 racers including Wendy Holdener and Stephanie Brunner were two notable racers to not make the first run. Gisin posted an opening standard on run one from bib one, Brignoine could not match it and when Alice Robinson caught her arm in a flag losing a massive amount of time, last years winner, looked like she might struggle to get through to run two. The Kiwi finished in 15th at the end of the run.

Run two saw Sofia Goggia as the first to really make a move up tree rankings from her first run place as she posted the 9th quickest time. It was Lara Gut-Behrami that showed the rest of the field now to ski the brutally hard conditions as she moved up from 13th to 8th with the third quickest run.

There was a lot of discussion regarding the snow conditions as on one side it meant the conditions were pretty equal fro all the racers yet it showed the good racers against those that were not as adept as others on the ice ice. It was not a surprise that six of the first seven finishers were from the top seven seeds at the start of the race. Only Alice Robinson dropped down the results and this was more from mistakes rather than tentative ski racing.

The conditions showed who was at the top of their game and who was struggling. As an advert for World Cup racing, watching racers struggle to get round the gates, it is not pretty but then this is the top end of the sport. This is where the standard is high.

Tessa Worley produced a blistering second run that lifted her from fifth after the first run and into the lead. Shiffrin, Vlhova and Gisin all failed to better the combined time of the French racer. It showed a lot about the desire and metal of Gisin that when she crossed the finish line and realised that she had secured a place on the podium, the smile was huge. Gisin is one of the top all round racers at the moment and this was her first ever World Cup podium in Giant Slalom.

Bassino was just five hundredths slower on the second run than Worley to secure win number three for the season and retain the red bib.

For Alex Tilley, a fantastic top split that saw her sixth fastest overall emphasised the talk that things had been going well. Noel Baxter, her coach, explained that Tilley was skiing well and ready for the race but that this result was disappointing all things being equal. On her day, Tilley has raced in Kranjska Gora three times and before this race had finished in the points on both previous visits. She will be hoping to add to this in the next race on Sunday.

As you were for the next race as it is race two in Kranjska Gora with another Giant Slalom. How many racers will be hoping that Maribor will be hosting the races next year?

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