Mikaela Schiffrin and Nicole Schidhofer won in Lake Louse
The 2017 super-G World Champion Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria had a gold medal and four Audi FIS Ski World Cup podium results since starting her career on the circuit over 11 years ago when she notched her career-first victory on the tour in Friday's opening downhill at Lake Louise (CAN). Both the discipline and the venue proved a surprise for Schmidhofer who expected that a first win would come in super-G, and likely on a slope more suited to her style. Despite a previous best finish in the Lake Louise downhill of eighth, she posted the fastest time on race day after leading the final training run the day before.
Michelle Gisin of Switzerland followed in close second just 0.15 seconds from the win. The former slalom specialist expanded her racing repertoire two years ago to include more speed events, and she was rewarded with success in Lake Louise for the second time after finishing in third place last season. Gisin held the fastest time on the course from bib 1 all the way until Schmidhofer unseated her with bib 15, and she now sits in an impressive fourth place on the downhill WCSL following her podium finish.
Kira Weidle of Germany, a newcomer to the podium, rounded out the top three finishers of the day. She posted noteworthy results in the training runs including leading on the second day and slotting the third-fastest time on the third day. Her previous best result heading into the day was an eighth-place finish in the Lake Louise downhill last season.
Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) had never won a World Cup heading into the start of the 2018/19 speed season. But by the end of the opening downhill races in Lake Louise, she had two consecutive victories to her name and 200 points to lead the discipline standings. She was joined on the podium in second by her teammate Cornelia Huetter (who won in Lake Louise last season), and Switzerland's Michelle Gisin in third, who also picked up a podium result in Friday's race.
efending Overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) became the first athlete – male or female – to win in all six disciplines on the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup circuit by claiming her career-first victory in super-G at Lake Louise (CAN) on Sunday.
She described the run as nearly perfect and surprised even herself with the accomplishment. The American secured her first speed victory in downhill last season at the same resort. She has now won World Cup races in ladies' slalom, parallel slalom, giant slalom, super-G, downhill, and alpine combined.
Attacking Viking Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) picked up her second podium of the winter and first in the speed disciplines, finishing second behind Shiffrin. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) who has threatened for the podium in both giant slalom races this season, put down a solid run to kick off the race with bib 1 and held on for her first podium of the winter in third.
Valerie Grenier (CAN) kept local fans on their toes as she skied a blazing run from bib 32 for a career-best finish in fifth place to wrap up World Cup racing in Lake Louise for the year.
The ladies next race in St. Moritz (SUI) where they will compete in super-G on 8th December and parallel slalom on 9th December.