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RTL in Soldeu |  LIVE from 10:30am: Will Lara Gut-Behrami take over the overall World Cup lead?

RTL in Soldeu | LIVE from 10:30am: Will Lara Gut-Behrami take over the overall World Cup lead?

In the Grandvalira ski area near the village of Soldeu, the lead in the Women's Alpine Skiing World Cup could change this weekend. Only after her victory in the giant slalom in Andorra on Saturday will Swiss Lara Gut-Bahrami replace Mikaela Shiffrin. The American continues to rehabilitate herself after her fall in Cortina and will also miss Sunday's slalom (10:30am/1:30pm, live on ORF 1). ÖSV technicians want to keep going up.

Gut Bahrami achieved her only World Cup win so far in the 2015/16 season. This season, the chances of getting a second ball are better than they have been for a long time, with the 32-year-old having been at his best for weeks. The Swiss, who participated for the first time in the World Cup finals in Linz in December 2007, achieved five victories and topped the podium five other times. There are only two wins remaining before they equal the record set in the 2013-14 season. “I hope I can continue driving as I am now, and then Soldeu will be overwhelming as well,” she said recently.

Gut Bahrami has so far benefited greatly from the absence of Shiffrin, who injured the medial ligament in her left knee in a downhill collision two weeks ago, and reduced her deficit to 95 points. Her strengths lie in giant slalom (three wins this season) and super-G (two). She has not competed in slalom for several years.

The outstanding program is in Gut-Behrami's favour, as three fast weeks with Crans Montana, Val di Fassa and Kvitfjell are still planned. After Soldeu, technology events will be scheduled only in Aare and then finally in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. Petra Vlhova, another stubborn competitor, is missing due to injury. The Slovakian had suffered, among other things, a ruptured cruciate ligament in Jasna a week earlier.

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It is unclear when Shiffrin will return and what work she will do next. Based on her recent social media posts, she is not expected to put herself under constant pressure to achieve her sixth World Cup win. In it, she generally criticized the busy schedule and noted that fatigue certainly played a role in the number of recent falls. “It is very difficult to put into words what the actual requirements are for athletes who are in the top 15 and who are constantly on the podium in many disciplines,” Shiffrin wrote.

Austrians are baking smaller breads in artistic specialties this winter. In the giant slalom, Julia Shipp finished ninth with the best time in the second round of Kronplatz. The main goal in platforming is to be in the single digits, although Styrian has the potential to achieve more with a couple of quick rounds. Since December 28, 2019, when Katharina Liensberger came third in Linz, the Austrians have not been on the podium in the giant slalom.

The trend decreased

In slalom this season, Liensberger in Levi and Katharina Troupe in Killington finished third on the podium. Katharina Huber and Katharina Gallhuber also showed strong performances at times. The general trend recently has been downward: in Jasna, Huber was the 11th best representative of the ÖSV.