Reigning downhill Olympic champion Sofia Goggia took the top of the podium in World Cup action Saturday in St. Anton am Arlberg, and American Breezy Johnson found the podium finishing third for the third time this season.

Sofia Goggia
Italian speed specialist Sofia Goggia took the top of the podium Saturday in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria. Jackson Hole native Breezy Johnson took third. The women will be back in action in the legendary Tyrolian confines Sunday for the second super-G of the season (Image: Getty)

Wearing bib no. 5, the Italian speed specialist Goggia set the pace early with a 1:24:06 and skier after skier tried. Still, nobody could come close in the Tyrolian Alps’ storybook setting—think Disney’s Matterhorn meets the Sound of Music with an extra dash of whimsey.

It was Goggia’s sixth career downhill victory, and she is now leading the World Cup downhill overall this season.

“I was focussed on the things I had to do,” Goggia said post-race. “I had just one strategy, and that was to get out of the start gate and bring intensity and energy in my skiing, and I think I made it. Now the red bib is mine, yeah.”

Austrian Tamara Tippler, skiing on her home snow, came in second, almost a second behind Goggia at +0.96 off the pace. The 29-year-old Austrian super-G specialist took her first-ever World Cup downhill podium while racing mere miles from where she grew up.

And Jackson Hole native Breezy Johnson turned in an equally solid afternoon for her third-place finish +1.04 behind Atomic teammate Goggia.

Overall World Cup leader Petra Vlhová finished 12th in the first speed race of 2021. American Mikaela Shiffrin, who announced New Year’s Day she’d be taking speed races off in January and maybe beyond, remained stateside, continuing getting back into 2018 form after taking most of 2020 off to recover from an injury and the sudden passing of her father.

Minus Shiffrin Women’s Second Super-G of Season Wide Open

On Sunday, the action in the tiny village, known in non-COVID times for apes ski ragers going long into the night (think lots of dancing in ski boots on picnic tables to techno), is going to round out with a super-G. Below, a few racers to watch.

Ester Ledecká (+700 at Bwin) won the opening super-G event of this World Cup season at Val d’Isère last Dec. 20. The Czech multi-sport (snowboarding and alpine skiing) athlete’s first World Cup victory in the super-G. Now she has a chance to join Lindsay Vonn, Lara Gut-Behrami, and Mikaela Shiffrin as one of four women to win the opening pair super-G events in a season.

Coming into St. Anton, Federica Brignone (+800) has 15 World Cup victories, one shy of tying the record for most wins by an Italian woman held by Deborah Compagnoni. Brignone likes Austrian snow, with three wins there in her career, the most recent being at Kleinkirchheim on Jan. 13, 2018. Brignone has finished on the podium in three of her last four super-G events, including a third-place finish at the opener in Val d’Isère.

Swiss Duo Could go One-Two Sunday

Swiss veteran Lara Gut-Behrami (+1200) has won a dozen World Cup events in the super-G, tied for fourth with Carole Merle among women on the all-time list. The last time Gut-Behrami won a super-G in Austria was at Altenmarkt/Zauchensee a decade ago on Jan. 9, 2011. Coming into Sunday, Gut-Behrami’s 26 World Cup victories across all disciplines leave her tied with Swiss alpine ski legend Michela Figini for third place among Swiss women.

And never count out Gut-Behrami’s Swiss teammate Corinne Suter (+600) who has finished in the top six in each of the last seven World Cup super-G events. She’s also skiing fast this season, coming off a second-place finish in Val d’Isère. It could be Gut-Behrami and Suter one-two on the podium.

Never count out Vlhová (+1600), who has amassed 40 World Cup podiums in all disciplines, but none of them came in the super-G. Though her best result in the discipline is a fourth place in La Thuile last February, the Slovakian superstar has been skiing so fast and so technically sound so far this season; she never seems out of the hunt.

Women’s World Cup super-G St. Anton Austria Jan 10, 2021

Skier Odds
S. Goggia +175
C. Suter +600
E. Ledecka +700
F. Brignone +800
M. Bassino +1200
L. Gut-Behrami +1200
T. Tippler +1400
P. Vlhová +1600
N. Ortlieb +2500