Italy’s Sofia Goggia wins downhill World Cup in Switzerland, ends season title

Sofia Goggia headed for another World Cup title with the fifth win of her dominant season on Sunday in Switzerland.

Goggia raced through the lightly falling snow and was fastest on the lower part of the Mont Lachaux course to finish in one minute 26:81 seconds, 0.15 ahead of fellow Italian Federica Brignone who took the fastest result prefer a downhill career.

Brignone found some of the best racing conditions as the No. 1 starter. 21, starting 35 minutes after Goggia when the snow stopped falling and sunlight broke through the clouds to light the slope.

Laura Gauche came wearing bib No. 26 then third, 0.41 seconds behind Goggia, for a first career podium finish. Seventh place was the French racer’s previous best downhill result.

Stefanie Fleckenstein of Whistler, BC finished in 23rd place as the top ranked Canadian. Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., did not start.

Taking a break after the world championships, Mikaela Shiffrin didn’t start with a massive lead of more than 700 points in the overall World Cup standings. The 27-year-old American is on track to win a fifth giant crystal globe as the season’s overall champion.

Goggia’s fifth win in seven World Cup downhills earned him 100 race points and extended his lead in the season-long standings to more than 170 over Ilka ล tuhec, who was sitting in ninth.

With two goals remaining – next weekend at Kvitfjell, Norway and March 15 at the final week’s races at Soldeu, Andorra – Goggia only needs a top-10 finish in either race to claim his fourth crystal globe trophy.

Goggia’s 22nd World Cup victory came two weeks after she crashed out as the favorite at the world championships and was 17th in the downhill. That moved her into a tie for fourth in career World Cup wins in the marquee speed discipline. Lindsey Vonn leads with 43 wins.

Racing just after Brignone, Isabella Wright fell when she appeared to be out of step with the shifting terrain. The American slid about 60 meters down the slope before coming to a stop.

Romane struck out Miradoli when his left ski found a gate on a sharp turn. The ski quit and was turned side to side before hitting the safety fences.

Both racers appeared unhurt and skied down to the finish area.

The start was delayed by more than 30 minutes and fog was clouding the upper part of the 2.45 kilometer course at Crans-Montana.

The downhill was rescheduled from Saturday when poor visibility in the lower section and a soft snow surface in the sunlight made the racing too dangerous.

The snow surface was more stable on Sunday after a cold night with race time temperatures around minus-4 degrees Celsius.

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