In the final downhill race of the winter for the ladies at Grandvalira Soldeu - El Tarter (AND), the Austrians continued their dominance that categorized the 2018/19 speed season. As expected, Nicole Schmidhofer won her first-ever crystal globe by winning the downhill World Cup standings despite finishing in 11th place on the day. Her teammate Mirjam Puchner delivered the surprise performance of the day to return to the top step of the podium for the second time in her career and first time in three years following an injury.
Only 0.03 seconds behind Puchner was the German Viktoria Rebensburg (1:32.94), while third place went to the now-familiar Swiss speedster Corinne Suter (1:32.99).
The race was on hold for approximately 20 minutes following a crash by Cornelia Huetter, who will return home to Austria to be evaluated for possible knee and shoulder injuries. She will not compete in Thursday's super-G.
Ramona Siebenhofer, who was fighting for second place in the final ranking, made a costly mistake off the jump roughly halfway down the slope and finished last in the race. As a result, she was overtaken in the final ranking by her compatriot Stephanie Venier. In the end, Schmidhofer took home the title with a total of 468 points followed by Venier with 372 and Siebenhofer with 354.
Schmidhofer thanked her team for helping her win her first crystal globe, although she remained unsatisfied with her performance in the last downhill of the season. The Austrian, who will celebrate her 30th birthday on Friday, has been one of the revelations of a season in which she recorded the first three World Cup victories of her career.
Puchner, the day’s other big star, triumphed in her event after the break following Huetter’s injury. “Although I was under pressure, I concentrated on my own performance and gave it my very best effort," she said.
See complete results from today's race here.