May 24, 2024

Fight for the World Cup overall: Ceffrin gives update – here's why everything speaks in Gut-Behrami's favor

Lara Gut-Bahrami has the advantages on her side in the overall World Cup race.


The races at Crans-Montana are coming too soon for Mikaela Shiffrin. The American explained in a statement why she did not feel ready after her fall in Cortina, and when she wanted to return to the World Cup at the latest.

no time? Blue News sums it up for you

  • Mikaela Shiffrin provides an update on her injuries and commits to her return to racing in Are on 10/9. March as a goal.
  • The American's forced break also means that Jot Bahrami has a chance to extend her overall World Cup lead at the moment.
  • If Shiffrin actually returns to Are, she could still score a maximum of 600 points by the end of the season, while Gut-Behrami theoretically still has 1,100 points available.

The World Cup finals battle enters the next round this weekend. In Crans-Montana, the women's program includes two downhill runs and a super-G – and therefore three opportunities for important points. However, this does not apply to Mikaela Shiffrin.

The races in Valais come too soon for the star after the violent crash in Cortina d'Ampezzo. “I will not be competing in Crans Montana, but that was never the plan,” Shiffrin said in a statement. As far as strength is concerned, I feel good overall. The main focus at the moment is working on my speed and ability to withstand unpredictable forces – which is basically everything you need as a skater.”

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The 28-year-old jokingly adds that ultimately she doesn't want to return to the World Cup with just one foot. One of the most important elements of a safe return is having consistent strength and speed. “That simply hasn't happened yet,” Shiffrin says.

Only Ledecka was faster in final practice than Gut-Behrami

  • The second downhill practice took place in Crans-Montana on Thursday. Lara Gut-Behrami showed her best form and took second place – only the Czech Ester Ledecka was 20 hundredths of a second faster.
  • The remaining Swiss women were unable to keep up with the fastest in final training. Prisca Nover finished in 21st place, more than a second and a half behind, while Michelle Gisin and Yasmine Fleury lost almost two seconds.
  • The first departure in Crans-Montana takes place on Friday at 10:30 am.

When will Shiffrin return?

Starting next week, the 95-time World Cup winner wants to venture into skiing again. The focus is on the technical aspect and not on the speed disciplines. The player's overall goal is to get back to the start in the races that will be held in Are on March 9 and 10 at the latest – without ruling out a faster return. “We'll check my reaction every day,” says Shiffrin, who wants to take it day by day and step by step.

Her forced break also means Lara Gut-Bahrami has the chance in Crans-Montana to extend her slim lead in the race for the big crystal ball. The Ticino woman currently has five more World Cup points than the second-placed American.

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The remaining program talks about Gut-Behrami

After the Crans Montana weekend, the women only have ten races left on the program until the end of the season. In Shiffrin's main discipline, slalom, only two races are planned. If the American does return to the World Cup in Ari, she will also miss the races in Val di Fassa and Quettaville – and can still score a maximum of 600 points this winter.

On the other hand, Gut Behrami still has a maximum of 1,100 points to go in the races in Crans-Montana, provided she remains injury-free. If the Ticino woman can maintain her top level, the advantage in the duel with Shiffrin will go to the Swiss woman. With third-placed Federica Brignone currently trailing by around 300 points, there is a good chance Gut Behrami will be crowned overall World Cup champion for the second time this winter after 2016.

But Jot Bahrami wants to leave the math games to others. “Once you start calculating, the uncertainty starts. The season is still long and the energy level is not high. You have to focus on what's important. “In my case, it's skating,” she says in an interview with SRF, explaining: “During the season, you can't win balls, only races.”