The first women’s downhill of the Alpine Skiing World Cup season was marked by several falls on Friday in Val-d’Isère. In circumstances that were anything but normal, Marie-Michèle Gagnon derives great satisfaction from her 18e square.
“It was really a special race with these delays and crashes. And there was also the stress of this “bumpy” and difficult turn where several skiers fell. There were at least five or six who ended up in the net in the same place, ”revealed the Quebecer who was 2.01 seconds behind the winner.
“I cut the line and I was taking race risks. It gave me a result still not worse! “
The Austrian Nicole Schmidhofer is the one who paid the most for her exit from the track when she found herself in the net at 115 km / hour. The race was put on hold for about 30 minutes following the accident. The first medical reports indicate ligament ruptures in his left knee.
All these falls obviously caused delays and it made so that the rays of the sun started to point on the track, which made the visibility more difficult as explained Gagnon, only Canadian registered.
“We had almost no visibility for half the course and it was super difficult to attack, but I’m really happy with my approach and my attitude. I really had a good plan, but for the bibs 24 and over, it was a completely different race, ”commented the Beauceronne, who was the 26th to set off on the Oreiller-Killy slope, referring to the sun that s ‘is pointed from this moment.
Seeing several competitors fall and hurtle down a course at high speed with reduced visibility are reasons that could have cast doubt on the 31-year-old, except that she felt confident.
“I had a lot of speed mileage in training this year as I am concentrating on these events (downhill and super-G). I knew what to expect under imperfect conditions compared to other years when I was not feeling well. That’s what made the difference. ”
Switzerland’s Corinne Suter (1 minute 44.62 seconds) clinched victory ahead of Italy’s Sofia Goggia (+0.11 s) and American Breezy Johnson (+0.20 s).
“I know I’m fast in training and now it’s about doing it in races. I hope to have my chance in conditions that are a little more level for everyone tomorrow (Saturday), ”continued Gagnon, proud of his attitude.
A second downhill event will be presented in Val-d’Isère on Saturday.