The penultimate women's giant slalom of the Alpine Skiing World Cup season took place in Jasná. Originally scheduled for Saturday, weather conditions caused the race to be rescheduled for Monday.
Brem dominates the first run
The giant slalom World Cup leader Eva-Maria Brem set a dominant first run time, leading the second-placed Lara Gut, third of the GS standings, by 0.74 seconds. Fourth of the GS standings, Federica Brignone was third of the first run, 1.11 seconds from Brem; however she would need to beat Brem to retain the title chance.
Brem's closest rival and the winner of the last two giant slaloms, Viktoria Rebensburg had a mediocre first run, losing 1.96 seconds and finding herself in 12th place. That would not be enough for her to remain in the title race if Brem won the race.
Rebensburg progresses with a great second run
Viktoria Rebensburg set the quickest time of the second run which enabled her to climb up on the leaderboard, exactly what her giant slalom title campaign needed. Her podium spot got secured after the run of the first run's third, Federica Brignone. Despite a lead of 0.85 seconds, Brignone crossed the finish line 0.25 seconds behind Rebensburg.
The first run's second, Lara Gut had 1.22 seconds of advantage over Rebensburg before the second run. Neither Gut was able to beat Rebensburg's time but went into third place, 0.52 seconds behind.
The conditions worsened during the second run and the first run's leader Eva-Maria Brem had only 25th-quickest second run. Still, her lead after the first run was enough to beat Rebensburg by 0.27 seconds for the win.
A notable performance was the career-best fifth place of the 20-year-old Italian Marta Bassino, 1.29 seconds behind the winner Brem. Bassino is the giant slalom junior World gold medalist from Jasná two years ago.
Behind Bassino were two skiers who made big progress on the second round. Marie-Michele Gagnon progressed from the first run's 14th place into final results' sixth place and Ragnhild Mowinkel progressed from 17th into seventh place.
Mikaela Shiffrin made her first giant slalom start after the knee injury. The GS comeback wasn't as successful as her slalom comeback; she finished the race in 14th place.
52-point lead for Brem before the final GS race
With the win, Eva-Maria Brem extended the giant slalom World Cup lead to Viktoria Rebensburg to 52 points before the final race of St. Moritz. Standings' third, Lara Gut, is 130 points from lead and thus out of the title race.
In the overall World Cup, Lara Gut surpassed the injured Lindsey Vonn who misses the rest of the season. Gut is very close to winning the title; Viktoria Rebensburg is 263 points behind with six races to go.
Women's World Cup continues on March 12-13 with super-G and alpine combined races in Lenzerheide.