The women’s 2015-16 Alpine Skiing World Cup season concludes at the World Cup Finals this week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The super-G and giant slalom titles are still open in the final race whereas the downhill and slalom titles are already decided. Lara Gut has practically secured her first overall World Cup title as the injured Lindsey Vonn is out of competition for the rest of the season and the other potential title challenger Viktoria Rebensburg doesn’t race in slalom.
Gut, Hütter, Weirather Aiming To Catch Vonn For Super-G Title
Despite missing the penultimate super-G of Lenzerheide after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the super-G of Soldeu, Lindsey Vonn leads the super-G World Cup at 420 points with one race remaining. She is chased for the title by Lara Gut 19 points behind, Cornelia Hütter 80 points behind, and Tina Weirather 84 points behind.
The following table shows how many points each skier would have in different result scenarios.
Vonn’s slim chance to win the super-G title would require Gut missing the top 13 and Hütter and Weirather not winning in the final race. Similarly, Hütter or Weirather can win the title only by winning in St. Moritz, yet in that scenario Gut should miss the top six for Hütter to win the title, or miss the top seven for Weirather to win the title.
With a routine performance, Gut should surpass Vonn. Only once she has missed the top 13 in super-G this season; that was a 16th place in the snowfall of Soldeu. Of the other races, seventh place of early December's Lake Louise super-G is Gut’s worst result, in the other five starts she has finished inside the top six which would be enough in St. Moritz to win the title outright. Besides she finished in second and first places on the two downhill training runs in St. Moritz, so the slope should obviously suit her well also in super-G.
All Hütter and Weirather can do in St. Moritz is to try to win and see if Gut had a bad day, though the chance for that happening is slim. Gut is the favorite here; winning a race is a big task for Hütter or Weirather, and even then Gut needs just a usual race performance. Gut can also race without big pressure of this discipline title; she has basically secured the overall title which is the skiers’ main goal.
In 2013, Lindsey Vonn missed the final races of the season due to an injury, yet won the downhill World Cup title by one point when the cancellation of the final race denied Tina Maze the chance to surpass her. Once again, her rivals can’t afford a cancellation of the race as it can’t be rescheduled, yet the forecast is for sunny weather on Thursday so the race should happen.
Brem vs. Rebensburg For Giant Slalom Title
The World Cup Finals week concludes on Sunday with the women’s giant slalom with two title contenders remaining. Eva-Maria Brem extended her lead to Viktoria Rebensburg to 52 points by beating her for the second season victory in in the penultimate race of Jasná.
Below you can see the points table for the title contenders.
As we can see, Brem can win the title outright by finishing inside the top four. On the other hand, Rebensburg must finish on podium to have any chance for the title.
With a routine performance, Brem is close to winning her first discipline title. Only once this season she has missed the top four in giant slalom; that was an eighth place in the season-opening Sölden race.
If Brem left the door open, Rebensburg would surely be capable for using the opportunity. The 2011 and 2012 giant slalom World Cup champion had a slow start for her season but she has finished the last four GS races on podium, winning in Flachau and Maribor before the second place to Brem in Jasná. The scenarios for Rebensburg to win the title are to win the race with Brem missing the top four, to finish second with Brem missing the top nine, or to finish third with Brem missing the top 15 or failing to finish.
Although they aren’t title contenders, the likes of Lara Gut, Federica Brignone, Nina Løseth, and Ana Drev may also play a role in the title battle. They have potential to finish on top, meaning Brem can’t afford having a safe run in order to finish inside the top four. On the other hand, also Rebensburg needs to perform at her best to have a title chance in the case of Brem underperforming. Brem is definitely the favorite, even if she fails to have a good race, Rebensburg would need a top result.
Women’s World Cup Finals Schedule
Wednesday, March 16
- 11:30 am local (6:30 am ET): Downhill
Thursday, March 17
- 10:00 am local (5:00 am ET): Super-G
Friday, March 18
- 12:00 pm local (7:00 am ET): Mixed team competition
Saturday, March 19
- 8:30 am local (3:30 am ET): Slalom (first run)
- 11:00 am local (6:00 am ET): Slalom (second run)
Sunday, March 20
- 9:30 am local (4:30 am ET): Giant slalom (first run)
- 12:00 pm local (7:00 am ET): Giant slalom (second run)