Golden Fox Cup: Sweden’s Hector wins giant slalom

Kranjska Gora – Sara Hector of Sweden won the women’s Alpine Ski World Cup giant slalom event in Kranjska Gora on Saturday ahead of France’s Tessa Worley in second (+0.96s) and Italian Marta Bassino in third (+1.32).

The podium winners of the first out of two events of the 58th Golden Fox Cup in the sunny Kranjska Gora follow in the same order as after the first run.

Meanwhile, the Slovenian skiers did slightly worse in the second run overall as the local favourite Meta Hrovat fell to 9th from 5th in the first run, having opened a 2.13 second gap to the winner.

However, Tina Robnik climbed to 8th (+2.06) after placing 10th in the first run to become the top Slovenian finisher today. Ana Bucik came in 12th (+2.38).

“I don’t know, you can never do a prefect run but for sure it was a good run. I had some sections where it felt good, like pretty easy coming, but also some sections where it was difficult,” said Hector after her second giant slalom win this season.

“It was really cool to ski and the snow was really nice. It’s crazy. I’ve been working for it for so many years and it just feels incredible to make a victory today and with that much gap. It feels amazing,” the 29-year old said after only her third career World Cup Win that put her on top of the giant-slalom rankings.

Robnik missed the podium two curves to the finish line. “It’s a pity for the hundredths but I’m still happy having got the confirmation I’m in good shape,” said Robnik, who had a shoulder injury in December.

Hrovat failed to make it third time lucky after placing third on what is her home slope the previous two years.

The Podkoren slope, which is the standard feature of the men’s Alpine Ski World Cup circuit, was a mix of compact, frozen base and the softer fresh snow, most of which the organisers removed from the course.

The combination proved tricky for some of the best skiers on the first course, including American Mikaela Shiffrin, Slovak Petra Vlhova and Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami, freshly back from Covid-19 protocols.

Gut-Behrami climbed to 5th in the second, and Shiffrin placed 7th to retain her overall World Cup lead ahead of Vlhova, who finished 15th.

The Golden Fox Cup, which has been moved from its original Pohorje venue in the north-east to Kranjska Gora in the north-west due to a lack of snow for the third year running, will wrap up tomorrow with a slalom. For the second year the meet is being held without spectators due to Covid-19 protocols.