At the opening women's downhill of the new season, Austrian Nicole Schmidhofer celebrated her first victory, while Switzerland's Michelle Gisin took second place and Germany's Kira Weidle finished in third. Mikaela Shiffrin solidified her overall lead in the World Cup, 144 points ahead of the first contender, with the 9th place.
Ilka Štuhec set off on the course with number nine. Despite very good times during practice runs, she was not completely relaxed but managed to show a good performance. She was among the fastest on gliding parts, accumulating the biggest backlog (compared with the then leading Gisin) on the technically difficult part during the second and third intermediate times.
A lot of joy in the arena
Ilka's relief when crossing the finish line was obvious. She raised her arms up into the air, happily greeted the audience and told everyone: "I'm back!" The 28-year-old Slovenian from Maribor injured her knee last October just before the start of the season. Due to rehabilitation, she had to skip the Olympics in Pyongyang. Štuhec won two downhill matches in Lake Louise two years ago, and she was the fifth in the super-G.
"It turned out quite okay"
"In view of everything that was going on, I must say that I'm satisfied. It seemed to me that I was flying and getting thrown about throughout the course, but I tried to do what I had envisioned. I think that the match turned out quite okay, but there are certainly some things that need to be corrected," Štuhec explained for Val 202. There will be new opportunities with another downhill on Saturday and super-G on Sunday.