The battle for the little crystal ball could not have been more exciting. On the day of the final there were only 52 points separating Eva-Maria Brem and Viktoria Rebensburg, first and second place in the World Cup Giant Slalom overall standings. To win the overall discipline competition our girl from Kreuth in Bavaria would have to win the race and the Austrian would have to come fifth.
Spring-like temperatures accompanied Viktoria as she shot off down the “Corviglia” as the fourth skier to start. In the upper section she was able to gain a good 0.07 seconds on interim leader Lara Gut. In the middle section, however, she lost time and crossed the finishing line 0.46 seconds behind. Eva-Maria Brem who started immediately after Viktoria got into a better rhythm and was the fastest skier down the slope. After the first run the DSV athlete was in 8th place, 0.66 seconds behind.
Viktoria, known for her particularly powerful second runs – two weeks ago in Jasna, if you remember, she leapt from 12th place to 2nd – took the second run by storm, attacking all the way, and managed to extend her lead continually. Crossing the finishing line she had gained a lead of 1.52 seconds on Michaela Kirchgasser, who was in second place at that moment. None of the following six athletes was able to top such a strong time and so they all took their places behind Viktoria. In order to win the overall discipline standings Eva-Maria Brem, who was the last to start, would have to finish the second run with a gap of no more than 1.20 seconds.
The Austrian’s edge of 0.66 seconds started to shrink more and more and by the third clock timing had turned into a lag of 1.07. At the finish, the signboard displayed a time of 1.16 seconds and 4th place for Eva-Maria Brem, thus enabling her to secure the little crystal ball. Places 2 and 3 went to Taina Barioz of France and Lara Gut of Switzerland.
“I really feel totally at home in the Giant Slalom. I showed that I was able to hold my own and prove that I am a real contender for the overall victory and that is what counts. I have secured a really good starting position for the coming World Championship and want to build on this flow,” says Viktoria with satisfaction. “The 2nd place in the Giant Slalom and 3rd place in the overall standings show that I have had a super season,” was Viktoria’s verdict. Viktoria achieved her best ever overall World Cup rating with a total of 1147 points.