Ledecka edges Suter in opening women's super-G, week after snowboard win

·2-min read
Ester Ledecka raced to her first World Cup super-G victory in Val d’Isere

Olympic champion Ester Ledecka claimed the first World Cup super-G race victory of her career on Sunday, edging Corinne Suter in Val d'Isere, just eight days after winning the snowboard season-opener.

Czech Ledecka finished in 1min 24.64sec, just 0.03sec ahead of Swiss Suter, who won the small globe for the discipline last year.

Defending overall champion Federica Brignone of Italy was third, 0.35sec off the winning time.

The race was the first World Cup super-G of the season after the first two scheduled races of the season in Saint Moritz were cancelled.

"It felt like I did a lot of mistakes," said Ledecka, 25. "So I got to the finish and I was a little disappointed. I wasn't thinking about my time, just my run.

"Then I realised, 'Wow, I'm first, that's good so far'. There were a lot of girls at the top of the run, but I thought 'That's good, not that bad'."

The victory leaves Ledecka, who won the Olympic super-G and the parallel giant slalom in snowboard in Pyeongchang in 2018, top of the World Cup standings in the discipline.

Last weekend, she won the parallel giant slalom event at Cortina d'Ampezzo in her first snowboard World Cup race for 11 months.

"You have to be a little crazy to do it," she told AFP on Wednesday.

"Few people want it because it's very difficult to move from one discipline to another. You have pain everywhere, in your feet from constantly changing from one type of shoes to another.

"You have to start very young. I wasn't sure that it was possible."

Despite winning the Olympic gold, Ledecka had never finished on a World Cup super-G podium before Sunday.

The victory was her second on the circuit, after a downhill in Lake Louise last December.

"My win today is more important than the victory at the Olympics because all the competitors are here," she added. "At the Games, it's limited to four per nation."

Slovak Petra Vlhova finished sixth to increase her lead in the overall standings after her closest challenger Michelle Gisin of Switzerland came in ninth.

Suter, who won both the downhill and super-G globes last season, completed an excellent weekend after winning Friday's downhill before finishing second in the same discipline Saturday.

"I really don't know what to say at the moment, I'm super, super happy," said Suter. "I knew that I'm fast."

Brignone, who won the shortened 2019-20 season title, sits fourth in the early overall standings this time around, 157 points behind Vlhova.

rg/dga/pb-jc/gj