Sölden, Austria (26 October 2019) – New Zealand ski racer Alice Robinson has started her 2019/20 season on a high, winning the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Giant Slalom in Sölden, Austria. She is the youngest person ever to win a World Cup at this venue. This is NZ's first World Cup win since Claudia Riegler in 1997.
The traditional season opening on the Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden attracts the world’s best racers, all vying for top honours. The 17-year-old from Queenstown, with just 10 World Cup starts to her name, wasted no time making her presence felt today, skiing from start bib nine in to second place on her first run, just 0.14s behind reigning overall FIS World Cup Champion, sixty-time World Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiffrin Mikaela Shiffrin (USA).
With the start order of the top-30 racers flipped for run two, Alice was the second last racer through the gates on run two, putting down a blistering run to take the lead but had to wait for Shiffrin to finish before her podium placing was decided. Shiffrin recorded the fastest time at the first split before falling behind the pace set by the young Kiwi and finishing 0.06s behind Alice, in the silver position. The bronze medal went to three-time World Cup winner and three-time World Champion Tessa Worley (FRA).
“It’s pretty crazy,” said Alice after the race. “It was very close. I was a little nervous but I just tried to keep calm and enjoy it all.”
Robinson is the current Junior World Champion in Giant Slalom and claimed her first World Cup medal in March this year, finishing second at theFIS Alpine World Cup Finals in Andorra. It was NZ’s first Alpine ski racing World Cup medal in 17 years.
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