Alpine Skiing

Olympic champ Rebensburg takes first World Cup downhill victory

Viktoria Rebensburg claimed her second World Cup win of the season ahead of Federica Brignone and ski-snowboard sensation Ester Ledecka

By Rory Jiwani ·

Viktoria Rebensburg delighted the home fans at Garmisch-Partenkirchen with her first World Cup downhill win on Saturday (8 February).

The 2010 Olympic giant slalom champion beat in-form Italian Federica Brignone by over six-tenths of a second to add to her Super-G victory at Lake Louise in December.

She has now won World Cup races in three disciplines: giant slalom, Super-G and downhill with 10 different women winning the last 10 World Cup women's downhills.

Ester Ledecka, who won a surprise Super-G Olympic title at PyeongChang 2018 before claiming another gold in snowboarding, took third for her second career alpine skiing World Cup podium finish.

Mikaela Shiffrin missed the race as she takes a break from the circuit following the sudden death of her father last weekend.

Garmisch women's downhill podium (L-R): runner-up Federica Brignone, winner Viktoria Rebensburg, third-placed Ester Ledecka

Rebensburg races to downhill success

Wearing start bib number two, Brignone was actually first to go with Ramona Siebenhofer electing not to start.

Fresh from her Super-G win at Rosa Khutor, Brignone had impressed in training and set a stiff target of 1:42.55.

She remained in front until Rebensburg made her descent.

Like Brignone, the 30-year-old German had finished second in previous World Cup downhills.

Rebensburg was just ahead on the clock from the start, but she put in a tremendous mid-section of the course to go up on Brignone by seven-tenths of a second on the fourth time check.

She lost some of that advantage on the bottom of the course but crossed the line in 1:41.94 to lead by 0.61 seconds.

That proved to be enough for Rebensburg's 19th career World Cup victory with Ledecka, the dual-discipline gold medallist from PyeongChang, taking third place.

This was the Czech's second podium of the season after her stunning downhill victory at Lake Louise.

Olympic downhill gold medallist Sofia Goggia was fourth ahead of Corinne Suter who extended her lead over Shiffrin in the downhill standings to 61 points.

Reigning double world downhill champion Ilka Stuhec was sixth.

Brignone has now closed the gap on Shiffrin in the World Cup overall standings to 190 points, and she will hope to make further inroads in Sunday's Super-G.