Sofia Goggia became the first Italian woman to win three consecutive World Cup downhill events as she cruised to victory in Crans Montana, Switzerland, on Friday (22 January).
Despite the strong winds that forced the organisers to lower the start and interrupt the race, the Olympic champion mastered the cascading drops and compressions of the track to finish 0.20 sec. ahead of Ester Ledecka, with American Breezy Johnson in third for the fourth time this season, 0.57 sec. behind the winner.
Tech specialist Petra Vlhova clocked the fourth best time to extend her lead in the overall rankings over local favourite Michelle Gisin.
Goggia, who also won in Crans Montana in February 2019, is the first woman to win three consecutive downhill races since 'speed queen' Lindsey Vonn in the 2017/2018 season. From January to March 2018 the Vancouver 2010 gold medallist took four races in a row.
With a total of 380 points, the Italian is now topping the discipline's standings ahead of Corinne Suter, today 14th (280 points).
Today it was Goggia's fourth podium in downhill, after finishing runner-up in the opening event of the season in Val d'Isere, France.
The 28-year-old from Bergamo needs one podium more to equal Isolde Kostner's (Italy) record of five in 2001-2002.
"I didn't expect to win today with these conditions," Goggia was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I was happy to cross the finish line with the green light, but I thought my time wasn't enough to win because there was a lot of wind when I came down."
"I didn't expect to win, but after the break the snow started to change..." Sofia Goggia.
Crans Montana hasn't been a regular stop on the women's calendar, but this weekend features three races.
Tomorrow, Saturday 23 January, the Swiss resort will host a second downhill race, before a Super G event on Sunday.
You can follow the excitement of women's speed racing by watching the second episode of 'Cirque Blanc', our original series on alpine skiing.