After a shock victory in Kranjska Gora on Saturday (January 7) Valeria Grenier became the first Canadian in 49 years to win the giant slalom of the Alpine Ski World Cup.
It was an extraordinary performance by the 26-year-old who had never been on the podium of a World Cup race before, let alone won, as she topped the schedule in both runs and used daylight – almost four tenths of a second – between herself and the second rider Marta Bassino Italian.
“I have no words, I still can’t believe it. It’s a dream come true,” an emotional Grenier later told FIS TV. “I’ve wanted this for so long, I’m just going to cry – I’m so happy and the girls are here too, it’s unreal.
“I’m really proud of myself. I was nervous about thinking too much about it, but by the second run I felt so good. I felt relaxed and excited about the start.”
No Canadian has won a giant slalom World Cup since 1974, when Kathy Kreiner – who became the 1976 Innsbruck Olympic champion – did so.
On her second run, a stunning third sector – she surpassed the fastest third sector on the course by more than half a second – made the difference for Grenier, who finished in a combined time of 1:55.01.
The leader of the giant slalom discipline, Bassino, lost 0.37 seconds to the Slovak Petr Vlhova lost another 0.03 seconds.
USA Mikaela Shiffrin it remains just one win away from Lindsey Vonn’s Women’s World Cup record of 82 and five short of a top rating of 86 (Ingemar Stenmark) after tied for sixth place.
Shiffrin’s lead over Vlhova in the overall World Cup classification is thus reduced to 369 points, while Bassino extends his lead over Shiffrin in giant slalom to 80 points.