Schmidhofer wins super-G race, denies Goggia on comeback

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — Austrian skier Nicole Schmidhofer denied Sofia Goggia a fairytale comeback by winning her first World Cup super-G on Saturday.

Schmidhofer, the super-G world champion, finished 0.23 seconds ahead of Olympic downhill champion Goggia, who was racing for the first time after breaking a bone in her right ankle while training in October.

Goggia shrugged, lifting her arms with a wry smile as Schmidhofer finished for just her third World Cup career victory.

“I was really happy with the race today but actually I was really happy anyway,” Goggia said. “Garmisch is supposed to be just a test for my ankle. I am really grateful and joyful.”

Schmidhofer, who won the season’s first two downhills at Lake Louise, Canada, reflected on her own good form.

“You can nearly say this is the best ‘Schmidi’ that we’ve ever seen. I’ve never won three races in one year. Everything is going to plan,” the 29-year-old Schmidhofer said.

Lara Gut-Behrami, who had been going for her third consecutive super-G win in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, was third, 0.45 off the pace, ahead of Italy’s Federica Brignone and France’s Romane Miradoli.

The super-G start was delayed by heavy snowfall. Conditions improved, however, and a ray of sunshine poked through the clouds as the skiers descended.

“It was a long time from the inspection to the start,” Schmidhofer said.

The race was originally scheduled for Sunday, but organizers switched races due to adverse weather forecasts and Saturday’s downhill will now take place on Sunday instead.

Lindsey Vonn is skipping the weekend’s races to give her troublesome knee injury a chance to recover, and American teammate Mikaela Shiffrin is also taking a break.

Shiffrin, the overall World Cup and super-G leader, plans to return in Maribor, Slovenia next weekend before the world championships in Are, Sweden.

Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon was 34th.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Ciaran Fahey, The Associated Press

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