Viktoria Rebensburg won this year’s season opener, the giant slalom in Sölden. It was her 12th World Cup race win in giant slalom, equalling Hanni Wenzel in joint-eighth place all-time among women. She could now join Deborah Compagnoni and Sonja Nef in sixth place with 13 wins. The last woman to win the first two giant slalom races of a World Cup season was Tina Maze in 2012/13 (won first four). Rebensburg could win multiple World Cup giant slalom races in one season for the fourth time, after 2010/11 (3), 2011/12 (4) and 2015/16 (3). Rebensburg has won 14 World Cup races in total and could surpass Martina Ertl-Renz (14) for outright fourth place all-time among German women. Only Katja Seizinger (36), Maria Höfl-Riesch (27) and Hilde Gerg (20) have won more. Rebensburg could claim her second World Cup win in the United States after her Aspen giant slalom win in 2011. She has only won multiple World Cup races in Austria (5) and in her home country, Germany (3). She is currently the second favourite to win outright, priced at around 4.90 at Pinnacle.
Last season, Tessa Worley won the first ever World Cup race in Killington when she finished first in the giant slalom on 26 November. It was her third World Cup race win in the United States as she previously won two giant slalom races in Aspen (2008, 2010). She has not won more than two races in any other country (2 in Switzerland and Slovenia). Worley has won 11 World Cup giant slalom races in total, joint-ninth all-time among women. She could join Hanni Wenzel and Viktoria Rebensburg in eighth place on 12 wins. Only Carole Merle (22) and Perrine Pelen (15) have won more World Cup races (all disciplines) than Worley (11) among French women. Worley can become the second woman from France to win at least one World Cup race (all disciplines) in seven different seasons, after Pelen. In the giant slalom, only Anita Wachter (8), Schneider (7) and Tina Maze (7) have won at least one World Cup race in seven different campaigns. Worley has finished on the podium in eight of her last nine giant slalom appearances in the World Cup, with a fifth place in Aspen last March as the only exception. She is currently a favourite to win outright, priced around 3.28 at Pinnacle.
Manuela Mölgg claimed her 10th podium in giant slalom with her third place in Sölden last month. She has yet to win a World Cup giant slalom race. Mölgg has recorded the most top-three finishes among women in this World Cup event without winning a single race. Perrine Pelen follows with seven podiums. At 34 years old, Mölgg can become the oldest winner of a ladies’ World Cup race. This record now belongs to Elisabeth Görgl who won the Val d’Isère super-G in 2014 at the age of 33. The oldest woman to win a World Cup giant slalom race is Anita Wachter who won in Lienz in 1999 at the age of 32. Federica Brignone is the only Italian woman to win a giant slalom race in the previous nine World Cup seasons. She won in Aspen (2017), Kronplatz (2017) and Sölden (2015). She is 5.00 at Bet365 for a podium finish.
Since the start of last season, Mikaela Shiffrin has finished in the top six in each of her 10 World Cup appearances in giant slalom, including three wins: Semmering (2) and Squaw Valley. Shiffrin has won four World Cup giant slalom races in total, only trailing Tamara McKinney’s nine wins in this discipline among U.S. women. Lindsey Vonn has also won four World Cup giant slalom races. Shiffrin has won 31 career World Cup races, joint-ninth all-time among women alongside Erika Hess. Hanni Wenzel is in eighth place on 33 wins. The U.S. skier has only won more World Cup races in Austria (7) than in her home country (5). Only Vreni Schneider (8), McKinney (7), Katja Seizinger (6) and Nancy Greene (6) have won more ladies’ World Cup races in the United States than Shiffrin (5). 5.52 at Pinnacle to win the race.
Lara Gut made an earlier than expected comeback in the giant slalom in Sölden, but failed to finish her first run. Gut has won 23 World Cup races: 11 in super-G, seven in downhill, four in giant slalom and one in alpine combined. Her four giant slalom victories came in Sölden (2013, 2016), Aspen (2015) and Lienz (2015). Eva-Maria Brem and Federica Brignone are also expected to make their returns to the competition after injury woes. Brem won the giant slalom crystal globe in 2015/16, but missed almost the entire 2016/17 season due to a broken leg. Brem has won three World Cup Giant Slalom races: Aspen (2014), Courchevel (2015) and Jasná (2016). As mentioned above, Federica Brignone is the only Italian woman to win a giant slalom race in the previous nine World Cup seasons. Only Deborah Compagnoni (13), Denise Karbon (6) and Karen Putzer (4) have won more World Cup giant slalom races among Italian women than Brignone (3). Brignone claimed two wins and a second place in her last three World Cup appearances in giant slalom. I don’t recommend betting on any of these three, as it is quite a mystery how will they perform after their time off.
Prediction: Tessa Worley to win
Odds: 3.28 Pinnacle
Prediction: Sofia Goggia Podium Finish
Odds: 3.00 Bet365
Prediction: Mikaela Shiffrin Podium Finish
Odds: 2.00 Bet365