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Lara Gut sweeps to World Cup victory in windy Italy

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Lara Gut sweeps to World Cup victory in windy Italy
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
08:44 CET+01:00
Swiss skier Lara Gut blew away speed queen Lindsey Vonn to snatch her first win in a year in the women's World Cup Super-G at Cortina d'Ampezzo on Sunday.
Gut stormed to victory in 1min 14.78sec to beat Italian Johanna Schnarf by 0.14sec and Austrian Nicole Schmidhofer by 0.27sec to collect her 24th career victory and 12th in Super-G.
   
US star Lindsey Vonn could only manage sixth fastest 24 hours after her downhill victory on the Olympia delle Tofane piste, saying she had "never had such a strong gust of wind in a race ever in my life".
   
The 26-year-old Gut -- sidelined for eight months after a devastating knee injury in St. Moritz in February 2017 -- defied the difficult conditions in a race shortened because of strong gusts and overnight snow in the Italian Dolomites.
   
"It's good to be back winning," said Gut after her first World Cup win since the downhill in Cortina a year ago, to boost her confidence ahead of the Winter Olympics starting on February 9th.
   
"Some girls had wind from the back, others from the front, it was a challenge," admitted the Sochi Olympics bronze medallist.
   
"(Olympic champion) Benjamin Raich once told me that during the year you will have balance between good luck and bad luck.
   
"Today was my day."
 
The windy conditions forced organizers to interrupt the race after 42 skiers had competed.
   
Austria's Nadine Fest suffered a bad fall, with the 19-year-old transported to hospital suffering suspected knee injuries after crashing into the netting.
   
Vonn, 33, was clearly unhappy after her run as she missed out on a chance for her 80th World Cup success, a day after becoming the oldest woman to win the women's downhill.
   
"Also tough race considering most of the athletes are still qualifying for the Olympics and wind is dictating results," Vonn said on Twitter.
   
"Oh well, can't change it. I'll save the good luck for February I guess," added the American who has won the Super G in Cortina six times, most recently in 2016.
   
Overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin was third on Friday in the downhill but the American was one of the many who did not finish on Sunday.
   
Italy's Federica Brignone, chasing a second straight Super-G win after Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria a week ago, pulled out ahead of the race with a high fever.
   
Compatriot Sofia Goggia, winner of the downhill on Friday, flew off the track as she tried to rectify a bad start, a day after she fell on the second downhill.
   
But for fellow Italian Schnarf it was a return to the podium eight years after her first.
   
"It means a lot," said the 33-year-old. "My second podium after nearly ten years. It's near where I live, my family, my husband are here, so it's just amazing."
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