Portugal Colonial - Brignone wins super-G globe, Miradoli posts maiden victory

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Brignone wins super-G globe, Miradoli posts maiden victory
Brignone wins super-G globe, Miradoli posts maiden victory

Brignone wins super-G globe, Miradoli posts maiden victory

Italy's Federica Brignone was crowned super-G World Cup champion on Saturday as French skier Romane Miradoli pulled off an upset with her first ever victory at this level.

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Brignone, 31, finished only ninth but was assured of being able to place the small crystal globe on her mantlepiece when the only rival capable of catching her in the standings, compatriot Elena Curtoni, skied out.

Miradoli could look down from the top step of the podium on two stars. American Mikaela Shiffrin was second 0.38sec slower while Olympic champion Lara Gut-Behrami was third 0.88 off the pace.

Another superstar was present to watch them in former tennis world number one Roger Federer -- who took selfies with the alpine stars.

For 27-year-old Miradoli this victory -- the first for a French woman in a super-G World Cup race since Carole Montillet in Haus im Ennstal in Austria in February 2004 -- brought her unbridled joy in a life that has been harsh to her in the past few years.

Her boyfriend was killed in a wingsuit accident in 2016 and in December 2020 she ruptured a cruciate ligament in her left knee at Courchevel and only returned to competition three months ago.

"It is crazy, I cannot believe it," said Miradoli.

"The race was tough but at last I was able to put together a complete run from top to bottom.

"I did not think I was that quick. I was under the impression I was behind at each gate."

Shiffrin improved her chances of rescuing her season after a dreadful Olympics -- she finished without a medal from the six events -- by moving 67 points clear of defending champion Petra Vlhova in the overall World Cup standings.

On Sunday the skiers contest a giant slalom.