Munich, 19 January 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Clara Direz first shocked superstar Mikaela Shiffrin and then went on to win a women’s parallel giant slalom World Cup race in Italy on Sunday, and there was more joy for France when Clement Noel topped the Wengen slalom for a second straight year.
Direz, 24, overcame Austrian Elisa Moerzinger for her first career victory in a surprise final in Sestriere, Italy, with Moerzinger contesting only her fifth World Cup race.
Marta Bassino beat Saturday’s joint giant slalom winner Federica Brignone in an all-Italian duel for third place.
Shiffrin was not the only prominent casualty as Slovak Petra Vlhova, who shared Saturday’s win with Brignone one-hundredth of a second ahead of Shiffrin, went out in the last 32 against Swiss Aline Danioth.
Shiffrin increased her lead over Vlhova in the World Cup to 249 points with a tally of 975 points.
Noel meanwhile made the most of a big first-run lead at the famous Swiss venue where he won his first of now five career races last year, topping the podium in a combined total 1 minute 46.43 seconds.
Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen was four-tenths behind and third-placed Russian Alexander Khoroshilov another .43 back in third.
“Its an incredible day. I am really happy,” Noel said. “You have pressure in the second run the slope is much more difficult.”
Kristoffersen leads the slalom World Cup with 402 points to Noel’s 340; and in the overall standings moved past Frenchman Alexis Pinturault again, 78 points ahead with 691 points after Pinturault went out after straddling a gate in the second run.
The men’s World Cup continues in Kitzbuehel, Austria, with a super-g Friday, the famous downhill Saturday and a slalom Sunday. The women are in Bansko, Bulgaria, on the same days for two downhills and a super-g.