B.C.'s Cassidy Gray earns points for giant slalom effort in her World Cup debut

·3 min read
B.C.'s Cassidy Gray earns points for giant slalom effort in her World Cup debut

A bundle of nerves atop an imposing giant slalom course ahead of Sunday's second run, 19-year-old Cassidy Gray went to work and earned points for a 26th-place performance at the women's World Cup event in Slovenia.

Her combined time of two minutes 24.25 seconds is considered one of the best starts to a World Cup career for a Canadian in recent memory.

"It's been a goal of mine for a long time to start a World Cup and to get to do it here, with this team was amazing," Cassidy, who hails from Panorama, B.C., tolf Alpine Canada after her second run in Kranjska Gora. "Today was a crazy first run and I was so nervous for the second run.

"I'm overall really happy with how it went. Now that I see what I can do I have a lot more confidence going into the next races."

Gray, who also skis with the University of Colorado Buffaloes, qualified for a second run in Saturday's race but didn't finish.

Canadian teammate Val Grenier of St. Isidore, Ont., moved up one spot from Saturday to finish 15th in 2:22.05 in her fifth race back from injury.

Marta Bassino won her second World Cup giant slalom in two days after first-run leader Mikaela Shiffrin dropped to sixth.

The Italian skier has won four of the five races in the discipline this season, with Shiffrin winning the only other event, in Courchevel in December.

WATCH | Bassino posts fastest final run time on way to victory:

"It's so amazing, I am so emotional. It's like a dream, I can't believe it," Bassino said from Kranjska Gora, Slovenia while fighting back tears in a TV interview.

The result saw Bassino closing in on a 13-year-old record: No Italian skier won more than four giant slaloms in a single season since Denise Karbon won a record five events in the 2007-08 campaign.

Shiffrin loses speed, rhythm on 2nd run

Bassino trailed Shiffrin by three-tenths of a second after the American's near-perfect opening run, but the Italian posted the fastest time in the final in one minute 7.34 seconds for a two-run time of 2:18.06.

The last racer on course, Shiffrin was still in the lead at the first split time. However, the Olympic GS champion was late on a turn after the first steep part, lost speed and never regained her rhythm.

Shiffrin finished 1.27 back in sixth in 2:19.33, matching her result in Saturday's race.

Bassino won the race 0.66 ahead of Michelle Gisin (2:18.72), a day after the Swiss skier earned her first career podium in GS.

Local favourite Meta Hrovat, daughter of the village's mayor, Janez Hrovat, finished third, 0.73 off the lead.

Vlhova's overall lead shrinks

The rest of the field trailed Bassino by more than a second.

This weekend's races were moved from Maribor because of a lack of snow.

Petra Vlhova was 2.41 seconds behind in 10th and the overall World Cup leader from Slovakia saw her advantage over runner-up Gisin reduced to just 60 points.

Federica Brignone, the defending overall champion who led the GS standings coming into the weekend, was 12th after the opening leg before sliding off the track in her final run.

The women's World Cup continues with two downhills and a super-G in Crans Montana, Switzerland, from Friday through Sunday.