Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the World Cup super-G title for a third time yesterday, while overall leader Beat Feuz of Switzerland crashed and missed an early chance to secure the overall championship.
Feuz had to come first or second to earn an insurmountable lead in the standings with two races left, but lost balance on a ski and slid off-course.
“Obviously I am very disappointed,” Feuz said.
He now leads Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who finished third in the final super-G of the season, by 75 points with a giant slalom and a slalom remaining. A win in each race is worth 100 points.
Hirscher, who won eight races in the technical disciplines this season, competed in only his fourth career super-G and was especially fast on the lower section of the hill.
The race was won by world super-G champion Christof Innerhofer of Italy, who edged Alexis Pinturault of France by 0.02 seconds and Hirscher by 0.06.
Olympic super-G champion Svindal came 16th, enough to protect his lead over main rival Didier Cuche of Switzerland, who finished ninth to trail the Norwegian by 13 points in the final discipline standings.
“I have been very lucky today,” said Svindal, who has now won seven career crystal globes, including two for the overall championship. “I did not race well at all, but Didier didn’t have his best run either. There were a lot of sharp turns, it was more like a giant slalom.”
Svindal won the first super-G of the season in Lake Louise, Canada, in November. The eight races in the discipline had eight different winners.
Cuche, who retires after tomorrow’s giant slalom, missed out on his final chance to add another piece of silverware to his collection of six crystal globes.
“It’s easy — I had one mistake too many,” the Swiss racer said. “Two, three places higher and I had won it. I tried to perform well and I didn’t succeed.”
Meanwhile, US skier Lindsey Vonn secured her fourth straight super-G World Cup trophy yesterday, as Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg won the discipline’s final race of the season.
With the overall, downhill and super-combined trophies already in the bag, 27-year-old Vonn also made it an even four this season with the super-G crystal globe, ahead of second-placed compatriot Julia Mancuso.
Rebensburg won the race with a time of 1 minute, 24.54 seconds — 0.18 seconds ahead of Mancuso.
Although a two-time junior world champion in the super-G, this was the 22-year-old German’s first ever World Cup win in the discipline.
France’s Marion Rolland, who had her first World Cup podium finish on Wednesday in the downhill, came third in the race with 1:24.75.
Vonn had a superb run and was due for victory, but made a crucial mistake near the end of the course and finished just sixth.
Her lead in the crystal-globe standings meant she secured the trophy anyway, ahead of Mancuso, who overtook Austria’s Anna Fenninger to finish second in the super-G standings.
However, Vonn failed to break the season record of 2,000 points set by Austria’s Hermann Maier, as she hoped. Yesterday’s performance took her to 1,948 points.
“It was a great opportunity to make these 2,000 points, but I still have the giant slalom [on Sunday] and I’ll try everything,” she said after the race.