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Grenier wins GS for 60th Golden Fox Trophy

( 06. 01. 2024 )
The giant slalom race of the Alpine Skiing World Cup for the 60th Golden Fox in Kranjska Gora was surprisingly won by Canadian Valerie Grenier. The favorites, American Mikaela Shiffrin and Slovak Petra Vlhova left empty-handed.

Valerie Grenier in action in GS race for Golden Fox Trophy in Kranjska Gora. Photo: Aleš Fevžar


The first Saturday of January in 2024 was marked by the giant slalom race of the Alpine Skiing World Cup for the 60th Golden Fox in Kranjska Gora. Weather conditions were challenging before the start of the first run, posing a real test for the experienced competitors who bravely and without hesitation set off from the starting gate on the Podkoren slope. Despite heavy rain continuously soaking the competitors and 3076 spectators, thanks to diligent workers, the slope was excellently prepared and provided quality skiing conditions for the athletes, even those with higher start numbers.

Petra Vlhova didn't finish GS race on the podium. Photo: Aleš Fevžar


After the first run, the best time was set by Slovak Petra Vlhova, who delighted numerous compatriots in the stands. Just two hundredths of a second behind her was Italian Federica Brignone, while Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami claimed the third position after the performances of 63 competitors. American Mikaela Shiffrin, usually considered a favorite, had an atypical showing and took the seventh place after the first slalom through the gates.


Out of the four Slovenian competitors, only Ana Bucik qualified for the second run, finishing in 19th place. Andreja Slokar, Neja Dvornik, and Nika Tomšič did not have the best competitive day during their home event, trailing behind Vlhova by more than four seconds. Slokar finished in 52nd place, Dvornik in 54th, and Tomšič four places behind her national teammate.


Despite the rain, the skiing spectacle on the Podkoren slope continued.


Magnifico contributed to the excellent fan atmosphere in the finish area with a musical performance, further energizing the spectators at the 60th Golden Fox. They eagerly awaited the performance of the only Slovenian in the second run, Ana Bucik. The 30-year-old from Nova Gorica aggressively attacked the course and was on a good path to achieve a solid result in her home race. However, luck was not on her side this time, as she slipped and prematurely ended her run. "I know exactly what I did wrong. For a moment, I didn't stand on the lower ski long enough and slipped on my side. In this spring snow, it happens very quickly. It was a moment when I was thinking about how to make the turn as sharp as possible, not about my body positioning. I certainly took more risks today, as the desire was really great. I haven't skied with a high level of risk in the recent period. I know that it is necessary to add this in the desire for faster skiing. Today, I succeeded in doing that, took a step forward, but unfortunately, it didn't work out in the end. Despite the challenging conditions, we didn't talk much about the weather today," Bucik explained disappointedly at the finish.

All hope for good result was gone after the fall for Ana Bucik. Photo: Aleš Fevžar


In the battle for the top positions, things didn't go entirely as planned for Shiffrin either. Despite initially narrowing the gap during the middle of the second run, it eventually increased by the time she reached the finish. The charismatic American, who has previously claimed the Golden Fox trophy, finished in only 9th place.

2019 Golden Fox Trophy overall winner Mikaela Shiffrin finished GS on 9th place. Photo: Aleš Fevžar


Valerie Grenier handled the challenging course excellently in the second run, set by the Canadian national team coach Pierre Miniotti. Grenier, who was fourth after the first run, didn't buckle under pressure in the second run and celebrated taking the lead. The top three after the first run, Lara Gut-Behrami and Federica Brignone, couldn't displace her, settling for second and third places, respectively. The leader after the first run, Vlhova, encountered too many difficulties and finished Saturday's competition just below the podium, in fourth place.

Valerie Grenier (in the middle) won her 2nd GS in a row for Golden Fox Trophy. Photo: Aleš Fevžar



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