12 Dec Italian Marta Bassino wins Sestriere Giant Slalom in front of more 13 thousand cheering fans
Sestriere woke up this morning to sunshine, offering a unique natural postcard after the 40 cm of snow that fell on Friday. Over 13,000 people climbed ‘al Colle’, as the resort is known in Piedmont. And it was a Piedmontese woman who took the top step of the podium in the Kandahar G.A. Agnelli today. It was in fact Marta Bassino who won the Sestriere giant slalom.
“It was a true battle,” commented Marta Bassino at the end of the race, “I’m so excited: crossing the finish line seeing the green light and hearing the crowd explode with joy was incredible. Goose bumps. It was really a challenge, with the track beautiful but difficult. To win today, in my region, in my Piedmont, is truly a unique emotion’. Behind Marta Bassino, who finished with a total time of 2’28″89, was Olympic champion Sara Hector, 11 hundredths slower, and third was Petra Vlhova, beaten by the Italian by 4 tenths of second. For the swedish Sara ‘it was a very hard race. I tried to give it my best and I am very happy with the result on this track. For the second run I told myself to push as hard as I could and here I am. For Petra Vlhova, “I really like this course and to be on the podium is a wonderful achievement, considering how hard it was!”
At 6 p.m. this evening, the three queens of the Sestriere giant slalom will be in Piazza Fraiteve for the official prizegiving ceremony, after receiving the trophy in the parterre from Fabrizio Ricca – Sports Councillor for the Region of Piedmont, Massimo Faraò – Audi Italy Marketing Director and Gianni Poncet – Mayor of Sestriere. This was followed by the bib draw for tomorrow’s slalom, Sunday 11 December.
The finish area was crowded today with more than 13,000 spectators cheering on all the athletes, waving thousands of tricolour flags for every Italian woman who crossed the finish line. For tomorrow the Organising Committee expects many more spectators, sure that the success of Italy today, whose national team touches 115 victories in the history of the Ski World Cup, will bring even more enthusiastic fans to Sestriere.
The slalom will schedule two manches, the first at 10.30 am and the second at 1.30 pm. This second day of competition in Sestriere will also be broadcast live globally on numerous televisions, including for Italy Rai 2 (from 10:15 a.m. live), Eurosport and Discovery+.