Tessa Worley secures GS season title; Italian women sweep podium at Aspen
France’s Tessa Worley didn’t want to regret anything.
She knew the odds were in her favor entering Sunday’s giant slalom, the final women’s race of the World Cup Finals in Aspen. However, with a globe up for grabs and America’s Mikaela Shiffrin on the hunt, it wasn’t a time to be timid.
“Every girl is pushing very hard. I wanted to give everything until the end, to the last run,” Worley said. “In your mind, for sure you want to keep it safe and be able to go down to the finish line. But I knew that was maybe a way where I would have regrets. So I still wanted to push and I still wanted to do good skiing.”
Worley, 27, finished fifth in Sunday’s GS, one spot ahead of Shiffrin, to secure the discipline title. She entered the race with an 80-point cushion on Shiffrin, Worley’s final post-race tally being 685 points to Shiffrin’s 600 points for the season. It is Worley’s first career globe.
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PHOTOS: Action shots from Sunday’s races
“I felt I had sections that were really good and it just wasn’t enough. There were other girls out there that were on better form,” Shiffrin said. “They made it happen.”
Winning Sunday’s race was Italy’s Federica Brignone, with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 58.01 seconds. Worley was 1.83 seconds back of Brignone, and Shiffrin 2.14 seconds back.
Brignone, who has multiple podiums in Aspen, won here for the first time. This one was particularly special as she shared the podium with fellow Italians Sofia Goggia and Marta Bassino. Goggia was second, 1.44 seconds behind the blistering pace set by Brignone, and Bassino was third, 1.47 back of first.
It was the first time three Italian women have swept a podium since 1996.
“This is, I think, one of the best days of my life being on the podium with these two girls, and two Italians. It was amazing,” Brignone said. “I was really stressed before the first run. I like the slope so much, but it’s always not easy. There were many, many changing gates.”
Goggia finished the season third in the GS standings, 195 points behind second-place Shiffrin. Brignone was fourth and Bassino sixth, with injured Lara Gut of Switzerland finishing fifth. Shiffrin would have needed second place in Sunday’s race with Worley finishing outside the points just to tie.
“I’m starting to slowly realize what has been done for me this season,” Worley said. “Mikaela is skiing very fast in GS. For sure nothing was done until the end and that’s why I kept the spirit to fight until the last run.”
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Wayne Hall took a job as an air traffic controller at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in 2003 thinking he would stay for a short time. Instead he stayed for nearly 17 years and was promoted up to the position of air traffic manager. He reflected on the experience upon retirement.