Queenstown alpine ski racer Alice Robinson has produced her best world cup performance since March 2021.
Robinson finished second at the FIS giant slalom world cup in Killington, Vermont, yesterday.
It was the sixth world cup podium of her career but the first in over two and a-half years.
"I am so happy,’’ Robinson said.
‘‘I was so happy with my first run — it was a bit unexpected.
‘‘Then second run, I wanted to go for it.
The race was held on the appropriately named ‘‘Superstar’’ track at Killington Ski Resort.
Snow conditions were hard and aggressive and the steep pitch immediately out of the start hut required the athletes to quickly find and hold their rhythm.
Robinson had a blinder of a first run, and was the only athlete to clock a sub-57sec time.
She flew out of the start gate, finding the green light in the first two sectors of the race, and she gained speed throughout her run, looking strong and calm as she made her way down the course.
Robinson was visibly ecstatic as she crossed the finish line and realised she had claimed the top spot, knocking Olympic champion Sara Hector (Sweden) from the leader’s seat.
After a course reset, the top 30 athletes headed back to the top of the course to take their second run, starting in reverse order.
As Robinson clocked the fastest time in run one, she had the advantage of dropping last, but the challenges of having a rougher course and fading light towards the end of the day.
The final five athletes ahead of Robinson gave it their all, either clocking fast times and jostling each other for the leader’s seat, or going that little bit too fast and crashing.
"I was a little bit nervous but I felt calm. I was just pretty excited to be in that position again, and be in the position to be really mixing it for the top spots. I was more excited than nervous."
Robinson put together a solid and gritty second run, throwing everything she had at the course.
She crossed the finish line in second position, 0.62sec behind winner Lara Gut-Behrami, of Switzerland. World No1 Mikaela Shiffrin (US) finished in third position on home snow.
The podium was a long time coming for Robinson, who has been working hard in the New Zealand winter.
It sets her up well for the season, and she will be back in the giant slalom bib at next week’s double-up world cup races in Tremblant, Canada.
— Staff reporter