On a wind-ravaged Friday afternoon in Crans Montana, it was Italian star Sofia Goggia who dealt with the conditions the best to secure downhill World Cup victory on the Swiss snow.
With strong gusts throughout the day producing a tough challenge for everyone who tried to tackle the slopes, Goggia remained unperturbed to claim a tenth World Cup success with a dazzling display in the Alps.
The 28-year-old soared down the course in a time of 1:10.10 to take top spot, as she made it three World Cup wins in a row, after claiming the spoils in St Anton and Val d'Isere previously.
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That feat leaves her on the brink of making history, with the Italian needing victory in Saturday's second downhill event of the weekend to become just the second woman to win four in succession, after legendary skier Lindsay Vonn did so in 2018.
Friday's performance was testament to Goggia's high-quality performances of late, as she kept her cool to produce a run of the highest calibre to see off Czech skier Ester Ledecka by 0.20s.
American Breezy Johnson finished third in Switzerland with a time of 1:10.67, while Petra Vlhova finished fourth to extend her lead in the overall standings.
The Slovakian cemented her position at the top of the leaderboard thanks to a below-par performance from home-favourite Michelle Gisin, who could only muster a time worthy of a 33rd-placed finish, seeing Vlhova extend her lead to 110 points.
In the downhill standings, Goggia comfortably leads the way after four of the eight events of the season, as she sits on 380 points with three wins and a second place to her name.
Johnson is her nearest challenger, 140 points behind, while Corinne Super - who finished 14th on home snow - sits in third spot, two points further back.
Sportsbeat 2021
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