The Swiss ski racer Lara Gut-Behrami lost the overall victory in the World Cup downhill ranking and thus the hoped-for fourth crystal ball of the season in a dramatic finale. The 32-year-old only finished 17th in the downhill race in Saalbach-Hinterglemm and fell behind Cornelia Hütter in the discipline rankings. The Austrian raced to a home victory and secured the first crystal ball of her career.

The Slovenian Ilka Stuhec came second ahead of the Italian Nicol Delago. The only German starter, Kira Weidle, ended an unsatisfactory season with eighth place.

“I didn’t expect it to work out at all,” Hütter told ZDF after her surprise coup. At the finish she showed great emotions and also shed a few tears. “I was completely overwhelmed,” said the 31-year-old with a smile.

Gut-Behrami had previously won the overall World Cup and the discipline classifications in giant slalom and super-G. She almost became the first athlete since the American Mikaela Shiffrin in 2019 to win one large and three small crystal balls in one winter. Hütter pulled ahead with a fantastic ride and her sixth World Cup victory overall and ultimately won the downhill classification with a lead of 28 points.