LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Ilka Stuhec always knew she was fast on her skis. That belief is widespread after a pair of downhill wins in Lake Louise, Alta.
"I think all the world knows right now," the Slovenian said Saturday after her second victory in as many days.
The 26-year-old from Maribor hadn't stood on a World Cup podium in any ski discipline prior to her downhill double here.
Sunday's super-G concludes the Audi FIS World Cup in Lake Louise. With another win, Stuhec can join Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. as the only women to sweep all three races.
Vonn, the winningest woman at Lake Louise with 18 victories, is absent because of a broken arm suffered in training last month.
Saturday's downhill was 543 metres shorter in length and 107 metres less in vertical drop than the previous day's opener.
With snow flurries in the forecast, the start was lowered to the men's super-G start hut.
An early start number was an advantage, however. Falling snow softened the course and hampered visibility as the race progressed.
Stuhec and bronze medallist Edit Miklos of Hungary were among the first five women down the mountain. Silver medallist Lara Gut of Switzerland had start bib No. 9.
"I was lucky I had sun," Gut said. "It's a little bit of a problem we have in Lake Louise. The weather changes way too fast.
"Sometimes it would be better to have just one downhill, but I will take this podium. It's the first time I'm on the podium in downhill, which is great."
Gut, the overall World Cup champion last season, won super-G in both 2013 and 2014 and is thus a favourite for Sunday's race.
The only women outside the top 30 starters who generated enough speed in slow conditions to finish in the top 20 were Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. in 13th and Valerie Grenier of Mont-Tremblant, Que., in 16th.
"I was hoping for a top 20 and I got it," Grenier said. "The conditions were not ideal. There was a lot of snow in my face, but I was still able to think about what I wanted to do the whole way down.
"I didn't let that mess with my head."
Stuhec's time on the abbreviated course was one minute 24.95 seconds. Gut was .11 back and Miklos was .43 slower.
"Winning yesterday was really nice, but on the video later in the afternoon, I still found some mistakes or some parts that I should ski better, which I tried to do today," Stuhec said.
Grenier, the reigning world junior downhill champion, finished 1.68 seconds behind Stuhec. The Canadian turned 20 in October, yet is the most experienced downhiller on a young host team.
Toronto's Candace Crawford, 22, and 19-year-old developmental team skier Stefanie Fleckenstein of Whistler, B.C., placed 47th and 48th respectively in the second downhills of their career.
"I feel like I'm already getting more comfortable with the speed and attacking more at the high speed," Crawford said. "
"I think sometimes you're like 'are these two pieces of sticks going to hold me?' You're like 'that's what they're built for.' You've got to trust in your equipment and yourself."
Mikaela Tommy of Wakefield, Que., didn't start for a second straight day because of a sore back. Fleckenstein admitted she was a bit thrown when the start was lowered.
"Changing the start location was a bit of a change in my plan because I'd really worked on what I was going to do up top," Fleckenstein said. "I did what I could with what I was given.
"I'm really excited I got this experience on the hill."