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It was a terrible weekend of tech for Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia — a rare podium miss in Saturday’s giant slalom followed by an even more rare DNF in slalom on Sunday.
In third after the first run with a time of 51.74 seconds, Shiffrin was just .17 behind chief rival Petra Vlhova of Slovakia and .25 behind perennial runner-up Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, who seemed poised to possibly get her first ever World Cup slalom win in her 100th try.
Laying down a blistering second run, Shiffrin straddled a gate and did not finish a slalom for the first time in nearly four years on the circuit — the last time coming in the final slalom before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are just weeks away — scheduled to start on Feb. 4.
Vlhova won for the fifth time in six slalom races this season, denying Holdener her first win and edging much closer to Shiffrin in the overall chase. Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden rounded out the podium in third on Sunday.
Shiffrin leads defending overall champion Vlhova 866 points to 831 as the American seeks a U.S. record-tying fourth overall title — a mark held by former Vail resident Lindsey Vonn.
Shiffrin admitted she missed training time during a recent bout with COVID-19 that also forced her to miss two races.
Next up for the women is a slalom in Schladming, Austria, that replaces a race in Flachau due to lack of snow. Kranjska Gora, typically a men’s venue, replaced races in Maribor due to a lack of snow.