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Shiffrin skis out with just 6 gates remaining and a sizable lead, winds up 27th

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January 28, 2018, 8:23 am

EagleVail’s Mikaela Shiffrin saw her six-race winning streak in slalom snapped Sunday when she skied off course with just six gates left and a sizable lead in the second run of a World Cup slalom at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova got the surprise win, followed by Frida Hansdotter of Sweden and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.

Shiffrin appeared to lose her rhythm in the last six, relatively straight gates. She was listed as a DNF but then hiked back up and slowly finished 14 seconds behind a stunned Vlhova. Shiffrin wound up 27th.
Sunday’s race was the final World Cup slalom before next months Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The defending Olympic slalom champion, Shiffrin won the first five World Cup races of 2018 but is now winless in the last six races she’s entered, finishing seventh in Saturday’s giant slalom at Lenzerheide.
Shiffrin has won 10 World Cup race so far this season, and still holds a large lead in the chase for her second overall World Cup title.
Shiffrin has said she’ll skip the final World Cup events before the Olympics — speed races set for Garmisch next week — in order to head to South Korea, acclimate and train before the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Shiffrin has previously discussed winning medals in multiple disciplines at Pyeongchang. She’ll be a heavy favorite in the tech events of slalom and giant slalom, and she’ll also have a shot in the combined and the speed events of super-G and downhill.
Shiffrin won a downhill earlier this season at Lake Louise, Canada, but has never won in super-G. She’ll also be trying to become the first American woman to ever win two or more Olympic gold medals in alpine skiing.
On the men’s side, only Ted Ligety has accomplished the feat (gold in combined at 2006 Torino Olympics, gold in GS at 2014 Sochi Olympics. Although winless so far this season as he rebounds from injuries the past two years, Ligety climbed onto a podium for the first time in Garmisch on Sunday.
No American man has won a World Cup so far this season. The alpine team collectively has 12 wins — 10 by Shiffrin and two by Vail’s Lindsey Vonn, who’s also trying to join Ligety’s one man double-gold club. Vonn won gold in downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics but missed 2014 Sochi due to injuries.
Vonn did not race in Saturday’s GS or Sunday’s slalom, but finished fourth in Friday’s combined race, turning in the fastest time in the super-G portion of the event.
Here’s a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team release on Shiffrin’s race:
It looked like Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) was going to take her seventh FIS World Cup slalom win of the season in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, but made a mistake just before the finish and had to hike.

Shiffrin, who would have clinched the slalom World Cup crystal globe with a win or a second-place finish, led after first run by over six-tenths of a second. She built on the lead throughout her second run to over a second, but with the finish line in sight, Shiffrin made a mistake and couldn’t keep her line. She finished 27th.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia won the race, with Frida Hansdotter of Sweden in second and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland in third. Resi Stiegler (Jackson, Wyo.) was the only other American in the second run, and finished 18th.

Shiffrin now takes a well-deserved break before the PyeongChang Olympics. Stiegler will race the Stockholm city event on Tuesday.

RESULTS
Women’s slalom

And here’s a release on Ligety’s giant slalom result:
In the giant slalom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) stepped back on the podium in third place.

With nearly two years off due to injury, Ligety has struggled to put two clean runs together this season in his return to the FIS World Cup circuit. But after a solid training block with teammates Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.) in Italy prior to Garmisch, Ligety was ready for action and crushed two strong runs in front of the cheering German fans. He finished third behind Austrian teammates Marcel Hirscher and Manuel Feller.

“It’s been really nice to finally be back on the podium,” said Ligety, whose last podium was at Beaver Creek in 2015. “It’s been a tough battle the last couple of years here with injuries and it’s nice to feel like I’m starting to ski better.”

Ligety has had success in Garmisch in the past—this was his third World Cup podium at the venue and he holds a gold from their 2011 World Championships. But the podium isn’t quite enough for Ligety, who is looking for his third Olympic gold next month. “There’s still some things to do,” Ligety continued. “It’s nice that we have a couple of weeks here before the giant slalom at the Olympics, so we can figure out those next steps. We’re still a little bit off and I have to find that next step and be really fast. I’m not going to sit here and be psyched on this—I’m going to move forward and keep working.”

Behind Ligety, Tim Jitloff (Reno, Nev.) finished 20th and Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) was 27th.

The U.S. men will not race in the Stockholm city event on Tuesday, and will instead train for the PyeongChang Olympics in two weeks. Downhill training starts February 8.

RESULTS
Men’s giant slalom

 

 

 

 

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