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, 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.
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.
Men’s giant slalom