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Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin, the defending overall World Cup champion, finished fifth in the season opener Saturday in Soelden, Austria. The race was won by Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany.
Here’s the press release from the U.S. Ski Team:
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 28, 2017) – Kicking off the Olympic season and 2017-18 FIS World Cup, Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) took fifth place at the annual giant slalom in Soelden, Austria.
Steep and relentless, the GS track was set tight and turny on the Rettenbach Glacier. Shiffrin sat in second place after first run and put it all on the line for second run. But a bobble on the pitch set her back and she couldn’t make up the time—dropping to fifth place.
“The biggest competition I have right now is with myself,” said Shiffrin after the race. “I feel really good with where my GS is right now. I’m disappointed because I didn’t make turns today like I know I can. I’m now looking forward to the next GS in Killington—that’s really a cool hill and it will be great to be racing again in the USA.”
Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany took the win in Soelden, with last year’s giant slalom crystal globe winner Tessa Worley of France just .14 seconds behind her in second. Manuela Moelgg of Italy was third.
Also skiing the Soelden giant slalom was Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.), racing in Soelden for the first time since 2012. A speed skier by trade—it had been 637 days since her last giant slalom race—she was happy to have her first start of the season. “It was nice to get a start in,” said Vonn, who did not qualify for second run. “I’m always really nervous in the first race. It was good to get that out of the way and now I’m ready for Lake Louise.”
Foreste Peterson (Squaw Valley, Calif.)—who was racing her first World Cup—and Megan McJames (Park City, Utah) also did not qualify for the second run.
The World Cup weekend will finish Sunday with Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) making his comeback after back surgery in January. He’s won in Soelden four times and has podiumed seven times. See how to watch the race here.