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Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards, fourth after the first run, dropped five spots in the second run Saturday in Are, Sweden, to finish ninth in the last slalom before the World Cup Finals.
Shiffrin’s closest pursuer in the overall World Cup chase, Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, dropped from second to fourth in a race won by Katharina Liensberger of Austria.
Vlhova, the defending overall champion, picked up 50 points in the overall chase, and Shiffrin gained 29, meaning the Edwards racer, who turns 27 on Sunday, will head into the finals with a 56-point lead over Vlhova.
Shiffrin is chasing an American record-tying fourth overall title — the same number former Vail resident Lindsey Vonn won in her illustrious career.
Vlhova, the gold medalist in slalom from the recent Beijing Winter Olympics, has won five slaloms this season. Shiffrin, the gold medalist in slalom from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, has won the other two slalom races contested this season.
At next week’s World Cup Finals in Courchevel and Meribel, France , all four disciplines will be contested — slalom, giant slalom, downhill and super-G.