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Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards finished just off the podium in fourth Sunday in a World Cup giant slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, picking up 50 valuable points in the overall chase as her closest pursuer, Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, skied out and was a DNF in the first run.
Shiffrin was second after the first run but saw Tessa Worley of France and Federica Brignone of Italy both put down superior second runs to take first and second respectively. Sara Hector of Sweden, the Olympic champion in GS and the leader after the first run, held on for third.
Shiffrin came into the weekend tied with defending overall champion Vlhova for this season’s big globe. She leaves with a 117-point lead (1,156 to 1,039) after finishing second in Saturday’s super-G in which Vlhova was 18th. The women have now skied in 30 races with just six individual events left on the calendar.
The women’s circuit now heads to Are, Sweden, for a giant slalom and a slalom March 11-12, followed by every discipline at the World Cup Finals March 14-20 at Courchevel/Meribel, France.
Shiffrin appeared to ski more cautiously in her second run on Sunday, according to the Associated Press, in what may have been a bid to protect those crucial points in the overall chase.
Shiffrin is seeking her American record-tying fourth overall World Cup globe (a mark held by former Vail resident Lindsey Vonn). Vlhova is the defending overall champion.
The overall globe, the largest awarded each season, goes to the skier who accumulates the most points in all the disciplines throughout the full season. It’s the trophy for the most consistency, diversity and best results on traditionally the world’s best courses all season long, not just a two-week window at a non-traditional venue for the Olympics.
Lenzerheide marked the first races for Shiffrin after a disappointing Beijing Games saw her come away with no Olympic medals to add to the two golds and one silver she’s earned in previous Olympics.
Here’s the press release on Sunday’s GS from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team:
Mikaela Shiffrin led two Americans into the top 10 of the Lenzerheide, Switzerland giant slalom on Sunday, March 6, finishing fourth overall. Her teammate, Paula Moltzan, finished 10th.
Shiffrin skied the second-fastest first run, trailing Sweden’s Sara Hector by a mere 0.11 seconds. Unfortunately, a couple of slow turns her second run pushed her out of podium position and into fourth. Shiffrin reported that the course didn’t feel clean at some gates, and she subsequently felt like she was fighting to regain time through the finish.
“It was hard to get [time] back, but it’s not so difficult to lose time,” said Shiffrin. “It’s a big fight with these other women that are pushing really hard.”
France’s Tessa Worley ended the day in first, followed by Federica Brignone in second and Hector in third. Hector remains at the top of the giant slalom standings, 111 points ahead of Shiffrin, who sits in third.
AJ Hurt also punched into the point-scoring range, finishing 26th overall. Keely Cashman also started for the Americans but did not finish her first run.
Shiffrin’s fourth-place finish allowed her to widen the gap ahead of Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova in the fight for the overall crystal globe. She maintains the lead with 1,156 points overall and ranks second in slalom, third in giant slalom, and fourth in super-G. Vlhova, who crashed out in the day’s giant slalom, maintains her overall points at 1,039.
With six races left in the season, the fight for the overall Crystal Globe continues.
“It’s not the end, for sure,” said Shiffrin. “There are plenty of races left, and this was very abnormal for [Petra] today. I doubt she will do that again. It will be a strong fight right to the last race, and I take nothing for granted. And I know she’s going to come back motivated and fighting.”
The women’s tech team will return to race another giant slalom in Are, Sweden, on Friday, March 11.
HOW TO WATCH
*All times EST
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
11:45 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s slalom, run 1 – LIVE, Flachau, AUT, Ski World Cup Live, Streaming Peacock
2:45 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s slalom, run 2 – LIVE, Flachau, AUT, Ski World Cup Live, Streaming Peacock
Friday, March 11, 2022
9:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Giant Slalom, run 1 – LIVE, Are, SWE, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
12:00 p.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Giant Slalom, run 2 – LIVE, Are, SWE, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
Saturday, March 12, 2022
2:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom, run 1 – LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
3:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Slalom, run 1 – LIVE, Are, SWE, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom, run 2 – LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
6:45 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Slalom, run 2 – LIVE, Are, SWE, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
Sunday, March 13, 2022
3:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom, run 1 – LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock
6:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom, run 2 – LIVE, Kranjska Gora, SLO, Streaming Peacock