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Shiffrin third fastest in downhill training as World Cup Finals kick off in Courchevel, Meribel, France

March 14, 2022, 2:54 pm

Editor’s note: Shiffrin was first in downhill training on Tuesday, a full 1.44 seconds ahead of Vlhova in ninth, and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team on Tuesday confirmed she will race in Wednesday’s downhill. Olympic silver medalist Ryan Cochran-Siegle also was first in downhill training on Tuesday.

If she races in the downhill at the World Cup Finals in Courchevel, France, on Wednesday, Mikaela Shiffrin of Edwards looks to be in solid speed-event form as she tries to secure her American record-tying fourth overall World Cup title.

Mikaela Shiffrin

Shiffrin finished third in downhill training on Monday, just .40 seconds behind Romane Miradoli of France and just .03 seconds behind Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland.

Shiffrin’s closest pursuer in the overall hunt, defending overall champion Petra Vlhova of Slovakia, was a distant 23rd in downhill training, more than two seconds behind Shiffrin, who holds a 56-point edge over Vlhova in the overall chase.

The athletes in the top 25 in each discipline based on points qualify for the World Cup Finals, and both Shiffrin and Vlhova are not in the top 25 in downhill, which for the women will be contested on Wednesday, followed by the super-G on Thursday, the slalom on Saturday and the giant slalom on Sunday.

“Mikaela is not in the top 25 and does not qualify for downhill, but there is a rule that allows all athletes with 500-plus points in the overall standings to be able to compete in whatever events they choose to compete in, hence why Petra will likely ski in both super-G and downhill … and Mikaela will ski in downhill (if she chooses),” U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team spokesperson Megan Harrod explained in an email.

Shiffrin skipped a pair of downhills late last month in Crans Montana, Switzerland, to rest and recover after skiing in six events at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. Vlhova competed in the Crans Montana races and edged 17 points closer to Shiffrin in the hunt for the overall.

Shiffrin would tie former Vail resident Lindsey Vonn for the American record of four overall titles, which would still be two behind the all-time women’s record of six overall titles held by Austria’s Annemarie Proell.

The speed events of downhill and super-G will take place in Courchevel, while the tech events of slalom and GS will take place in Meribel this week.

For the U.S. men, Bryce Bennett (downhill), Ryan Cochran Siegle (downhill, super-G), Travis Ganong (downhill, super-G), River Radamus, also of Edwards, (giant slalom), and Luke Winters (slalom) have qualified.

For the women, Shiffrin (super-G, giant slalom, slalom) and Paula Moltzan (giant slalom, slalom) have qualified and will represent the U.S. Breezy Johnson also qualified in both super-G and downhill, but is injured.

The full schedule of this week’s World Cup Finals can be found here.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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