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Hansdotter finally gets a win, as Shiffrin lets one go


SKI ALPIN - FIS WC Kranjska Gora, Slalom, Damen

Frida Hansdotter in Kranjska Gora (GEPA/Michael Riedler)

With three-tenths of a second lead after the first run, Mikaela Shiffrin went into the afternoon as the clear favorite in Sunday’s World Cup slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. She’s typically able to seal the deal under those conditions, but with an uncharacteristic mistake prior to the first split, the second run was over as quickly as it began for the 18-year-old.

Early on a snowy course (the GS was canceled Saturday), Shiffrin hit the bottom of a rut head-on and was dramatically thrown forward over the front of the skis. She then entered a flush on a flatter section of the course where she had to pole to regenerate speed. By the next split, Shiffrin had lost more than seven-tenths to Frida Hansdotter. The mistake seemed to rattle the American as she lost another three-tenths on her way to a seventh-place finish.

“You know what? It was tough,” said Shiffrin. “But Frida went right before me and she did it, so it’s definitely hard and you have to be athletic. You really have to go for it and not let any little gate trip you up, just let your skis go down the hill. I didn’t quite do it on every gate that run so it cost me the lead.”

“It was a tough day,” Hansdotter concurred. “Conditions (were) really soft in the first run, a bit less in the second. I did my best, and it feels really good to have my first victory. I have always been really happy about my second places. I knew I could ski really fast and my day would come.”

For Hansdotter, whose coach set the second run, the win is a long time coming. The 28-year-old Swede has finished runner-up in eight World Cup slalom races, several of which were behind Shiffrin.

“It’s a dream come true, it’s amazing (to) also ski good when it’s this hard and difficult conditions. I always have problems when it’s a little bit softer… so I’m really satisfied with my run and so happy,” said Hansdotter after the win. “I have had a great season so far and earning my first victory just before going home for some training and then to the Olympics, that is just ideal.”

With a 144-point lead heading into the day, Shiffrin was mathematically in contention to lock up a second straight World Cup slalom title Sunday — a handful of her key rivals, Hansdotter included, would have needed to miss the podium. Instead, the slalom standings heat up with two races on the World Cup calendar remaining: Shiffrin still holds an 80-point lead.

The Austrian Schild sisters rounded out the podium — the older of the two, Marlies, snatching up second as Bernadette, who improved from 10th after the first run, finished third. The younger sister, 24, had a couple bobbles in her second effort, but that was par for the course, and she managed to let the skis run toward the bottom for a fast time. Marlies, racing against the pace set by her kid sister, enjoyed nearly a full-second advantage out of the start. She gradually lost time throughout her run but managed to hang on to the final tenth for a second-place result.

Hansdotter was the first and only racer to gain time at the top of her second run over Bernadette Schild. She hit the steeps and nearly went back over the tails of her skis on a delay gate, but managed a beautiful recovery for the win.

Canadian Erin Mielzynski, who was sixth after the first run, dropped back to 14th but still posted her best result of the season.

“I’m really happy with my first run. It’s definitely a confidence builder going into Sochi,” Mielzynski said. “The biggest thing for me is that it felt normal. I’ve been training well this year, but one of the big things I’ve been looking at is minimizing my mistakes and making sure that if I make a mistake it’s less costly. In my first run today I made a few small mistakes, but I was able to keep a good rhythm going, and when I got to the bottom it felt good and like my timing was on.” She continued, “I’m definitely disappointed in my second run. I held back, for sure. The snow was so tough that I just didn’t really go for it. But I can take a lot of positives out of today, especially since it was so close between first and 15th place.”

Resi Stiegler, who will be on her way to Sochi this week, was the second-best American, missing second-run qualification in 31st position by just three-hundredths of a second. Brittany Phelan of Canada produced her third scoring result of the season, finishing in the points in 24th.

 

The Scoop

By Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup slalom, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Feb. 2, 2014

Equipment – Skier, skis/boots/bindings

1 Hansdotter, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

2 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

3 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

4 Noens, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon

5 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

6 Swenn-Larsson, Head/Head/Head

7 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

8 Costazza, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

9 Strachova, Head/Head/Head

9 Holdener, Head/Head/Head

Women’ World Cup slalom, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Feb. 2, 2014. … It is the 23rd of 32 races on the women’s schedule. … The sixth of eight slated slaloms. … it is the 79th World Cup race hosted at Kranjska Gora… the first women’s slalom since 2012.

It is the first career World Cup win for Frida Hansdotter, though she has registered eight second-place finishes, all in slalom and two of them this season. … She is the 16th Swede to win a World Cup slalom.

It is the 70th World Cup podium result for Marlies Schild… her third at Kranjska Gora.

It is the third career World Cup podium for Bernadette Schild… her second of the season, all in slalom.

It is the 27th World Cup top 10 for Mikaela Shiffrin in 33 completed races. … Erin Mielzynski matches her ninth best career World Cup finish. … It is her best finish of the season. … It is the seventh best of ten World Cup scoring results for Brittany Phelan.

Maria Hoefl-Riesch (23rd in race) leads the World Cup overall standings 1071-943 over Tina Weirather (did not race). … Anna Fenninger (did not race) is third with 871pts. … Mikaela Shiffrin is sixth with 650pts. … Marie-Michele Gagnon (DNF) is ninth with 453pts.

Shiffrin leads the slalom standings 438-358 over Hansdotter. … Marlies Schild is third wth 325pts. … Gagnon is fourth with 206pts.

Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 4200-2306 over Switzerland. … Sweden is third with 1936pts. … The U.S. is sixth at 1366pts and Canada tenth with 742pts.

 

Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  5  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE  54.62  55.55  1:50.17    0.00
 2  4  55590 SCHILD Marlies 1981 AUT  54.96  55.26  1:50.22  +0.05  0.28
 3  8  56032 SCHILD Bernadette 1990 AUT  55.80  54.52  1:50.32  +0.15  0.84
 4  20  196806 NOENS Nastasia 1988 FRA  56.13  54.28  1:50.41  +0.24  1.35
 5  1  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria 1986 SWE  54.94  55.52  1:50.46  +0.29  1.63
 6  12  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna 1991 SWE  55.08  55.72  1:50.80  +0.63  3.55
 7  3  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  54.31  56.58  1:50.89  +0.72  4.05
 8  23  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara 1984 ITA  56.61  54.32  1:50.93  +0.76  4.28
 9  17  155415 STRACHOVA Sarka 1985 CZE  55.93  55.04  1:50.97  +0.80  4.50
 9  9  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI  56.13  54.84  1:50.97  +0.80  4.50
 11  10  55690 HOSP Nicole 1983 AUT  56.10  54.89  1:50.99  +0.82  4.61
 12  25  515997 FEIERABEND Denise 1989 SUI  55.77  55.31  1:51.08  +0.91  5.12
 13  13  425771 LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR  56.18  54.96  1:51.14  +0.97  5.46
 14  19  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN  55.38  55.80  1:51.18  +1.01  5.68
 15  18  206279 GEIGER Christina 1990 GER  55.63  55.61  1:51.24  +1.07  6.02
 16  16  506350 EKLUND Nathalie 1992 SWE  56.06  55.23  1:51.29  +1.12  6.30
 17  24  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie 1992 SWE  56.67  54.63  1:51.30  +1.13  6.36
 18  26  205239 WIRTH Barbara 1989 GER  57.05  54.49  1:51.54  +1.37  7.71
 19  45  197319 BAUD Adeline 1992 FRA  57.43  54.22  1:51.65  +1.48  8.33
 20  39  206160 RIESCH Susanne 1987 GER  57.39  54.87  1:52.26  +2.09  11.76
 21  50  55898 BREM Eva-Maria 1988 AUT  57.55  54.73  1:52.28  +2.11  11.87
 22  28  206355 DUERR Lena 1991 GER  56.81  55.55  1:52.36  +2.19  12.32
 23  7  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria 1984 GER  55.69  56.73  1:52.42  +2.25  12.66
 24  29  107068 PHELAN Brittany 1991 CAN  57.40  55.19  1:52.59  +2.42  13.62
 25  21  55977 THALMANN Carmen 1989 AUT  57.12  55.53  1:52.65  +2.48  13.96
 26  42  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO  57.29  55.53  1:52.82  +2.65  14.91
Disqualified 2nd run
   27  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA          
   6  565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO          
Did not start 1st run
   76  85022 HARRISSON Maya 1992 BRA          
   75  685018 TSIKLAURI Nino 1993 GEO          
   22  55807 DAUM Alexandra 1986 AUT          
Did not qualify for 2nd run
   77  785007 JANUSKEVICIUTE Ieva 1994 LTU          
   74  555018 GASUNA Lelde 1990 LAT          
   70  225525 TILLEY Alexandra 1993 GBR          
   69  298270 GEYR Carmen 1992 ITA          
   66  705363 LUKACOVA Barbora 1990 SVK          
   65  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE          
   64  385041 NOVOSELIC Sofija 1990 CRO          
   63  485637 ALOPINA Ksenia 1992 RUS          
   62  565331 LAVTAR Katarina 1988 SLO          
   61  155728 DUBOVSKA Martina 1992 CZE          
   60  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA          
   59  298124 AGNELLI Nicole 1992 ITA          
   58  565401 BUCIK Ana 1993 SLO          
   57  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena 1990 SRB          
   56  65038 PERSYN Karen 1983 BEL          
   55  196725 BARIOZ Taina 1988 FRA          
   54  206487 WIESLER Maren 1993 GER          
   53  106183 TERWIEL Elli 1989 CAN          
   52  185317 SOPPELA Merle 1991 FIN          
   51  355040 NIGG Marina 1984 LIE          
   49  297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA          
   48  196179 BERTRAND Marion 1984 FRA          
   47  196793 MARMOTTAN Anemone 1988 FRA          
   46  206174 STABER Veronika 1987 GER          
   43  56258 AGER Christina 1995 AUT          
   41  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA          
   38  705423 VLHOVA Petra 1995 SVK          
   37  297851 AZZOLA Michela 1991 ITA          
   36  506664 FJAELLSTROEM Magdalena 1995 SWE          
   35  306096 HOSHI Mizue 1985 JPN          
   34  425887 LOESETH Mona 1991 NOR          
   33  506583 SAEFVENBERG Charlotta 1994 SWE          
   32  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN          
   31  515747 GISIN Dominique 1985 SUI          
Did not finish 2nd run
   14  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT          
   11  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin 1986 AUT          
Did not finish 1st run
   73  45216 CHRYSTAL Lavinia 1989 AUS          
   72  565428 BREZOVNIK Sasa 1995 SLO          
   71  35079 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen 1982 ARG          
   68  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA          
   67  565417 PLUT Eli 1994 SLO          
   44  297591 BENZONI Marta 1990 ITA          
   40  297233 PARDELLER Sarah 1988 ITA          
   30  516284 GISIN Michelle 1993 SUI          
   15  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja 1980 FIN          
   2  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN  
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