Mikaela Shiffrin smoked the lower third of the second run to pick up her third win of the season, third of her career, under the flood lights in Flachau, Austria Tuesday.
It was shaping up to be a close call for the 17-year-old, who in the first run finished runner-up to Maria Hoefl-Riesch by more than half a second. Midway through the course, the German was on pace to pick up her first win — her first podium for that matter — since the slalom opener at Levi in November.
Hoefl-Riesch had increased her lead by another half-second before the first intermediate, but Shiffrin wasn’t nearly as fast up top as she was on the bottom. Halfway through the run, Hoefl-Riesch’s lead was moving in the wrong direction — it was 0.66 seconds at the second split. But moments later she clipped a gate, ending her day and awarding another victory to the American.
Watching from the base, Shiffrin expected to be settling for second on the day.
“My first run, it took a little while to find a rhythm, but I felt like it was really solid skiing. I was just trying to be as quick as I possibly can. I think Maria, she was charging. … I think everyone knows who would have won if she had finished. She was charging, I guess that happens sometimes. I want to pay her my respects — she skied beautifully today.”
Shiffrin, who finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 51.45 seconds, is the exact same age (17 years, 308 days) as was Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell when she won her third race. Moser-Proell ended up with a record 62 World Cup wins.
As for her season, Shiffrin continues to pinch herself. “It’s still unbelievable,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going on. I cannot believe this year is going so well for me. I’m having a lot of fun.”
For the third time this season, Shiffrin was joined on the podium by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, who skied a clean and smooth second run to finish second, while Finland’s Tanja Poutiainen rounded out the podium in third.
After an awesome top 10 result in Zagreb less than two weeks ago, American Resi Stiegler had a tough outing, finishing the first run 40th and missing the flip.
With the win, Shiffrin was able to increase her lead in the World Cup slalom standings. With three slalom races remaining on the calendar, Shiffrin sits 81 points ahead of Tina Maze, who finished fifth at the night race Tuesday. Veronika Velez Zuzulova sits in third, 131 points back. Shiffrin also stacks up fifth in the Overall standings, a few points ahead her teammate Lindsey Vonn who did not enter that race.
The women’s World Cup resumes this weekend at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, where a downhill and a super G are set to take place, weather permitting, on the legendary Olimpia Tofana run. The first training run, planned for Thursday, has already been cancelled due to bad weather in the forecast.
Story by Geoff Mintz
Photos by GEPA
by Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup (night) Slalom, Flachau, Austria, Jan. 15, 2013
1 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Hansdotter, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Poutiainen, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
4 Swenn-Larsson, Head/Head/Head
5 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
6 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Zahrobska, Head/Head/Head
9 Gisin, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Mielzynski, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Women’s World Cup (night) Slalom, Flachau, Austria, Jan. 15, 2013. … It is the 39th race of the 2012-13 World Cup schedule. … The 22nd of 38 events on the women’s schedule (21st held) and the sixth of nine scheduled women’s slaloms (plus two city event parallel head-to-head races which count for slalom points). … It is the 20th Cup race hosted by Flachau, the ninth women’s race. … It is the 12th slalom hosted by Flachau and seventh for women. … The first Cup race at Flachau was a women’s super G in 1993. … No US skier has(d) ever won at Flachau. … Canadian Thomas Grandi won a GS Dec. 21, 2004 at the site.
It is the third career World Cup win for Mikaela Shiffrin all of them coming this season and all in slalom. … In nine completed races this season she has always finished in the top 10. … It is the 13th World Cup win of the season for the US. … 254th all time. … She matches Holly Flanders, Bill Johnson, Hilary Lindh, Judy Nagel, Barbara Cochran, Marilyn Cochran and Julie Parisien for 14th on the US all-time Cup win list. … She is the first American to win at Flachau.
It is the fifth career World Cup podium for Frida Hansdotter. … All of them second place finishes and all coming in slalom. … It is her third second place finish of the season, all of them behind Shiffrin.
It is the 48th career World Cup podium for Tanja Poutiainen. … the 28th in slalom. … It is her third Cup podium scored at Flachau, including the win Jan. 11, 2011. … She has also finished fourth at Flachau twice. … It is her second Cup podium of the season, the previous a second in slalom at Levi Nov. 10.
It is fifth career Cup top 10 result for Erin Mielzynski. … her fourth of the season, three in slalom and one in the Munich city event. … It is a career best Cup finish for Elli Terwiel, her previous best 23rd, score twice, in Courchevel Dec. 17, 2011 and Dec. 29, 2012 at Semmering.
Tina Maze (fifth in race) holds the lead of the World Cup Overall standings 1334-744 over Maria Hoefl-Riesch (2nd run DNF). … Kathrin Zettel (1st run DNF) is third with 597pts. … Shiffrin is fifth overall at 526pts, Lindsey Vonn (did not race) is sixth with 504pts and Julia Mancuso (did not race) eighth with 447pts. … Marie-Michele Gagnon (1st run DNF) is the top Canadian overall in 18th with 225pts. … Shiffrin maintains the lead of the Cup slalom standings 436-355 over Maze. … Veronika Velez Zuzulova (1st run DNF) is third with 305pts. … Mielzynski is ninth with 177pts. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 2862-2170 over the US. … Germany is third with 1702pts. … Canada ninth with 531pts.
FIS World Cup
Jan. 15, 2013
|Rank||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG|
|SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika||1984||SVK|