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Shiffrin’s first GS podium: 2nd in Beaver Creek


Mikaela Shiffrin in the finish area

Mikaela Shiffrin in the finish area

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — The U.S. women’s alpine team badly needed a good result today in Beaver Creek, and Mikaela Shiffrin certainly delivered it for the hometown crowd.

The 18-year-old from Eagle-Vail, Colo. (right down the road from the race hill) picked a good time to snag her first career GS podium, finishing second, on the lower part of the men’s Birds of Prey track.

Shiffrin couldn’t quite catch Sweden’s Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, who surprised the field with the fastest run of the morning and won the race by a mere nine-hundredths of a second. Lichtenstein’s Tina Weirather punched hard in the second run to find the final spot on the podium, while Maria Pietilae-Holmner, third in the first run, ultimately finished fourth.

“It has been a long time since I have been on the podium,” said Lindell-Vikarby, who won a super G at Garmisch in 2009. “I’m pleased to be up there again. I’ve been working hard to do really good results in GS. … It’s a new experience for me (to be in the lead) after the first run. … I just tried to breathe and relax and do my run.”

Prior to today, most observers agreed it was only a matter of time before Shiffrin, last season’s slalom champ, cracked onto the podium in GS.

“Winning is always tough at this level,” said Shiffrin. “This hill is my favorite hill. It feels so good to make good turns and to arc. … I’m obviously really happy with a podium.”

Racing against a complete World Cup field, it was the first time on the GS podium for all three racers. Shiffrin ran second to last, reflecting her first run finish. She provided a great show for the local fans, picking up 0.35 of the 0.44 deficit midway through the run, but wasn’t quite able to make up the final 0.09, which was the ultimate margin of victory for Lindell-Vikarby.

Asked what it will take to get a win in GS, Shiffrin said, “It takes (nine) hundredths. Every race, it takes something different. Sometimes you’re sick. Sometimes you’re tired. Sometimes there’s more pressure because it’s the home crowd.”

The day capped off a great weekend of racing for Weirather, who took second in the downhill on Friday. “It was always my goal to get a podium in giant slalom. I think it’s the most important discipline, so I’m very happy,” she said.

The big winner earlier in the week and pre-race favorite, Lara Gut, leaned in on the upper pitch and did not finish the first run.

It was also a strong day for the Canadian team who had three skiers qualify for the second run for the first time in a GS race in recent memory. Marie-Michele Gagnon cracked the top 10 in the first run and finished 13th on the day. She was quick to praise the favorable course conditions.

“The snow is perfect, it’s hero snow. I love that snow, it’s the kind of snow I’m good on,” noted Gagnon. “It’s anybody’s race today, like (Maria Pietlae-Holmner) coming from the back. … It’s kind of like Levi, anybody can do well. I love fair races like that.”

Gagnon’s teammate Marie-Pier Prefontaine made a power move in the second run to finish 9th. Slalom specialist Erin Mielzynski qualified for the second run in a giant slalom for the first time in her career and skied into 16th place.

“My biggest thing right now is figuring out how to race,” said Mielzynski. “I’m probably more excited than I should be. My goal is to stand on the podium with one or two other Canadians at some point in my career, so the leader box is the first step. It’s special because (Marie-Pier) said I think it’s the first time we’ve had three girls in the second run of GS since she made the team, and she was 16 then, so it’s pretty special.”

After squeaking into the flip, finishing 28th first run, Julia Mancuso missed a gate in her second run and did not finish.

See the photo gallery from the race here.

 

The Scoop

By Hank McKee

Women’s Giant Slalom, Beaver Creek, Colo., Dec. 1, 2013

Skier, skis/boots/bindings

1 Lindell-Vikarby, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

2 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

3 Weirather, Atomic/Tecnica/Atomic

4 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

5 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head

6 Marmottan, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

7 Brignone, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol

8 Mowinckel, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

9 Prefontaine, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

9 Worley, Rossignol/Rossignol

Women’s Giant Slalom, Beaver Creek, Colo., Dec. 1, 2013. … It is the fifth of 32 races on the women’s 2013-14 World Cup schedule, the second of eight slated giant slaloms. … It is the 53rd World Cup race hosted by Beaver Creek, the 12th GS and the first women’s GS. … Four of the 12 have been won by Americans. … It is the third and final women’s World Cup race at Beaver Creek this season.

It is the second career World Cup win for Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, the previous win in super G at Cortina d’Ampezzo Jan. 26, 2009. … It is the first GS win for Sweden since Anja Paerson at Ofterschwang Feb. 4, 2006.

It is the tenth World Cup podium result for Mikael Shiffrin. … Her first in GS. … She had never finished second in a World Cup race previously. It is her second podium of the season.

It is the ninth career World Cup podium result for Tina Weirather. … the second of the season. … and second at Beaver Creek having placed second in the DH Nov. 29.

Marie-Pier Prefontaine matches her career best World Cup placing, also in GS from Arber-Zwiesel Feb. 6, 2011. … Marie-Michele Gagnon matches her 23rd best career Cup result. … It is her second best GS result of the season in two races. … It is the first GS scoring result for Erin Mielzynski of 17 total World Cup results.

Lara Gut (DNF in race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 300-220 over Shiffrin. … Maria Hoefl-Riesch (5th in race) is third overall with 193pts. … Gagnon is the top Canadian in tenth with 91pts. … Lindell-Vikarby leads the GS standings after two races 132-120 over Shiffrin. … Weirather is third with 105pts. Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 725-587 over Switzerland. … Germany is third qirrh 407pts. … The U.S. is sixth at 269 and Canada tenth with 175pts.

 

Results — Women’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Beaver Creek

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  7  505632 LINDELL-VIKARBY Jessica 1984 SWE  1:06.69  1:11.23  2:17.92  0.00
 2  8  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  1:07.13  1:10.88  2:18.01  0.58
 3  29  355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE  1:07.62  1:10.86  2:18.48  3.61
 4  25  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria 1986 SWE  1:07.32  1:11.45  2:18.77  5.49
 5  13  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria 1984 GER  1:08.03  1:11.01  2:19.04  7.23
 6  19  196793 MARMOTTAN Anemone 1988 FRA  1:07.96  1:11.13  2:19.09  7.55
 7  10  297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA  1:08.20  1:10.98  2:19.18  8.13
 8  40  425929 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild 1992 NOR  1:08.08  1:11.20  2:19.28  8.78
 9  30  106825 PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier 1988 CAN  1:08.26  1:11.07  2:19.33  9.10
 9  3  196928 WORLEY Tessa 1989 FRA  1:07.97  1:11.36  2:19.33  9.10
 11  5  565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO  1:07.73  1:11.67  2:19.40  9.55
 12  34  425771 LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR  1:08.14  1:11.42  2:19.56  10.58
 13  18  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN  1:07.97  1:11.60  2:19.57  10.65
 14  23  295445 KARBON Denise 1980 ITA  1:08.20  1:11.68  2:19.88  12.65
 15  4  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin 1986 AUT  1:08.10  1:11.98  2:20.08  13.94
 16  57  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN  1:08.37  1:11.81  2:20.18  14.58
 17  14  55898 BREM Eva-Maria 1988 AUT  1:08.46  1:11.87  2:20.33  15.55
 18  37  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE  1:08.49  1:12.07  2:20.56  17.04
 19  16  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth 1981 AUT  1:08.80  1:11.86  2:20.66  17.68
 20  33  197319 BAUD Adeline 1992 FRA  1:08.29  1:12.47  2:20.76  18.33
 21  24  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja 1980 FIN  1:08.90  1:12.35  2:21.25  21.49
 22  52  297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca 1990 ITA  1:08.51  1:12.82  2:21.33  22.00
 23  67  565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO  1:08.71  1:12.81  2:21.52  23.23
 24  15  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE  1:08.85  1:12.78  2:21.63  23.94
Disqualified 2nd run
 27  196725 BARIOZ Taina 1988 FRA
Disqualified 1st run
 22  565268 DREV Ana 1985 SLO
Did not start 1st run
 71  375018 COLETTI Alexandra 1983 MON
 69  495318 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina 1981 SPA
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 70  175043 MOE-LANGE Yina 1993 DAN
 68  385092 KOMSIC Andrea 1996 CRO
 66  45331 SMALL Greta 1995 AUS
 64  35079 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen 1982 ARG
 63  485632 BEDAREVA Maria 1992 RUS
 62  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth 1991 NOR
 60  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA
 59  185317 SOPPELA Merle 1991 FIN
 58  206355 DUERR Lena 1991 GER
 56  305962 HANAOKA Moe 1984 JPN
 55  298084 AGERER Lisa Magdalena 1991 ITA
 53  206444 HOESL Simona 1992 GER
 51  516394 SUTER Jasmina 1995 SUI
 49  55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea 1985 AUT
 48  155699 PAULATHOVA Katerina 1993 CZE
 47  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA
 45  565331 LAVTAR Katarina 1988 SLO
 44  55977 THALMANN Carmen 1989 AUT
 43  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI
 42  505886 KLING Kajsa 1988 SWE
 41  297910 CURTONI Elena 1991 ITA
 39  197497 MIRADOLI Romane 1994 FRA
 38  196179 BERTRAND Marion 1984 FRA
 36  56125 PUCHNER Mirjam 1992 AUT
 31  56087 SIEBENHOFER Ramona 1991 AUT
 21  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT
 17  55818 KOEHLE Stefanie 1986 AUT
 12  515747 GISIN Dominique 1985 SUI
 9  296509 CURTONI Irene 1985 ITA
Did not finish 2nd run
 26  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA
 20  296729 FANCHINI Nadia 1986 ITA
 11  537545 MANCUSO Julia 1984 USA
 6  55947 FENNINGER Anna 1989 AUT
 1  205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria 1989 GER
Did not finish 1st run
 72  245066 MIKLOS Edit 1988 HUN
 65  197295 PIOT Jennifer 1992 FRA
 61  435210 GASIENICA- GLADCZAN Agnieszka 1987 POL
 54  107532 TOMMY Mikaela 1995 CAN
 50  515766 SUTER Fabienne 1985 SUI
 46  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA
 35  298323 GOGGIA Sofia 1992 ITA
 32  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN
 28  206367 HRONEK Veronique 1991 GER
 2  516138 GUT Lara 1991 SUI
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