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Shiffrin repeats as Snow Space Princess


Shiffrin in Flachau (GEPA/Christian Walgram)

Shiffrin in Flachau (GEPA/Christian Walgram)

When Mikaela Shiffrin heads into the second run with nearly a full second advantage over the rest of the field, suspense is at a minimum. But it’s slalom; anything can happen.

The 18-year-old picked up her third win of the season at the Flachau night event in Austria. Shiffrin tore up the first run, taking a 0.90-second advantage over the rest of the field. It was nearly flawless.

She made a few errors in her second run; however, they were nothing from which she couldn’t recover to hold on to the lead. Shiffrin ultimately finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 45.83 seconds, just more than eight-tenths faster than the field.

“The first run I really let it go and gave myself a little bit of a cushion for the second run,” said Shiffrin. “I saw Frida (Hansdotter) and Marlies (Schild) ski the first run and I thought I don’t know if I can beat that,” added Shiffrin. “So, I just tried from the very beginning to ski as fast as I could. … Second run, I had a couple moves where I kind of hit the rut, and I was like, ‘No! Just stay in the course!’ So, I was really psyched with that.”

Shiffrin said after the race the first run was “some of her best skiing.”

In second place, Frida Hansdotter, skiing a straight line, was actually able to pick up a few tenths on the American in the second lap. For the Swede, it’s remarkably her eighth-career second-place result — the win still eludes her. Hansdotter was joined on the podium by teammate Maria Pietilae-Holmner, who was quick out of the start and finished strong to snatch up the lead from the Austrians.

“The two Swedish girls, Maria and Frida, they really fought the second run,” said Shiffrin. “I think every victory is special. It always means something if the conditions are tough or whatever it is — it’s always nice to be on top.”

Conditions were actually warmer for second run, which was held in wet snow and rain with tough visibility due to mist and fog up high (kind of like New England).

The other story of the day was the domestic shootout among the Austrian women — at least six of them vying for four Olympic slalom spots. The Schild sisters, Marlies and Bernadette, as well as Michaela Kirchgasser, Nicole Hosp, Kathrin Zettel and Carmen Thalmann are all in contention for an invite.

Kirchgasser and Hosp, who charged from 15th place after the first run, certainly made statements and helped their cause, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Meanwhile, Marlies, third after the first run, got late and twisted up in the second run. She wound up in the snow as result but was able to finish. Bernadette was also faster the first time through; she finished 11th on the day.

Tour leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch continued her consistent skiing. She was very much in the hunt, tied for third, after the first run, but lost some of her pace later in the evening and dropped back to fourth. It was certainly enough, however, to increase her lead in the overall standings over Anna Fenninger and Tina Weirather, both of whom of course did not race. With the win, Shiffrin now sits atop the slalom standings with 402 points over Hansdotter (258) and Marlies Schild (245).

For the Canadians, Marie-Michèle Gagnon racked up her ninth top-10 result of the season with a 10th-place finish, while her teammate Erin Mielzynski finished 21st. It was the final ladies’ slalom World Cup race before the Canadian Olympic team qualification window closes.

Gagnon, who this weekend earned her first-ever World Cup win, had a tough first run, but bounced back in the second: “I’m glad I got the experience of starting first out of the way. I didn’t really know how to gauge things and once I got to the bottom I knew I should have been way more aggressive.

“The result ended up being not too bad – 10th place,” added Gagnon, who’s been racing a busy five-discipline schedule this season. “I’m somewhat satisfied with that but I know I can do better. There are always a lot of positives in every run and every race and I’m learning every time. My progression is slow but deadly.”

Mielzynski wasn’t pleased with her result: “I’m just really disappointed with how I skied the bottom and how many mistakes I made. I’m tired of coming down and seeing the numbers that I see and not being fast.”

For the Americans, Resi Stiegler and Paula Moltzan also raced, but did not qualify for the top 30 final run.

See more photos from the race in our gallery

 

The Scoop

By Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup slalom, Flachau, Austria, Jan 14, 2014

1 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

2 Hansdotter, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

3 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

4 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head

5 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

6 Hosp, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

7 Loeseth, Volkl/Fischer/Marker

8 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

8 Holdener, Head/Head/Head

10 Gagnon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

Women’s World Cup slalom, Flachau, Austria, Jan 14, 2014. … It is the 20th of 32 races on the women’s World Cup schedule. … The fifth of eight scheduled slaloms. … It is the 20th World Cup race hosted at Flachau…. the 13th slalom. … Mikaela Shiffrin is defending race champion.

It is the seventh career World Cup win for Mikaela Shiffrin. … Her third win of the season, all in slalom. … It is the fifth U.S. win of the season and the 264th in World Cup history. … Shiffrin is fourth all-time for slalom wins among U.S. skiers, 2nd among women behind Tamara McKinney’s nine.

It is the eighth career World Cup podium for Frida Hansdotter. … all of them second place finishes and all in slalom. … She also finished second to Shiffrin at Flachau last season. … It is her second podium of the season.

It is the seventh World Cup podium result for Maria Pietilae-Holmner, her third podium of the season and second in slalom.

It is the 26th career World Cup top 10 for Marie-Michele Gagnon… her ninth of the season. … It is the 20th career scoring finish for Erin Mielzynski… her fourth of the season.

Maria Hoefl-Riesch (fourth in race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 781-709 over Anna Fenninger (did not race). … Tina Weirather (did not race) is third with 673pts. … Shiffrin is fourth overall with 614pts. … Gagnon leads Canada overall in seventh place with 453pts.

Shiffrin extends her lead of the slalom stanings to 402-258 over Hansdotter. … Marlies Schild (26th in race) is third with 245pts. … Gagnon is fourth with 206pts.

Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 3291-1831 over Switzerland. … Sweden is third with 1649pts. … The U.S. is sixth at 1030 and Canada seventh with 717pts.

 

Results 

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  5  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  51.72  54.11  1:45.83  0.00
 2  3  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE  52.81  53.85  1:46.66  4.86
 3  7  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria 1986 SWE  53.03  53.94  1:46.97  6.68
 4  6  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria 1984 GER  52.62  54.61  1:47.23  8.20
 5  12  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT  53.28  54.10  1:47.38  9.08
 6  15  55690 HOSP Nicole 1983 AUT  54.01  53.81  1:47.82  11.66
 7  16  425771 LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR  53.79  54.19  1:47.98  12.60
 8  11  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin 1986 AUT  53.49  54.50  1:47.99  12.65
 8  8  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI  53.79  54.20  1:47.99  12.65
 10  1  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN  53.80  54.21  1:48.01  12.77
 11  9  56032 SCHILD Bernadette 1990 AUT  53.33  54.69  1:48.02  12.83
 12  4  565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO  53.16  54.89  1:48.05  13.01
 13  22  55977 THALMANN Carmen 1989 AUT  53.70  54.47  1:48.17  13.71
 14  14  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna 1991 SWE  54.09  54.10  1:48.19  13.83
 15  17  155415 STRACHOVA Sarka 1985 CZE  53.86  54.50  1:48.36  14.82
 16  40  516284 GISIN Michelle 1993 SUI  54.12  54.46  1:48.58  16.11
 17  23  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara 1984 ITA  54.55  54.04  1:48.59  16.17
 18  13  506350 EKLUND Nathalie 1992 SWE  53.77  54.90  1:48.67  16.64
 19  33  425887 LOESETH Mona 1991 NOR  54.40  54.37  1:48.77  17.22
 20  10  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja 1980 FIN  53.72  55.17  1:48.89  17.93
 21  19  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN  54.10  54.99  1:49.09  19.10
 22  35  506664 FJAELLSTROEM Magdalena 1995 SWE  55.17  54.19  1:49.36  20.68
 23  32  506583 SAEFVENBERG Charlotta 1994 SWE  54.89  54.48  1:49.37  20.74
 24  49  206174 STABER Veronika 1987 GER  54.37  55.92  1:50.29  26.13
 25  26  515997 FEIERABEND Denise 1989 SUI  55.10  55.26  1:50.36  26.54
 26  2  55590 SCHILD Marlies 1981 AUT  52.81  58.86  1:51.67  34.21
Disqualified 2nd run
   21  55807 DAUM Alexandra 1986 AUT        
Disqualified 1st run
   72  297171 FANCHINI Sabrina 1988 ITA        
Did not qualify for 2nd run
   74  35089 SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena 1984 ARG        
   70  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA        
   69  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE        
   68  385041 NOVOSELIC Sofija 1990 CRO        
   67  485637 ALOPINA Ksenia 1992 RUS        
   66  516344 KOPP Rahel 1994 SUI        
   65  196725 BARIOZ Taina 1988 FRA        
   64  155728 DUBOVSKA Martina 1992 CZE        
   63  196179 BERTRAND Marion 1984 FRA        
   61  206487 WIESLER Maren 1993 GER        
   60  435189 KLUS Aleksandra 1986 POL        
   57  185317 SOPPELA Merle 1991 FIN        
   55  55898 BREM Eva-Maria 1988 AUT        
   54  206408 WEINBUCHNER Susanne 1991 GER        
   53  297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA        
   52  107044 IRWIN Madison 1991 CAN        
   50  196793 MARMOTTAN Anemone 1988 FRA        
   48  197319 BAUD Adeline 1992 FRA        
   46  56258 AGER Christina 1995 AUT        
   45  305962 HANAOKA Moe 1984 JPN        
   43  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO        
   42  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA        
   41  195972 AUBERT Sandrine 1982 FRA        
   39  539909 MOLTZAN Paula 1994 USA        
   38  206160 RIESCH Susanne 1987 GER        
   36  297851 AZZOLA Michela 1991 ITA        
   31  305944 KIYOSAWA Emiko 1983 JPN        
   30  107068 PHELAN Brittany 1991 CAN        
   28  206355 DUERR Lena 1991 GER        
Did not finish 2nd run
   56  355040 NIGG Marina 1984 LIE        
   24  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie 1992 SWE        
   20  196806 NOENS Nastasia 1988 FRA        
Did not finish 1st run
   73  225518 GUEST Charlotte 1993 GBR        
   71  25096 GUTIERREZ Mireia 1988 AND        
   62  206536 WALLNER Marina 1994 GER        
   59  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena 1990 SRB        
   58  65038 PERSYN Karen 1983 BEL        
   51  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN        
   47  297591 BENZONI Marta 1990 ITA        
   44  297233 PARDELLER Sarah 1988 ITA        
   37  705423 VLHOVA Petra 1995 SVK        
   34  306096 HOSHI Mizue 1985 JPN        
   29  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA        
   27  296509 CURTONI Irene 1985 ITA        
   25  205239 WIRTH Barbara 1989 GER        
   18  206279 GEIGER Christina 1990 GER  
Italian job: Heel and Fill prove fast in Lauberhorn trainingIssue 6 hot off the press

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