KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia – Marta Bassino won her second World Cup giant slalom in two days Sunday after first-run leader Mikaela Shiffrin dropped to sixth.

The Italian skier has won four of the five races in the discipline this season, with Shiffrin winning the only other event, in Courchevel in December.

“It’s so amazing, I am so emotional. It’s like a dream, I can’t believe it,” Bassino said while fighting back tears in a TV interview.

The result saw Bassino closing in on a 13-year-old record: No Italian skier won more than four giant slaloms in a single season since Denise Karbon won a record five events in the 2007-08 campaign.

Bassino trailed Shiffrin by three-tenths of a second after the American’s near-perfect opening run, but the Italian posted the fastest time in the final.

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA).

The last racer on course, Shiffrin was still in the lead at the first split time. However, the Olympic GS champion was late on a turn after the first steep part, lost speed and never regained her rhythm.

Shiffrin finished 1.27 back in sixth, equaling her result in Saturday’s race.

Bassino won the race 0.66 ahead of Michelle Gisin, a day after the Swiss skier earned her first career podium in GS.

Local favorite Meta Hrovat, daughter of the village’s mayor, Janez Hrovat, finished third, 0.73 off the lead.

Meta Hrovat (SLO).

The rest of the field trailed Bassino by more than a second.

Before posting the 15th-fastest time in the final run, Shiffrin said she had done “a lot of analysis” after Saturday’s race.

“Yesterday was a big learning experience,” she said. “I changed a bit my focus, what I’m thinking in the course while I’m skiing. It felt a lot better, going with the hill and not fighting so much.”

Still, her second run lacked the fluency of the first on a tough course, usually used on the men’s circuit.

This weekend’s races were moved from Maribor because of a lack of snow.

Petra Vlhova was 2.41 seconds behind in 10th and the overall World Cup leader from Slovakia saw her advantage over runner-up Gisin reduced to just 60 points.

Petra Vlhova (SVK).

Vlhova has finished on the podium once in her last 11 starts.

Federica Brignone, the defending overall champion who led the GS standings coming into the weekend, was 12th after the opening leg before sliding off the track in her final run.

Nina O’Brien finished 13th, matching her career-best in the discipline from a day earlier. She had the 10th-fastest second run and appears to be on brink of breaking into the elusive World Cup top 10.

“The first and last run of the weekend was great skiing,” said Magnus Andersson, the women’s tech team head coach. “It’s step by step — I know she can ski fast. It’s good.”

AJ Hurt was having a strong run first run, showing sixth-fastest splits at the top, but lost her outside ski and DNFed. “AJ is in the run,” said Magnus. “She’s going to get there. She’s fast — as fast as Nina for sure. It was tough snow this weekend and she will learn.”

Canadian Valerie Grenier was 15th.

The women’s World Cup continues with two downhills and a super-G in Crans Montana, Switzerland, from Friday through Sunday.

Shiffrin was expected to return to action at another GS, at Kronplatz in Italy, on Tuesday.

This weekend’s races were moved from Maribor because of a lack of snow.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more. 

World Cup – Women’s GS – Kranjska Gora – Jan. 17, 2020

3 COMMENTS

  1. Mikaela is lacking the confidence and assertiveness she had in previous years. She still has the skills but her head doesn’t seem in the game. Mikaela’s strength was the ability to finish the bottom of the courses stronger than anyone else. That is no longer the case. The other girls have raised their levels so to be on the podium you have to give 100% without mistakes. World cup and overall trophies seem far away at the moment.

  2. Miki`s first run was near perfect. All the top women`s ski with similar techniques with only slight differences. Brignone is a bit more direct and hooky. Gisin skis a bit rounder line with a bit more skid between the top of the turn and the apex. Miki`s technique seems to be right in the middle. Miki brings a lot to her game but besides her great technical skills, she’s one of the more athletic and dynamic skiers. Marta being from the Italian Alps was practically skiing on home snow in Slovenia, and it showed. She seemed to have the slightly better flow in the course. Marta had great balance and foot speed, and the ability to instantly unweight a ski to absorb chop without losing much speed, probably because she’s been skiing those conditions her whole life. Of course, the skiing of all the top women racers is very very close, but you can’t win on a course like KRANJSKA GORA without a great ski. Marta and Gisin seemed to have great skis. Miki`s ski seemed perfect in the first run. Watching the presentation of the bibs, Miki seems to be intense and focused. Congratulations to Miki for the fastest first run. Congratulations to Nina Obrien for her big step up and beating Katharina Leinsberger.

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