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.

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“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

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS Points
 1 5 505679HANSDOTTER Frida1985SWE 54.62 55.55 1:50.17  0.00
 2 4 55590SCHILD Marlies1981AUT 54.96 55.26 1:50.22 +0.05 0.28
 3 8 56032SCHILD Bernadette1990AUT 55.80 54.52 1:50.32 +0.15 0.84
 4 20 196806NOENS Nastasia1988FRA 56.13 54.28 1:50.41 +0.24 1.35
 5 1 505760PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria1986SWE 54.94 55.52 1:50.46 +0.29 1.63
 6 12 506146SWENN-LARSSON Anna1991SWE 55.08 55.72 1:50.80 +0.63 3.55
 7 3 6535237SHIFFRIN Mikaela1995USA 54.31 56.58 1:50.89 +0.72 4.05
 8 23 296354COSTAZZA Chiara1984ITA 56.61 54.32 1:50.93 +0.76 4.28
 9 17 155415STRACHOVA Sarka1985CZE 55.93 55.04 1:50.97 +0.80 4.50
 9 9 516280HOLDENER Wendy1993SUI 56.13 54.84 1:50.97 +0.80 4.50
 11 10 55690HOSP Nicole1983AUT 56.10 54.89 1:50.99 +0.82 4.61
 12 25 515997FEIERABEND Denise1989SUI 55.77 55.31 1:51.08 +0.91 5.12
 13 13 425771LOESETH Nina1989NOR 56.18 54.96 1:51.14 +0.97 5.46
 14 19 106961MIELZYNSKI Erin1990CAN 55.38 55.80 1:51.18 +1.01 5.68
 15 18 206279GEIGER Christina1990GER 55.63 55.61 1:51.24 +1.07 6.02
 16 16 506350EKLUND Nathalie1992SWE 56.06 55.23 1:51.29 +1.12 6.30
 17 24 506341WIKSTROEM Emelie1992SWE 56.67 54.63 1:51.30 +1.13 6.36
 18 26 205239WIRTH Barbara1989GER 57.05 54.49 1:51.54 +1.37 7.71
 19 45 197319BAUD Adeline1992FRA 57.43 54.22 1:51.65 +1.48 8.33
 20 39 206160RIESCH Susanne1987GER 57.39 54.87 1:52.26 +2.09 11.76
 21 50 55898BREM Eva-Maria1988AUT 57.55 54.73 1:52.28 +2.11 11.87
 22 28 206355DUERR Lena1991GER 56.81 55.55 1:52.36 +2.19 12.32
 23 7 206001HOEFL-RIESCH Maria1984GER 55.69 56.73 1:52.42 +2.25 12.66
 24 29 107068PHELAN Brittany1991CAN 57.40 55.19 1:52.59 +2.42 13.62
 25 21 55977THALMANN Carmen1989AUT 57.12 55.53 1:52.65 +2.48 13.96
 26 42 565320FERK Marusa1988SLO 57.29 55.53 1:52.82 +2.65 14.91
Disqualified 2nd run
  27 196726BARTHET Anne-Sophie1988FRA     
  6 565243MAZE Tina1983SLO     
Did not start 1st run
  76 85022HARRISSON Maya1992BRA     
  75 685018TSIKLAURI Nino1993GEO     
  22 55807DAUM Alexandra1986AUT     
Did not qualify for 2nd run
  77 785007JANUSKEVICIUTE Ieva1994LTU     
  74 555018GASUNA Lelde1990LAT     
  70 225525TILLEY Alexandra1993GBR     
  69 298270GEYR Carmen1992ITA     
  66 705363LUKACOVA Barbora1990SVK     
  65 506399HECTOR Sara1992SWE     
  64 385041NOVOSELIC Sofija1990CRO     
  63 485637ALOPINA Ksenia1992RUS     
  62 565331LAVTAR Katarina1988SLO     
  61 155728DUBOVSKA Martina1992CZE     
  60 538284MCJAMES Megan1987USA     
  59 298124AGNELLI Nicole1992ITA     
  58 565401BUCIK Ana1993SLO     
  57 315187IGNJATOVIC Nevena1990SRB     
  56 65038PERSYN Karen1983BEL     
  55 196725BARIOZ Taina1988FRA     
  54 206487WIESLER Maren1993GER     
  53 106183TERWIEL Elli1989CAN     
  52 185317SOPPELA Merle1991FIN     
  51 355040NIGG Marina1984LIE     
  49 297601BRIGNONE Federica1990ITA     
  48 196179BERTRAND Marion1984FRA     
  47 196793MARMOTTAN Anemone1988FRA     
  46 206174STABER Veronika1987GER     
  43 56258AGER Christina1995AUT     
  41 537772STIEGLER Resi1985USA     
  38 705423VLHOVA Petra1995SVK     
  37 297851AZZOLA Michela1991ITA     
  36 506664FJAELLSTROEM Magdalena1995SWE     
  35 306096HOSHI Mizue1985JPN     
  34 425887LOESETH Mona1991NOR     
  33 506583SAEFVENBERG Charlotta1994SWE     
  32 306249HASEGAWA Emi1986JPN     
  31 515747GISIN Dominique1985SUI     
Did not finish 2nd run
  14 55759KIRCHGASSER Michaela1985AUT     
  11 55838ZETTEL Kathrin1986AUT     
Did not finish 1st run
  73 45216CHRYSTAL Lavinia1989AUS     
  72 565428BREZOVNIK Sasa1995SLO     
  71 35079SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen1982ARG     
  68 296259MOELGG Manuela1983ITA     
  67 565417PLUT Eli1994SLO     
  44 297591BENZONI Marta1990ITA     
  40 297233PARDELLER Sarah1988ITA     
  30 516284GISIN Michelle1993SUI     
  15 185140POUTIAINEN Tanja1980FIN     
  2 105269GAGNON Marie-Michele1989CAN