Vlhova wins, Shiffrin takes second in Flachau World Cup slalom | SummitDaily.com

Vlhova wins, Shiffrin takes second in Flachau World Cup slalom

Shiffrin still looking for World Cup win No. 83 and pass Vonn on the women's all-time win's list

Ryan Sederquist
Vail Daily

AUSTRIA — Even though anointing Mikaela Shiffrin with the proverbial GOAT status seems like a forgone conclusion at this point, the Edwards skier isn’t the official statistical greatest of all-time just yet. 

Shiffrin placed second in the World Cup slalom in Flachau, Austria, coming up short in her quest for an 83rd-career World Cup win after tying Lindsey Vonn (82) for the most victories by a female Alpine skier on Sunday in Kranjska Gora. It was the American’s chief rival, Petra Vlhova, who took the 0.43-second win under the lights with a combined time of 1 minute, 51.95 seconds. Lena Duerr (1:52.80) of Germany rounded out the podium.

Racing against a field with a combined World Cup win total exactly half as voluminous (41) as her own, Shiffrin skied a tactical first run on the relatively moderate 210-meter Griessenkar slope, a hill she’s won on four times before Tuesday. With limited potential traps — but a notable one occurring at the beginning of the fourth sector — in the 70-gate course set up by Vlhova’s coach Mauro Pini, there was an opportunity for risk-takers to gain speed. The question was whether anyone would take the bait.

Even with a conservative approach, Shiffrin’s clean run and 56.07-second time was the class of the field …except for Vlhova. The Slovak streaked to a 55.90-second mark thanks to a scintillating third and untouchable fourth sector, respectively.

“I actually think it was a quite a good run. I felt like my skiing was very good everywhere but for some small mistakes, but nothing too crazy so I kept the speed going everywhere,” Shiffrin told the AP after the first run.

Even though she’s come from behind to win slaloms nine times before, Shiffrin wasn’t sure if her first effort had positioned her well enough for a win, but she did say it was “enough for me to be satisfied.” She also enjoyed watching her Slovak rival work the course. “I think it was the perfect combination of aggressive and also smart,” she said.

“On some rolls, I took risks because they were a little bit tricky,” Vlhova told the AP regarding her first run. “It’s something special, in front of a lot of fans from Slovakia.”

In the more direct second course and with conditions holding up in run No. 2, Shiffrin’s top-half of the course wasn’t anything to write home about, but she found another gear in the bottom third of the course. Still, rattling her skis in sectors one and two left the door open for Vlhova, who was hungry for her first win of the season after reaching seven podiums already. In the end, the Slovak capitalized, posting the second-fastest second run despite being the final athlete to go.

“I’m really happy because it was a long, long way to come back here and speaking with you. It’s an amazing day,” Vlhova said in the finish area after the victory, her third in Flachau. “I’m super happy to win here because it’s something special.”

Vlhova ended Shiffrin’s five-win slalom streak in 2019 when she defeated the American in Flachau.

The World Cup travels to St. Anton Jan. 14-15 for a downhill and super-G, but according to the NBC broadcast, Shiffrin plans on trying for win No. 83 again at the speed events in Cortina d’Ampezzo Jan. 20-22.

This story is from VailDaily.com.

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