Petra Vlhova claims maiden World Cup win
The last World Cup competition to be held in Åre before the Finals in 2018 saw Slovakia's Petra Vlhova emerge victorious for the first time in her career. In the lead after the first run, the 20-year-old didn’t let the nerves play any tricks on her and put another stunning run together to clock a combined time of 1:44.26. Local hero Frida Hansdotter was the fastest in the second run and finished second, 0.59 seconds off the pace. Norway’s Nina Loeseth rounded out the podium, 0.65 seconds out.
Vlhova skied to her career-best result in a slalom in Aspen in November before today's result.
“It’s an amazing day for me,” she said. “My first victory and podium. I don’t know what to say. I am really happy about this. There are a lot of emotions going on inside.”
Frida Hansdotter continued her fine form as she finished third and second in the opening two Slalom races of this World Cup season (both in Aspen). She admitted Petra Vlhova was hard to beat today.
“Yeah, for sure Petra was skiing really fast,” Frida said. “For sure, every time I stand in the start, I want to win. But I am really happy also to have one more podium. It’s been 3 slalom races, and I’ve been on the podium for all three. I’m actually really happy.”
The Swede struggled a little bit in the first run as she came in fifth position and had to give everything in the second run.
“I had a good top and a good bottom, but in the middle part I was more just following the gates, not really skiing to attack, so there I lost a bit, but I’m also happy to have a good second run and climb up to the podium.”
Second after the first run, Nina Loeseth earned her second career podium. She was third in Zagreb slalom in January 2015.
“I am very happy," she said. "You know it’s my first time being so good after the first run, so yeah, I felt the butterflies. They were live and I was a little bit nervous. And I couldn’t eat much and I was like "Hoo, okay.” But I felt I was able to let go. It was not a perfect run, but it’s a very good start for me.”
The discipline leader Mikaela Shiffrin was forced to skip both races of the weekend after she suffered an injury to her right knee sustained in a crash while freeskiing on the race slope during warmup on Saturday morning.
In Shiffrin's absence, Hansdotter takes the lead in the slalom standings. She now has 220 points, 20 points clear at the top.
For complete results click here.