Shiffrin celebrates 6th victory in rainy Bormio
BORMIO, Italy – The last time a ladies’ race took place in Bormio was at the 2008 World Cup Finals. And today, almost six years later the Italian resort did’t look like the ideal setting for a ski race with a lot of umbrellas in the finish area.
In the first run, the sky poured a mixture of snow and rain on the skiers, in the second run, the weather improved but conditions remained tough.
Mikaela Shiffrin started the New Year the best possible way – on top of the podium. After a very strong first run where the weather conditions didn’t seem to bother her much, the young American kept her focus in the second run and took home her sixth career victory and 13th podium.
Last year Zagreb, this year Bormio…
“It’s always good to start a year like this, to keep it going,” an excited Shiffrin said after her victory run.
“I am used to skiing in these conditions, on the East Coast it’s like this a lot. It was a tough day, you really had to fight and I am psyched that I did. They had to set a course very similar to the first run, to stay on the ‘salted’ snow so I felt like I didn’t need to worry that much, I had skied that course before. This allowed me to relax and just go for it. I think I was able to work my skis and keep the speed going,” she continued.
Maria Pietilae-Holmner surprised everyone when in the first run she crossed the finish line in second place with bib number 13. It was a good sign that she could do well even if the slope was not perfect and she proved it in the second run, skiing a great run and holding tight to her podium position.
“This second place is like a victory for me,” a glowing Pietilae-Holmner said.
“I felt like I could ski fast, I was good in training and I was fast in the last race in Lienz but I never made it down so I am super happy to have delivered today. It has been a long time since I have enjoyed being on the podium.”
In the conditions, anything could happen and Nastasia Noens showed how things can turn around quickly in a race like today’s.
The French slalom specialist was the only 'new name' on the podium as the best time of the second run earned her 10 positions and she celebrated the second podium of her career.
“I didn’t change much in the second run, I just tried to ski fast and actually enjoy the ride. I’m really happy with this third place, this is a great moment for me and it makes me look forward to the Olympics,” Noens said.
The winner of the last two slaloms, Marlies Schild struggled to find her rhythm in the second run and finished in sixth place while both Marie Hoefl-Riesch and Tina Maze, who were tied in fifth after the first run had a disappointing second run. The German skied out after only a few gates while Maze finished 24th, over two seconds off the best times.
Tomorrow the weather should work to the men’s advantage and clear skies are expected while they compete in the first race of 2014. Start times are 14.45 and 18.10 CET!