Shiffrin claims historic win in Aspen SL
Mikaela Shiffrin bounced back from the disappointment of sliding out in Friday's GS by dominating both runs in the first slalom race of the season on Saturday. She finished in a combined time of 1:39.81, with the largest-ever margin recorded in World Cup history in a ladies' slalom.
Slovakia's Veronika Velez Zuzulova, who was second after the first run, held onto her position but finished 3.07 seconds off the winning pace. Sweden's Frida Hansdotter rounded out the podium, 3.26 seconds out.
Shiffrin went into the second run with an advantage of 1.38 seconds over the Slovakian skier, to clinch her 15th career World Cup victory in slalom, for the first time in the USA.
“I really charged and I fought hard in the second run,” commented Shiffrin. “It was a big disappointment so I had some anger and I kind of took that into today I think. The second run today was a little dark with some rough spots and couple of holes here and there. I just put my skis down the hill and stressed I was going in the right direction. I kind of just closed my eyes and went down the mountain and it ended up OK,” she added smiling.
With this fantastic performance she broke the former biggest margin of 3 seconds in a World Cup slalom that was set in March 1968 by French skier Florence Steurer.
“It's probably one of those things that won't happen again, but I am glad it happened today.”
Veronika Velez Zuzulová confirmed her fine form of last season. She finished on the podium of the last three Slalom World Cup races.
"For sure I am really happy about today's result", said Velez Zuzulova. "It's my best start to the season ever. The first run was pretty good. In the second run, the light wasn't the best so that was more of a fight than in the first run. It's never easy to race here, because it's quite high and it's tough."
"Training with the French team is definitely good for me, because the young girls always try to push and be better than me. I cannot sleep in training and I have to push more and more and that has made me faster and faster," concluded Zuzulova.
Among the top favourites, Frida Hansdotter struggled a little bit to find speed, especially in the lower section in the second run but was satisfied with the top-3 finish.
"It’s really great to start the slalom season with a podium, but Mikaela's superiority with the margin of 3 seconds takes a little bit off from it. But I’ll have a new chance tomorrow", confessed Hansdotter.
The racers will get another chance to shine on Sunday, as another slalom race is scheduled for 10:00 and 13:00 local time.
For the full results click here.