Shiffrin strikes again as Hansdotter hits first podium of the season

08 January 2017 15:04
Maribor slalom podium 2017
Maribor slalom podium 2017 -
Agence Zoom

Mikaela Shiffrin sat in the lead by 0.17 seconds ahead of Swiss Wendy Holdener and 0.38 up on Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter after the first run of slalom in Maribor, Slovenia, on Sunday. The podium would remain unchanged in the second run, though the times did tighten up as Shiffrin claimed her 27th career World Cup victory and second Golden Fox Award for the weekend overall.

“When I was a kid, I dreamed about being the best in the world in all the different events, so it’s always a step in the right direction to be performing well in two, at least,” Shiffrin said.

Veronika Velez Zuzulova, starting bib 7, posted green light splits on Shiffrin in the first run but then skied out without finishing. She has been struggling with illness since her victory in Zagreb and missed the public bib draw on Saturday night.

“It was really nice to ski. It was a quick course and the surface is awesome, so definitely fun. High fun factor, and I think I can move quicker,” Shiffrin said after first run. “I’m motivated by others, for sure, but I was motivated just as much last year as I am right now. I just like seeing good skiing, like Zuzu, her skiing is so nice right now. She’s so clean and powerful, so I think that’s really cool.”

Holdener put down an impressive second run to hold the lead as Shiffrin took to the course. A broken gate slid between Shiffrin’s legs before passing beneath her skis, and she dropped to 0.09 seconds behind Holdener at one point following the mishap.

“I skied over it a couple times,” Shiffrin said in reference to the broken gate. “It just kept coming. It was OK. I made all the gates, and that’s what matters.”

But she rallied through the final interval to ultimately take the win by 0.19 seconds over Holdener. Hansdotter claimed the final podium spot in third for her first podium appearance of the season, at 0.31 seconds back.

“I’ve been working so hard to get back, and I really love Maribor. It was like a good feeling from the start, so I’m really satisfied.”

Holdener added her fifth slalom podium of the season without a victory in the discipline, but she was pleased to even be able to fight for the win after suffering from illness during the week.

“I had a cold,” Holdener shared. “I had to rest two days because I had pain in my throat. …Then with the race and the cold temperature and everything, I had some problems yesterday afternoon. But I’m really happy with my race that I could ski that fast and not 100 percent fit, so everything is OK.”

The women move on to Flachau, Austria, to race slalom on Tuesday evening, 10 January.

Full results from today’s race are available here