Shiffrin is Snow Space princess a second straight time
FLACHAU, Austria – As expected, conditions changed as the evening went on. It started snowing right before the second run. After an outstanding first run, Mikaela Shiffrin stayed focused and raced to the seventh World Cup slalom victory in her young career. She logged a combined time of 1:45.83, 0.83 ahead of runner-up Frida Hansdotter (SWE), while Maria Piatilae-Holmner took third, 1.14 seconds off the pace.
Local hero Marlies Schild, who was third after the first run, lost her balance in the lower section but still managed to stay on the course. The mistake cost her more than five seconds and ruined her chance for a good result.
At 18 years and 307 days, Shiffrin became the second youngest woman to win seven World Cup slalom races and the youngest to do so in 34 years. France's Perrine Pelen and Janica Kostelic (CRO) are the only women to have won seven World Cup slalom races before turning 19.
Shiffrin was crowned Snow Space princess for the second time in a row. The Austrian resort is the first venue she has won twice at the World Cup level.
“It was really really fun, especially in the first run”, said the American prodigy. “I managed to let my skis go. It was like every gate was coming faster and faster. Every victory is special. It always means something else. If there are conditions that are tougher or whatever it is, it's always nice to be on top.”
“Going into the second run with a comfortable margin over the others helps for sure. But I learned in Lenzerheide that a one second gap might not enough to win the race.”
“It's tough hill. Not steep, not flat. It's not easy to find the right pace. Overall, I did my best skiing in the first run today. It's the best feeling after working so many years, to be able to ski like you do in training. It gives now me a lot of confidence going into the next races and the Olympics”, the 18-year-old concluded.
Hansdotter finished in second place for the eighth time in her career. “I hope I won't have to wait too long to get my first World Cup victory", she commented. “Who knows it might happen at the Games. I am really satisfied with my skiing tonight. Mikaela was just unbeatable.”
Already on the podium in Bormio, Piatilae-Holmner has had an amazing season so far. A victory is still missing though. “It is so sweat to be part of such a good and strong team”, she said at the press conference. “We train really hard together, help and push each other.”
World Cup leader Maria Höfl-Riesch ended in fourth place tonight and increased her lead in the overall standings. She has now 781 points, 79 more than Austria's Anna Fenninger who doesn’t race slalom.
The World Cup tour now shifts to Cortina d'Ampezzo for a downhill and a super-G races.
Here are the full results of tonight.