Shiffrin wins by over one second in Sestriere slalom
Another tight ladies' race seemed to be developing during the slalom in Sestriere, Italy, on Sunday, but Mikaela Shiffrin turned on the jets to ultimately claim victory by over one second. After leading the first run by 0.12 seconds over Veronika Velez Zuzulova and 0.30 seconds over Frida Hansdotter, the American focused on having fun in the second run and it paid off with a 1.09 margin of victory over the Slovakian.
"It was not perfect, that’s for sure," Shiffrin said of her first run. "I was pretty stiff, so I was a little bit bummed with my skiing. But I have another run, so we’ll see what happens."
On the second run, she held nothing back and crossed the finish line with obvious happiness, first punching both fists down and then one across her body with a smile to mark her 23rd career victory and her sixth straight in slalom.
"I took some free runs before second run and tried to find a solid feeling that I could rely on. And then when I went out of the gate second run, I just tried to make speed on every gate and never let up, and that mentality helped me a lot," she reflected.
Wendy Holdener of Switzerland, who sat fifth after first run, fought hard in the second run to move onto the podium in third, 1.21 seconds off the winning pace. Hansdotter finished the day a close fourth, just 0.08 shy of the podium.
“I had some troubles in the course, so I’m happy that I fought for the podium. But I could do it better,” Holdener said as she continues to hunt down her first victory in slalom.
Tour veteran Velez Zuzulova was pleased to finish on the podium after she lost time in the second run, but she has her eyes set on a victory this season.
"Second run I had a really good start, but on the lower part, I think I was too straight and there was a little bit more terrain than I was expecting, so I lost a lot of time," she noted. "I will go back to training and I will push it even harder and ... I will try to catch [Mikaela]. I can't be happy to always be second, so for sure I want more and I will push for that."
The ladies' tour moves onto Val d'Isere, France, for alpine combined, downhill, and super-G next week.
Full results from today's race are available here.