After leading the field in the first run, Mikaela Shiffrin had a second run for the ages, winning the race in Maribor, Slovenia with a combined time of 1:39.61. Midway through the run Shriffrin had a gate break off and briefly found the failed gate under her feet. Not to be denied the 21 year old maintained her composure and her balance miraculously earning her 27th World Cup win.
“I saw a lot of gates were breaking when I was watching the other girls and I thought that probably it would happen for me as well, and it did. But with ever body else, it seemed the (broken) gate went out of the way. But for me, it kept getting stuck on my skis and boots. It was a bit distracting, but I don’t think it cost me too much. I was focused and continued to finish the course.”- Shiffrin
Just .19 seconds behind, Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener claimed another podium finishing 2nd, and last year’s slalom Crystal Globe winner, Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter took 3rd.
With the win, Shiffrin ties U.S. Team legend Phil Mahre for career World Cup wins. Shiffrin also became the first skier ever in World Cup history to win five World Cup races in the same discipline, any discipline, in four straight years. The reigning Olympic Gold Medalist has five slalom wins so far this year.
Shiffrin now holds a 305-point lead in the overall World Cup standings over Lara Gut of Switzerland, and also leads the season’s World Cup slalom standings by over 100 points after winning five of six events this season.
Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) the only other U.S. Team finisher posted a 20th place effort. Megan McJames (Park City, UT) and Lila Lapanja (Incline Village, NV) did not qualify for the second run.
Holdener has been chasing Shiffrin all season. The Swiss skier has earned five World Cup podium finishes in slalom this season and is still looking to earn a win.
Her performance was even more impressive when you consider that she has been plagued by a cold for the past week.
“I had a cold,” she said. “I had to rest two days because I had really 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 okay.”-Holdener
Earning her first podium finish of the season, Hansdotter, who was 4th last week in Zagreb, was enthusiastic about today’s performance.
“I’ve been working so hard to get back, and I really love Maribor, so it was like a good feeling from the start, so I’m really satisfied.”-Hansdotter
The next stop for the women is the night slalom in Flachau, Austria on Jan. 10.
TOP TEN WOMENS SLALOM at MARIBOR