Bassino wins second straight GS as Shiffrin finishes sixth in Slovenia
Mikaela Shiffrin was leading after the first run on Sunday, but Italy’s Marta Bassino used her second run to overtake the field on Sunday for her second World Cup giant slalom win in two days at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Shiffrin finished sixth, 1.27 second behind Bassino.
“It’s so amazing, I am so emotional. It’s like a dream, I can’t believe it,” Bassino said in a TV interview following the race.
The Italian skier has won four of the five races in the discipline this season, with Shiffrin winning the only other event in Courchevel in December. With the win, Bassino is closing in on a 13-year-old record: No Italian skier has won more than four GS races in a single season since Denise Karbon in 2007-08.
“Yesterday was a big learning experience,” Shiffrin said of Saturday’s GS, where she finished sixth as well. “I changed a bit my focus, what I’m thinking in the course while I’m skiing. It felt a lot better, going with the hill and not fighting so much.”
Bassino trailed Shiffrin by three-tenths of a second after Shiffrin’s near-perfect opening run, but the Italian posted the fastest time in the final. Shiffrin, the last racer on the course, was still in the lead at the first split time but was late on a turn after the first steep section, lost speed and never regained rhythm.
Swiss skier Michelle Gisin finished second (0.66 second behind) and local favorite Meta Hrovat, daughter of the Slovenian village’s mayor, finished third (0.77 second behind). The rest of the field, including Shiffrin, finished more than 1 second behind the winner.
Due to snow conditions in Europe, the women raced on the tough Kranjska Gora course, usually used on the men’s circuit. This weekend’s races were moved from Maribor because of a lack of snow.
Petra Vlhova was 2.41 seconds behind in 10th place as the overall World Cup leader from Slovakia saw her advantage over runner-up Gisin reduced to just 60 points. Vlhova has finished on the podium once in her last 11 starts.
Federica Brignone, the defending overall champion who led the GS standings coming into the weekend, was 12th after the opening leg before sliding off the track in her final run.
The women’s World Cup continues with two downhills and a super-G in Crans Montana, Switzerland, from Friday through Sunday.
Shiffrin was expected to return to action at another GS, at Kronplatz in Italy, on Tuesday.
Reporting from The Associated Press in Slovenia was used for this story.