Mikaela Shiffrin shares victory in last World Cup GS before worlds | VailDaily.com | VailDaily.com

Mikaela Shiffrin shares victory in last World Cup GS before Worlds

Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin skied through the shadows of all-time ski great Tina Maze in Friday’s World Cup giant slalom in Maribor, Slovenia, sharing victory with Petra Vlhova in the final GS before the world championships.

Competing on the de facto home course of Maze — whose first (1999) and final (2017) World Cup starts came at Maribor — Shiffrin conquered the Golden Fox course in 2 minutes, 31.31 seconds for her 12th win of the season. Shiffrin, the Olympic champion in GS, led Vlhova by 0.48 seconds after the opening run, but the Slovakian skier posted the fastest time in the final run to earn the tie.

Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway finished 0.93 seconds behind in third. The rest of the field was at least 1.29 seconds off the pace. World champion Tessa Worley of France was third after the opening run but dropped to sixth.

Shiffrin’s 55th career World Cup win ties her with Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider for third all-time in women’s World Cup history, behind only Lindsey Vonn (82) and Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Proll (62).

With the win, Shiffrin is up to 1,594 points and well on her way to a third consecutive overall World Cup championship. Even with the American’s relentless charge this season, Maze still holds the single-season World Cup points record with 2,414 from the 2012-13 campaign. That mark is likely to stay in the books as Shiffrin is dialing in her tech skills — and skipped four of the last five speed races — in anticipation of the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, which start next week in Are, Sweden.

It’s Shiffrin’s third career win in Maribor — though her first two came in slaloms. Three of Maze’s 26 career wins came on this course. The victory is Shiffrin’s ninth in giant slalom, matching the United States women’s record of World Cup GS wins set by Tamara McKinney in the 1980s. It was also the second time she shared the victory in a World Cup GS. She finished level with Anna Fenninger in the season-opening race in 2014 for her first win in the discipline.

Vlhova earned her second victory in giant slalom after also winning in Semmering in December.

Perhaps more important than playing historical comparisons, Shiffrin’s third giant slalom win of the season helped her maintain her narrow lead in the discipline over Worley. Going into Friday’s race, Shiffrin led Worley by a mere 10 points as the American pursues the first GS World Cup championship of her career.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story