Shiffrin to sit out Val d’Isere World Cup this weekend

Edwards star is looking to catch up on training

United States' Mikaela Shiffrin smiles as she celebrates her second place finish at the World Cup women's slalom in Levi, Finland, on Nov. 21.
Alessandro Trovati/AP

Mikaela Shiffrin will sit out this weekend’s downhill and super-G at Val d’Isere, France in order to catch up on training, The Associated Press reported Sunday. The Edwards native earned 60 World Cup points last weekend in St. Moritz, placing third both days in consecutive super-G events. Sofia Goggia, who finished second Saturday and sixth Sunday, now leads the season-long super-G standings, breaking the tie she had with Lara Gut-Behrami. Gut-Behrami, the defending World Champion in the discipline, was victorious Saturday before crashing out of the competition on Sunday.

United State's Mikaela Shiffrin, right, embraces Slovakia's Petra Vlhova after a women's World Cup slalom ski race, Nov. 28, Killington, Vermont. Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photo

In the overall standings, Shiffrin leads Goggia by 90 points. Petra Vlhova, the defending overall champion, sits in third. Vlhova defeated Shiffrin in her specialty in the opening two World Cup slaloms in Ruka, Finland on Nov. 20-21. Shiffrin got her revenge at the Killington slalom a week later, winning that event for the fifth time in a row, tying racing legend Ingemar Stenmark for the most wins (46) in a single discipline in the process.

“I feel strong physically and I feel good with my skiing,” Shiffrin told the Associated Press. She hedged on targeting a fourth career overall World Cup title. “We have to wait a little bit longer to see.”

The decision to rest and regroup as the year comes to a close comes alongside a similar decision by Vlhova to stick to a reduced World Cup schedule.

Slovakia's Petra Vlhova competes during a women's World Cup slalom ski race, Nov. 28, in Killington, Vermont.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photo

“This is our plan, and we will keep (it) like this,” Vlhova told AP in a video conference call Monday, adding she planned to compete in only one or two speed races in January in the buildup to the Beijing Olympics.

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The reduced schedule means that Vlhova is not positioned well to defend her overall crown. She is currently 185 points behind the Edwards star, who won the overall title three times in a row from 2017-2019. Vlhova skipped the events in Lake Louise and St. Moritz, making her absence in Val d’Isere her third straight raceless weekend. She remained at Copper Mountain to train for ten days after the Nov. 27-28 Killington Races.

“It was good for training because last year I didn’t have much time to do training. It was racing or travel time each day and we hadn’t time to do some training,” Vlhova told the Associated Press. The focus during the training stint was mostly slalom and GS. “We have done some super-G and downhill training, we are also focusing (on) speed,” Vlhova said.

At the last Olympics, Vlhova started five individual events but didn’t make the podium. She will attempt to become the first Slovakian skier to win an Olympic medal in Beijing in February.

The FIS schedule indicates that from Dec. 21 through Jan. 11, the only races on tap are slalom and giant slalom events. Two GS races will be contested at Courchevel, France, which is when Vlhova intends to make her World Cup return. On Dec. 28-29, Lienz, Austria plays host to a giant slalom and slalom. Assuming Shiffrin is healthy and intends to compete there, it will be the first matchup for the budding rivals since their Killington showdown.

2022 looms in the distance post Lienz, and according to Shiffrin’s Instagram account, she has big plans.

“The year may be winding down, but the season has just begun,” she wrote on Dec. 14.

“Looking ahead to next year and big things to come.”

World Cup Watch – Locals in action this weekend

Moguls – Dec. 16-18 (Alpe D’Huez, France)

Kai Owens, Tess Johnson, Dylan Walczyk

Snowboard – Dec. 15-19 (Dew Tour, Copper Mountain)

Chris Corning, Ryan Wachendorfer, Zoe Kalapos

Alpine – Dec. 15-18 (Val Gardena/Groeden, Italy)

River Radamus (super-G Dec. 17)


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