Mikaela Shiffrin finishes third in World Cup GS on Sunday in Slovakia
Petra Vlhova wins on home snow
Mikaela Shiffrin was the final racer of the day to take on the World Cup GS course on Sunday in Jasna, Slovakia, but she came up 0.37 seconds behind winner Petra Vlhova and finished third.
Vlhova, who earned her first win in her home country of Slovakia, watched Shiffrin’s final run from the finish corral and fell to the ground in celebration after the first-run leader Shiffrin failed to best her time.
Shiffrin was challenged with facing an unfortunately long course hold while in the start for the second run as officials replaced a broken gate on the course. Shiffrin, with the third-place finish, leads the Americans. Paula Moltzan finished 19th, and AJ Hurt was 22nd. Nina O’Brien was fourth after the opening run but slid away on her inside ski halfway through her final run.
“First thing — congrats to the other podium girls today,” Shiffrin said in an Instagram post following the race. “… I said it many times today after the race that I was disappointed and angry about the situation when I was in the start, but that is what it is and I just have to learn to manage those situations better. But I do wanna be clear that it was a completely separate thing from Petra’s performance. Her skiing was great and she won the race, that is that.”
Alice Robinson, of New Zealand, climbed from the seventh position to finish second, 0.16 off Vlhova.
For Vlhova, it’s her 19th career win but first in a home race on a mountain where she regularly trains.
GS title locked up
Marta Bassino, who won four giant slaloms this season, locked up the discipline title with a race to spare.
The Italian placed fourth to finish ahead of her only remaining challenger, France’s Tessa Worley, who was 10th.
The result gave Bassino a lead of 148 points over Worley with only the season-ending GS at the World Cup Finals in Switzerland remaining.
Bassino becomes the fourth Italian skier to win the GS globe, after Deborah Compagnoni did it in 1997, Denise Karbon in 2008, and Federica Brignone last year.
World champion Lara Gut-Behrami was out of contention for the win following a costly mistake early in her first run and the Swiss skier finished 1.69 behind in ninth.
In the overall standings, Vlhova closed the gap on leader Gut-Behrami to 36 points, with two slaloms in Sweden coming up on Friday and Saturday.
While slalom is Vlhova’s strongest discipline, Gut-Behrami usually doesn’t compete in skiing’s most technical event.
Shiffrin denied Vlhova a home triumph in Saturday’s slalom when she came from behind to beat her Slovakian rival in the final run.
It was the American’s 69th career win. Only two skiers in the 54-year history of the World Cup have reached the 70-win mark: Lindsey Vonn and Ingemar Stenmark.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.