Shiffrin fourth in World Cup downhill training
And Vlhova makes a surprise appearance
It appears to be “game on” for the women’s World Cup in Bansko, Bulgaria.
Mikaela Shiffrin finished in fourth during Thursday’s training run behind Switzerland’s Joana Haehlen, Italy’s Federica Brignone and Austria’s Tamara Tippler.
Thursday was the only dress rehearsal the ladies have. In addition to your regularly scheduled downhill and super-G in Bulgaria on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, the women also have the “Val d’Isere” downhill today in Bansko, rescheduled from France on Dec. 21.
Training results do not necessarily translate to results on race day, but Shiffrin has to feel pretty good about getting down the hill in fourth in her maiden voyage on this slope.
Shiffrin will start in the No. 16 bib today.
Looking over Thursday’s training results, it’s nice to see Shiffrin’s teammate Breezy Johnson in sixth. Johnson has had a hellish run of injuries and it would bee great to see her get an opportunity to display her talent.
Further down the results was a bit of a shocker — Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova finished 10th. If that sounds a bit surprising, well, it is. Shiffrin’s chief rival for the overall and slalom has competed in only one World Cup downhill in her career — finishing 17th in Are, Sweden, back in 2018.
Shiffrin leads Vlhova, 975-726, in the points. With speed events taking up five of the next six weekends on the women’s World Cup tour, the Slovakian appears to be rolling the dice to see if she can gain ground on Shiffrin.
Since we focus more on the tech side of things, let’s take a look at the downhill this season Your DH winners have been the Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka (Lake Louise, Alberta, first race), Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer (Lake Louise, second) and Switzerland’s Corinne Suter in Altenmarkt, Austria.
Suter leads the downhill points with 225, followed by Ledecka (182) and Schmidhofer (154). Shiffrin is actually seventh in the downhill points with 106 by finishing 10th and second in Lake Louise in December.
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We just have to ask, is there anything Shiffrin can’t do?