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Shiffrin to skip Lech-Zurs World Cup stop

Shiffrin to skip Lech-Zurs World Cup stop

Mikaela Shiffrin will not be in Thursday’s World Cup parallel giant slalom in Lech-Zurs, Austria.

Mikaela Shiffrin is taking Thanksgiving off.

The three-time World Cup champion will not be in Thursday’s World Cup parallel giant slalom in Lech-Zurs, Austria, as the start list for the race came out on Wednesday.

While, of course, Shiffrin is suited for any form of skiing involving turning and has success in parallel events (five wins, 12 podiums), this isn’t shocking.



Parallel ski-racing is replacing the combined discipline this season ostensibly because FIS doesn’t think it’s safe in times of COVID and, more so, because the organization is trying to faze out the event because it is less popular in the age of specialization.

The parallel events, while viewed as more television-friendly, still have to work out the kinks. Last year, head-to-head events in Sestriere, Italy, and Chamonix, France, were marred by poor course sets — one was just shorter than the other at both venues — and they affected the outcome of the race.



So, it’s not overly suprising that Shiffrin would take a pass. Sports Illustrated had a nice piece on her on Wednesday. It said that she will be having a quiet holiday with her Mom.

Italy’s Marta Bassino, who won the giant slalom World Cup in Soelden, Austria, last month, and Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, who swept the slaloms in Levi, Finland, last weekend, will be Thursday’s favorites.

This is also a good time for Shiffrin to shift gears a bit. Two of the three next weekends are speed: St. Moritz, Switzerland, Dec. 5-6, two super-Gs and Val d’Isere, France, Dec. 16-20, two downhills and a super-G. These speed races sandwich two giant slaloms in Courcheval, France, Dec. 12-13.

Barring anything out of the blue, Shiffrin will be at Courcheval. With her withdrawal from Lech-Zurs, this seems like a perfect time to get in some speed training for St. Moritz, where she has won a super-G in 2018 and finished third in the same discipline in 2019.

In other news and notes involving locals, moguls ace Tess Johnson is gearing up for the season. Johnson won an open competition in Idre Fjall, Sweden, last weekend.

Johnson beat her teammate, and best friend, Jaelin Kauf, by 6-tenths of a points. Johnson, a Ski & Snowboard Club Vail alumna, begins the official World Cup season on Dec. 5 in Ruku, Finland.

 

 

 


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