Mikaela Shiffrin couldn’t overcome a slow (by her standards) first run and tied for third in a World Cup slalom in Flachau, Austria, on Tuesday night.
The youngest Olympic slalom champion was .78 of a second shy of Swedish winner Frida Hansdotter after two runs. Shiffrin won five of the first six World Cup slaloms this season going into Tuesday.
Shiffrin was in fifth place after the first run in Flachau, 1.38 seconds behind Hansdotter, then had the fastest second run by one tenth.
“I just didn’t ski fast enough,” Shiffrin said after her first run. “And that’s pretty much it.”
Olympic champions Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso could race for the first time this season at the next World Cup stop in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, this weekend, starting with a downhill training run Thursday.
Vonn, coming back from a broken arm suffered in a Nov. 11 training crash, last raced Feb. 28. Mancuso, who had November 2015 hip surgery, last raced March 7, 2015.
NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will live stream racing Saturday (downhill) and Sunday (super combined) mornings. Shiffrin said she definitely won’t be racing the downhill but may do the super combined, which is one super-G run and one slalom run.
On Tuesday, Shiffrin moved 365 points ahead in the standings for the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in the sport, through 19 of a scheduled 37 races.
That lead, which is comfortable now, will be cut into significantly before February’s world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and leading into the season-ending World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.
That’s because the early season was weighed heavily with Shiffrin’s best events — slalom and giant slalom. Speed races of downhill and super-G make up the majority of the remaining schedule.
Defending World Cup overall champion Lara Gut is stronger in speed events and is the main threat to Shiffrin’s lead over the next two months. The Swiss Gut is in second place in the standings but arguably still the favorite for the overall title.
“One of my big goals that I want to accomplish is the overall,” Shiffrin, who could become the third U.S. woman to take the biggest annual prize in ski racing (Tamara McKinney, Vonn), said after her previous race Sunday, a slalom victory. “And I don’t know if it happens this year, but eventually that will be a big goal. … Right now, my focus is more world championships, but, eventually it will be more overall, probably.”Follow @nzaccardi