Mikaela Shiffrin
AP

Mikaela Shiffrin looks ahead to adding speed races this season

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Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin plans to race super-G this season, as expected, and may also make her World Cup debut in the super combined, she told media in Austria on Monday.

“I guess you never really know how the season plays out, but my plan is to race some super-G, and I’ve had more time on my long skis this year [in preseason training] and more preparation there, so I feel comfortable, and I feel excited to race and not just nervous or scared,” Shiffrin said a little more than two weeks before the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria. “I feel like I’m in a good place with my slalom and giant slalom, but I don’t want to let my slalom go downhill just because I’m trying super-G as well. So there’s a lot to think about.”

Shiffrin also was asked if downhill racing was possible:

“Maybe more downhill-combined, but I think I’m going to have my hands full even just doing some super-G,” she said. “I was even tired last year and the years before with only giant slalom and slalom. That’ll be a lot to think about. I want to kind of take it step by step.”

She’ll have plenty of time to think it over. The first four races of the season are in the technical events of slalom and giant slalom.

The first World Cup speed events (downhill, super-G) are the first weekend of December. The first combined race (one speed event run, one slalom run) is Dec. 19.

Shiffrin, 20, also hoped to make her World Cup super-G debut last season but opted against it after a slow start to her season in slalom, her primary event. Shiffrin eventually got back on track in slalom, repeated as World champion and three-peated as World Cup champion in that discipline.

While Shiffrin would like to become an all-around skier by adding speed events of super-G and downhill, she has said the bigger concerns are maintaining her slalom form and continuing to improve in the giant slalom.

She improved from 49th to 19th to seventh to third in the World Cup giant slalom standings the last four seasons.

“A lot of the best GS skiers are also speed skiers, and in order to ski speed fast, you have to not second-guess yourself,” Shiffrin said in March. “Just go, all-out, all the time. I don’t know if I have that skill yet.”

Shiffrin is also rising in the World Cup overall standings. She was fourth last year, behind Anna FenningerTina Maze and Lindsey Vonn. Maze will sit out this season and may be done racing.

MORE ALPINE SKIING: Upcoming milestones for Vonn, Shiffrin

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Tadej Pogacar stuns Primoz Roglic, set to win Tour de France

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Tadej Pogacar overtook countryman Primoz Roglic and is set to become the youngest Tour de France champion since 1904, the second-youngest in history and the first Slovenian champion.

Pogacar, who turns 22 on Monday, overcame a 57-second deficit to Roglic and won Saturday’s penultimate stage, a 22-mile time trial with a finishing four-mile climb. He is 59 seconds ahead of Roglic after three weeks and 84 hours of total racing.

“Actually, my dream was just to be [in] the Tour de France,” Pogacar said. “I cannot believe it, and if you ask me in one week, one month, I will still not believe it, probably.”

Pogacar won the stage by 81 seconds, greater than the margin separating second place from eighth place after 55 minutes on the roads. Roglic was fifth.

It’s reminiscent of American Greg LeMond surpassing Frenchman Laurent Fignon in the time trial finale of the 1989 Tour.

That final margin was the closest in Tour history — eight seconds. This one would be the 11th time in Tour history that the difference is less than a minute, according to ProCyclingStats.com.

“I struggled with everything, just not enough power,” Roglic said. “I was just more and more without the power that I obviously needed. I was just really giving everything till the end.”

Australian Richie Porte will join Pogacar and Roglic on the podium after moving up from fourth place going into the time trial. Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez, who came into the day in third, dropped to sixth.

It’s the first time since 2007 that everybody on the final Tour de France podium will be there for the first time.

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Sunday’s finale is the traditional ceremonial ride into Paris where the overall leaders don’t attack each other.

Pogacar is riding his first Tour de France and in his second season as a professional cyclist with a World Tour team.

Last September, he finished third in the Vuelta a Espana, one of three Grand Tours, which Roglic won. At the time, Pogacar became the youngest Grand Tour podium finisher since 1974.

“I knew that I can be with the best, that I can follow,” after the Vuelta, Pogacar said, “but I never thought that I would win already this year, especially in this season that was really strange.”

UAE Team Emirates initially planned to use Pogacar to support Fabio Aru, but the Slovenian’s continued emergence changed the plan.

“I’m going [to the Tour] firstly to learn,” Pogacar said in May. “But if I have a chance to show what I can do, I will.”

Pogacar was Robin to Roglic’s Batman for most of this Tour.

Roglic wore the yellow jersey as race leader the last two weeks. heading the dominant Jumbo-Visma team. Pogacar donned the white jersey for the highest-placed rider 25 and under, though he was on a weaker team.

But when they went head-to-head on climbs, Pogacar usually stuck with Roglic, sometimes riding away from him.

When it came down to the final climb on Saturday, with no team support in what they call the race of truth, Pogacar showed who was the strongest Slovenian.

“[Roglic] was really superior through the whole Tour,” Pogacar said. “He must be devastated, but that’s bike racing, I guess. Today I beat him, and that was it.”

MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

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2020 Tour de France standings

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2020 Tour de France standings for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey through stage 20 of 21 …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 84:26:33
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +24:44
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:02:46
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:33
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:17:41
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 319 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 264
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 250
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 173
5. Caleb Ewan (AUS) — 158

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 84:26:33
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:22
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:54:51
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:14:33

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