Mikaela Shiffrin wins first World Cup giant slalom outright

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Mikaela Shiffrin finally has a World Cup giant slalom victory all to herself, in her 38th start in the discipline.

Shiffrin, the world’s best slalom skier, notched her first solo GS win in Semmering, Austria, on Tuesday. She prevailed by .78 of a second over two runs, after leading by .27 after the first run.

France’s Tessa Worley was second, followed by Italian Manuela Moelgg.

“I believed in myself for the first time in a GS race, and that was very emotional,” said Shiffrin, who pumped her fists and screamed after crossing the finish line. “I don’t expect to win every GS now. I’m just trying to go with this feeling.”

FULL RESULTS | RUN 2 REPLAY

Before Tuesday, Shiffrin had won 23 World Cup races before the age of 22, 22 of them in slalom and one shared giant slalom victory from two years ago. A solo GS win had eluded her, amid a trio of runners-up, two thirds and a string of eight straight top-10s earlier in her young career.

Shiffrin said she focused on giant slalom in recent training, limiting her slalom training to “every now and then” while she holds a 14-race winning streak in that discipline.

“I keep training GS, eventually I have to get good at it, right?” Shiffrin joked. “Hopefully, it helps my GS and doesn’t hurt my slalom too much.”

Remember at the Sochi Olympics, Shiffrin said she dreamed of winning five gold medals at PyeongChang 2018. She must still make substantial gains in the speed events of downhill and super-G to make that a possibility. Her best World Cup speed-event finish is 13th in five career starts.

However, a goal of becoming World Cup overall champion is becoming more and more possible. Shiffrin moved 55 points clear of Swiss Lara Gut in the standings through 13 of a scheduled 37 races Tuesday.

Shiffrin could become the youngest World Cup overall winner since Janica Kostelic in 2003 and the third U.S. woman to claim the title (Tamara McKinneyLindsey Vonn).

“It’s a dream to win, but I’m not expecting to win this year,” Shiffrin said. “Lara is so strong in every event. … I’m just trying to focus on giant slalom and slalom and see what happens.”

Also Tuesday, Austrian Anna Veith, in her first race since March 22, 2015 due to knee surgery, was 49th out of 60 finishers in the first run and did not qualify for the 30-skier second run.

Veith, the 2014 and 2015 World Cup overall champ, hit a stone early in her run, damaging a ski, according to the Associated Press.

“Unfortunately this was not how I thought it would be,” Veith said, according to the AP. “But I am happy that I was back at the start again even though the skiing was far off from where I want it to be.”

The women’s World Cup continues with a giant slalom and slalom in Semmering on Wednesday and Thursday, both live on NBCSports.com/live. The night slalom’s second run will also air live on NBCSN on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final

Annemiek van Vleuten, with broken elbow, becomes oldest to win world road race title

Annemiek van Vleuten
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WOLLONGONG, Australia — Annemiek van Vleuten surprised herself and the rest of cycling by recording the finest win of her career on Saturday at the world road championships.

Overcoming an elbow fracture sustained three days earlier, the Dutch great won her second world road race title with an attack in the last 600 meters that caught the other eight leaders napping.

The 39-year-old rider and her Dutch teammates were in disbelief at the finish after she put the exclamation mark on a 164.3-kilometer event. She became the oldest man or woman to win a world championships road race, according to Gracenote.

The 2019 World champion and reigning Olympic and world time trial winner claimed cycling’s triple crown this year when she landed the Italian, French and Spanish tours.

But for Van Vleuten, who will retire at the end of next season, what she did on Saturday was extra special.

“Maybe this is my best victory . . . I am still speechless, I still can’t believe it,” she said. “It took me some time to realize I’d really pulled it off because I’m waiting for the moment that they tell me there was someone in front or it was a joke. I had the feeling it cannot be true.”

She crashed in Wednesday’s mixed team relay at the worlds and sustained the fracture, describing the pain during Saturday’s race as “hell.”

The win also continues the domination of the Dutch women, who have finished on the road race podium at all but three of the last 20 worlds.

Earlier Saturday, Britain’s Zoe Backstedt celebrated her 18th birthday by turning the junior road event into a one-woman race.

In wet and cold conditions, Backstedt cycled away from the peloton with a solo attack at 10 kms and stayed clear for the remaining 57 kms to win by more than two minutes. Eglantine Rayer of France was second ahead of Dutch rider Nienke Vinke.

Backstedt retained her junior road race title and also is a world champion on the track and in cyclocross.

The championships end Sunday with the men’s road race.

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