Mikaela Shiffrin won for the second straight day and for the fifth time this season, the best start to a World Cup campaign by any woman in four years.
The Olympic slalom champion mastered a giant slalom in Semmering, Austria, on Wednesday, just as she did Tuesday, but this time under far tougher conditions — falling snow and poor visibility.
“It was a big fight; there’s so much snow coming down,” Shiffrin said. “I was like, this isn’t good, it’s got to be slow.”
Shiffrin prevailed by .15 of a second over two runs and had the fastest first run by .08. France’s Tessa Worley was second on consecutive days, followed by German Viktoria Rebensburg.
Shiffrin earned her third career World Cup giant slalom victory to go with her 22 slalom wins, all before turning 22 years old. She now leads the World Cup overall standings by 115 points over Swiss Lara Gut through 14 of a scheduled 37 races.
“Two days ago, I was wondering if I would ever win a GS again, and now I have three wins,” Shiffrin said.
Shiffrin became the first female skier to win five World Cup races in one season before Jan. 1 since Slovenian Tina Maze in 2012.
If Shiffrin wins Thursday’s slalom in Semmering (NBCSports.com/live, NBCSN at 11:30 a.m. ET), she will become the first man or woman to win six World Cup races before the new year since Bode Miller in 2004.
And she will be heavily favored to do so. Shiffrin has won the last six World Cup slaloms and the last 14 slaloms that she has started overall.
As for giant slalom, Shiffrin remains hungry despite the back-to-back success.
“It’s two victories, but in the same place,” she said. “It would be nice to repeat it at a new venue.”
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