Mikaela Shiffrin has all but wrapped up her fourth World Cup season slalom title. And she just moved closer to what could be her first World Cup overall title.
Shiffrin won her sixth slalom in eight races this season, prevailing in a bracket-style, head-to-head event in Stockholm on Tuesday night.
Shiffrin beat her top slalom rival, Slovakian Veronika Velez Zuzulova, by .44 of a second in the head-to-head final.
Shiffrin can clinch her fourth World Cup slalom season title by finishing third or better in the next World Cup slalom in Squaw Valley, Calif., on March 11.
Shiffrin also moved 180 points clear in the standings for the World Cup overall title through 26 of 37 races this season. She leads defending champion Lara Gut in a battle that could go all the way to the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.
Shiffrin could become the first third U.S. woman to take a World Cup overall title, joining Tamara McKinney and Lindsey Vonn.
On Tuesday, she became the fourth U.S. skier to win six races in one World Cup season in one discipline, joining Picabo Street (1995, downhill), Ted Ligety (2013, giant slalom) and Vonn (2010, downhill). No American has won seven races in one discipline, and the last skier from any nation to do so was Austrian slalom ace Marlies Schild in 2007.
Earlier in the Stockholm event, Shiffrin easily beat France’s Adeline Baud Mugnier in the round of 16, Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon in the quarterfinals and Swede Frida Hansdotter in the semifinals.
Stockholm marked the final World Cup race before the World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland, from Feb. 7-19.Follow @nzaccardi