Mikaela Shiffrin opened the Olympic season with a rare costly mistake, getting bounced off her line and finishing fifth in a giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Saturday.
Lindsey Vonn was 34th and 3.31 seconds behind in the first run, where the top 30 advanced to a second run. Giant slalom is not one of her best disciplines.
German Viktoria Rebensburg, the 2010 Olympic GS champ, won by .14 of a second over France’s Tessa Worley after two runs. Italy’s Manuela Moelgg was third.
Shiffrin was .74 back in fifth, losing about one second in the first half of her second run, which included going well wide of that one gate. Shiffrin was second-fastest in the opening run, .12 behind Moelgg.
“The biggest competition I have right now is with myself,” Shiffrin said, according to the U.S. Ski Team. “I feel really good with where my GS is right now. I’m disappointed because I didn’t make turns today like I know I can.”
Shiffrin, 22 and fifth in the Sochi Olympic GS, improved to become the world’s second-best GS skier last season behind Worley.
Vonn last raced giant slalom Jan. 30, 2016 and last won a GS on Dec. 12, 2015, her only finish better than fifth in a GS since January 2013.
She does hope to race GS in PyeongChang, where she should be a medal favorite in downhill and super-G.
“I just didn’t push myself enough. I was kind of too conservative where I could have let it go. But it was nice to get started,” Vonn said, according to USA Today. “I was wishing to get some points [by finishing in the top 30], but that’s life.”
Lara Gut (2016 World Cup overall champion) and Sofia Goggia (third in 2017 World Cup overall) skied out in the first run Saturday.
The start was moved down due to high winds.
Olympic champion Ted Ligety headlines the men’s field racing Soelden on Sunday. An Alpine broadcast schedule is here.
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Soelden Women’s Giant Slalom
1. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) — 1:55.20
2. Tessa Worley (FRA) — +.14
3. Manuela Moelgg (ITA) — +.53
5. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) — +.74
34. Lindsey Vonn (USA)
42. Megan McJames (USA)
47. Foreste Peterson (USA)