Mikaela Shiffrin edges rival in head-to-head for World Cup win (video)

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Mikaela Shiffrin edged her top slalom rival, head to head, for her 35th World Cup victory and fourth this season on Wednesday night.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion, won a parallel slalom under the lights in Courchevel, France.

She beat Slovenian Petra Vlhova by .04 in the final, a matchup of the two women who combined to win the previous five World Cup slaloms dating to last season.

“I was in the start gate, I’m like, not today,” Shiffrin said with a laugh. “I always know that I’m going head to head with her, but normally I’m on course or she’s on course, and we’re not on courses together. That was a really cool way to experience that kind of fight with her.”

Shiffrin had the fastest qualifying run in the afternoon, then went through five rounds of head-to-head racing on a compressed course. It took about 20 seconds to complete each matchup.

She dispatched Frenchwoman Coralie Frasse Sombet, Austrians Carmen Thalmann and Ricarda Haaser and Italian Irene Curtoni before topping Vlhova in the final.

Shiffrin broke her tie with Vlhova for the World Cup slalom standings lead after three of a scheduled 12 races.

Vlhova won the last slalom of the 2016-17 season and the first slalom this season. Now, Shiffrin has taken two straight slaloms.

Shiffrin has raced 24 World Cup slaloms in the last three years, winning 19 with a pair of second- and third-place finishes and one DNF.

Shiffrin became the second woman to win four World Cup races in six straight seasons. The other is Lindsey Vonn, who holds the female record of 78 World Cup victories.

The Alpine World Cup continues with a giant slalom and slalom on Dec. 28-29 in Lienz, Austria, the site of Shiffrin’s first of 51 World Cup podiums six years ago.

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