Taking a victory lap the only way she knows how, the U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin rewrote the World Cup record books with her 15th win of the season. In 53 World Cup seasons no man or woman has won more than 14 races. Until now.
Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider had held the record after winning 14 races of her own during the 1988-89 World Cup campaign.
The win is Shiffrin’s sixth World Cup slalom win of the season, further justifying her dominance in the discipline on tour which extends back to 2013.
Shiffrin had already clinched her third overall World Cup title, as well as her third-consecutive slalom crystal globe. Any World Cup points picked up in today’s race would only add to her stifling control of the leaderboard.
After the first run this morning through falling Czech snow, Shiffrin held the lead by just over three tenths, with Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener in second, and Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter in third, nearly a second and a half behind Shiffrin. Hansdotter recently announced her plans to retire from competition at the end of the season.
In the second run, Holdener came out attacking, skiing just ahead of Shiffrin. Holdener made it cleanly through the top section of the course which kept many of the top slalom skiers of the day off balance, including Hansdotter, who’s mistakes landed her off the podium in seventh. Holdener crossing the finish line with the lead by more than a second.
However, Shiffrin had the final say, and came out on top with a clean run more than eight tenths faster than Holdener. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova finished in third, more than two seconds behind Shiffrin.
Prior to racing this week, Shiffrin had been holed up in Italy, training and resting ahead of the final two weeks of the season. She teased fans by posting a photo of herself holding up a pair of skis on Facebook with the caption “P.S. Yes, these are my super-G skis,” which all but confirms she will attempt to win the tightly contested super-G globe next week in Andorra. Shiffrin currently clings to a 32-point lead over Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein in the standings.
In addition to the super-G crystal globe, Shiffrin also has the opportunity to win the giant slalom season title.
Speaking after her third-place finish in this Friday’s giant slalom in Spindleruv Mlyn, Shiffrin explained, despite her 97-point cushion in the GS standings, she must stay focused if she expects hold off her Slovakian rival, Vlhova. Vlhova won on Friday, skiing six tenths faster than Shiffrin.
“I think there is still something possible at the finals so I won’t celebrate yet. But I am really happy to have this kind of advantage,” said Shiffrin according to the Associated Press. “Slalom, overall and GS are my biggest goals this year so it’s an incredible place to be right now.”
The World Cup men were racing in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia today where Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen got the win in giant slalom, his third win and sixth podium appearance in a GS race this season. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher finished off the podium in sixth. A win would have allowed Hirscher to clinch his eighth-consecutive World Cup overall title, but that will now have to wait at least a day.
Kristoffersen’s countryman Rasmus Windingstad landed on his first World Cup podium, finishing in second. Windingstad jumped up five spots to make the podium with his second run performance.
Hirscher gets another chance at the overall title tomorrow as racing continues in Slovenia with the men’s slalom. The first run is scheduled to begin at 4:30 a.m. ET and the second at 7:30 a.m. ET. Watch the first run live on OlympicChannel.com or with an NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass. The second run will air live on Olympic Channel on TV and streaming with coverage also available on NBC Sports Gold.
Beginning on Wednesday, the 2018-19 World Cup season finale gets underway in Andorra with the men’s and women’s downhill.
To see Shiffrin attempt to win two more crystal globes this season, watch the women’s super-G on Thursday and Sunday’s giant slalom.
Check out the full schedule below for times, events and where to watch live on TV and streaming.
ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP FINAL — Soldeu, Andorra
|Wednesday||5:30 a.m.||Men’s & Women’s Downhill||Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold|
|12:30 p.m.||Men’s & Women’s Downhill*||NBCSN|
|Thursday||5:30 a.m.||Men’s & Women’s Super-G||Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold|
|11:00 p.m.||Men’s & Women’s Super-G*||NBCSN|
|Friday||7:00 a.m.||Team Event||Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold|
|Saturday||4:30 a.m.||Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 1)||OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold|
|5:30 a.m.||Women’s Slalom (Run 1)||OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold|
|7:00 a.m.||Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2)||Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold|
|8:00 a.m.||Women’s Slalom (Run 2)||Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold|
|Sunday||4:30 a.m.||Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1)||OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold|
|5:30 a.m.||Men’s Slalom (Run 1)||OlympicChannel.com/NBC Sports Gold|
|7:00 a.m.||Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2)||Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold|
|8:00 a.m.||Men’s Slalom (Run 2)||Olympic Channel||Olympic Channel/NBC Sports Gold|
|3:30 p.m.||Women’s Giant Slalom*||NBCSN|