Mikaela Shiffrin will not race on the World Cup this weekend, upon re-evaluating after a 17th-place finish in a Tuesday giant slalom.
Shiffrin announced Thursday that she will skip a Saturday downhill (4:15 a.m. ET, Olympic Channel) and Sunday combined (8 a.m., Olympic Channel) in Val d’Isere, France, a venue she had been planning to race for the first time in speed events.
“Wellllll I wanted to try for @valdisere. I was pretty excited, really-and it would have been the first time that I made that schedule work…but I have to get some work done now, so Merry Christmas and see you in Lienz [Dec. 28-29]!” was posted on her social media.
A day earlier, Shiffrin’s account posted, “As always my plan is day-by-day and [Tuesday] forced me to re-evaluate the coming weeks. Gonna take a little pause and skip tomorrow’s downhill training in Val d’isere and go from there.”
On Tuesday, Shiffrin was “visibly upset, speechless and a little stunned,” according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard, after her worst result since the PyeongChang Olympics and her worst for a tech race outside of DNFs in more than five years.
“I have a lot of thoughts, but I probably shouldn’t say any of them on camera,” she joked. “Look, it’s not really OK for me to expect something more from the day. I mean, I skied how I skied, and I placed how I placed. The girls who are ahead of me… skied harder. They skied better, cleaner.
“I don’t have any excuse, really. They did an amazing job preparing the surface. The slope was actually in an amazing condition, really. Both courses were really fun, awesome to ski, and my equipment has been really great in training and everything. There’s really nobody to blame but myself here.
“I’m for sure going to watch my video a lot more, but it is experience. It’s true. There’s always a lesson to learn. Right now it feels a lot like what I’m trying to do I’m not actually able to do, but it’s also not the end of the world.”
Shiffrin opened the season with four straight podiums, including two wins, and then made podiums in two out of four speed races. She then skipped a parallel slalom in Switzerland on Sunday — her third time skipping a tech race aside from injury since she burst on the scene in 2012 — to prepare for Tuesday’s GS and this weekend’s races in France.
Shiffrin, eyeing a fourth straight World Cup overall title, leads the season standings by a significant margin — 165 points — after 10 of 41 scheduled races.
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