Mikaela Shiffrin wins World Cup giant slalom missing three rivals

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Mikaela Shiffrin has won both giant slaloms this season and now trails only two women on the all-time World Cup GS victories list.

Shiffrin, who owns a record 46 World Cup slaloms wins, earned her 14th victory in the GS in Courchevel, France, on Tuesday. She has 72nd World Cup wins total, trailing just Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Lindsey Vonn (82).

“I think the closer I get, the less they matter,” Shiffrin said with a laugh. “It’s so far away still. … I’m not counting.”

Shiffrin prevailed by .86 of a second combining times from two runs on the first of two straight days of GS racing. Swede Sara Hector was second, followed by Swiss Michelle Gisin.

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“Today was really a quite difficult day,” said Shiffrin, who is on the sixth of an expected 10 consecutive World Cup stops across eight countries, including eight technical races (GS and slalom) between now and Jan. 11. “After the last weeks, pushing the schedule hard, it’s been a lot just to get here and we’re just starting this next tech block, so I’m not full tank right now. But I felt like I skied really some of my best skiing and some of my toughest skiing today.”

The race lacked three of the world’s top GS skiers — world champion Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland, New Zealand’s Alice Robinson and world slalom champion Katharina Liensberger of Austria — who were out after positive coronavirus tests.

Shiffrin is tied for third on the women’s career World Cup GS wins list with five others. They trail Swiss Vreni Schneider (20 wins) and Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (16).

Her victory Tuesday came at the same venue where, last December, she earned her first victory since her father’s death on Feb. 2, 2020.

“I feel like I’ve settled into my new self a little bit more at this point,” Shiffrin said on ORF, using air quotes for “new.” “I was still very much trying to figure out what was even happening last year and how I felt about it. I feel motivation now, feel a lot more fire.”

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