Federica Brignone

Mikaela Shiffrin, Petra Vlhova share win in Maribor giant slalom

Leave a comment

The U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin returned to World Cup racing after a short recharging hiatus looking to win her third giant slalom of the season and extend her lead in the FIS GS point standings. Adding a giant slalom crystal globe win to her prolific list of accolades has been a goal for Shiffrin since the beginning of the season.

Shiffrin led the field by just under a half second after run #1 was complete. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova was positioned behind Shiffrin in second, with the reigning GS world champion, France’s Tessa Worley in third.

Vlhova, who entered the day fifth on the list of GS points, displayed the improvements she has made in her skiing this season. In her second run in Maribor, Vlhova burst through the finish to take the lead by .93 hundredths of a second. Before Vlhova, Worley’s day was ruined when her skis caught a rut on course, significantly slowing the French skier on her way to the finish.

With Worley unable to make the podium, and Vlhova well behind Shiffrin in the GS point standings, Shiffrin had the option to back off a touch, and still earn enough points from the race to retain her lead for the crystal globe.

Shiffrin appeared to do just that, at least in the section of the course which took Worley out of contention, but upon nearing the finish, Shiffrin began to make a charge. But instead of winning outright, Shiffrin crossed the finish, dead even with Vlhova with a combined two-run time of 2 minutes 31.31 seconds.

“It was a fight in the second [run],” Shiffrin said after the race. “I almost lost it at the bottom. It’s always nice when you kind of have this luck.

“I saw Petra from the start and I was like, “Okay, I better up the ante a little bit.””

Full results are here.

Joining Shiffrin and Vlhova on the podium was Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel in third. Worley finished the day in ninth, making Shiffrin’s quest for her first GS crystal globe one that is hers to either win or lose. There now remains just two GS events on the 2018-19 World Cup calendar.

The women are back on the Slovenian snow tomorrow to race slalom. Stream the first run live on OlympicChannel.com or with your NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass starting at 4:00 a.m. ET, and catch the second and deciding run at 7:00 a.m. ET on TV or streaming with Olympic Channel or NBC Sports Gold.

The men’s World Cup tour starts their weekend in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with the downhill on Saturday morning beginning at 5:30 a.m. ET. Catch the race live on  Olympic Channel on TV, or stream it live on all devices using an NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Mikaela Shiffrin highlights Olympic sports action this week

Mikaela Shiffrin just misses Killington giant slalom podium

Leave a comment

Mikaela Shiffrin rallied to finish fourth in a World Cup giant slalom won by Italian Federica Brignone in Killington, Vt., on Saturday, missing the podium by .21 of a second.

Shiffrin came back from sixth after the first run but snapped a streak of three straight GS podiums dating to last season.

“The first run, the snow was almost too easy, and I wasn’t pushing hard enough,” she said on NBCSN. “The second run, I was pushing much harder. … Sometimes I’m giving a little too much in order to make sure I’m staying on the course. The risk factor isn’t always there.”

Brignone, who took bronze in the PyeongChang Olympic GS won by Shiffrin, prevailed Saturday by .49 over Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel. Austrian Stephanie Brunner was third.

The Italian was on crutches three months ago with ligament damage from a preseason training crash. She came back to finish second in the season-opening giant slalom last month and notch her ninth World Cup win on Saturday.

Mowinckel, who earned two silver medals in PyeongChang, led Brignone by .37 after the first run.

Shiffrin is the favorite in Sunday’s slalom, which she won the last two years in Killington. Coverage begins at 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, continuing with live second run coverage on NBC at 1 p.m.

Lindsey Vonn has yet to race in this her farewell season and, after a training crash Monday, will not be at next weekend’s speed races at her favorite venue of Lake Louise, Alberta.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

KILLINGTON: Full Results | Alpine TV Schedule

Lindsey Vonn misses podium as Italian wins super-G (video)

1 Comment

Lindsey Vonn stayed on her feet but didn’t have the speed to match Italian Federica Brignone in her first race of 2018.

Vonn finished ninth, 1.43 seconds behind Brignone in a World Cup super-G in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, on Saturday.

Vonn did mathematically clinch a spot on her fourth Olympic team, though that was never in doubt.

Full results are here.

“On the bottom I wasn’t as aggressive I should have been,” Vonn told media in Austria. “I was a little bit too conservative. It’s kind of funny because I skied the harder sections better and then the easier sections worse.”

Vonn raced for the first time in nearly a month. The World Cup tour’s previous nine events were slaloms and giant slaloms that Vonn does not favor.

Vonn came into Saturday’s race prioritizing staying healthy ahead of the Olympics over potentially taking risks to increase her chances of winning World Cups.

She was not certain to even start the super-G given poor course conditions this week, including canceled and shortened downhill training runs.

Vonn has one victory in seven starts this season but also crashed twice in December and withdrew before two other races due to back and knee injuries.

She remains eight wins shy of the World Cup record of 86 held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

Vonn said on Austrian TV this week that she does not plan to retire without breaking the record, according to The Associated Press.

The World Cup continues with a downhill Sunday at 5 a.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

World Cup overall leader Mikaela Shiffrin is sitting out this weekend’s races but does plan to compete at speed races in Italy next weekend.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Mikaela Shiffrin’s dominance rarely seen in sports, let alone skiing