Federica Brignone

Mikaela Shiffrin nearly makes it three-way tie for World Cup win

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Mikaela Shiffrin came .01 shy of making it a three-way tie for a World Cup giant slalom win on Saturday, confirming GS has been the most up-for-grabs discipline for either gender in recent years.

Shiffrin, beaten in her last two slaloms, had the fastest second run to place third behind co-winners Italian Federica Brignone and Slovakian Petra Vlhova in Sestriere, Italy. The reigning Olympic and World Cup champion in the GS rallied from fourth place and .42 behind after the first run.

Shiffrin still leads the World Cup overall standings by 233 points over Vlhova. The American last won Dec. 29. Though she made the podium in three of her four races since, Shiffrin expressed a lack of confidence heading into this weekend’s races at the 2006 Olympic venue.

“The most exciting thing for me is that people have stopped asking me, like, are you unbeatable?” said Shiffrin, who won a record 17 World Cup races last season and has four victories nearly halfway through this season, tied with Vlhova for most on tour. “I feel really good in GS. It’s just been a long time since [the last GS on Dec. 28].”

Vlhova earned her third victory this month after beating Shiffrin those last two slaloms. Brignone leads the GS season standings by 61 points over Shiffrin, seeking to become the sixth different woman to win that discipline title in the last six years. There are four more GS races left this season.

It’s the second straight season with a World Cup GS tie. Last Feb. 1, Shiffrin and Vlhova tied in Maribor, Slovenia.

It’s the first time the top three finishers were separated by such a small margin since the last three-way tie for a win in 2006, when Lindsey VonnMichaela Dorfmeister and Nadia Styger had the same super-G time, and fourth-place Kelly VanderBeek was .01 behind.

“Last season, I had the lucky side of the hundredths many times, so sometimes I’m not going to be on the lucky side, too,” said Shiffrin, who had three victories by .16 or tighter last season.

World Cup racing continues with a parallel giant slalom on Sunday at 5:45 a.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on NBC Sports Gold.

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Mikaela Shiffrin skis out of World Cup combined race

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Mikaela Shiffrin skied out of a World Cup combined, sliding out after getting bumped off balance in the opening super-G leg of the two-run event won by Italian Federica Brignone in Zauchensee, Austria, on Sunday.

Shiffrin was 41 seconds into her run — and .03 behind the leader at the second split time — when she hit a patch of bumpy terrain and had to stand upright. She went wide of a gate and, needing a sharp turn to correct, slid out on her left hip.

Shiffrin managed to slide back onto her skis and slowly make her way down the mountain, unhurt.

“The surface is amazing the whole course, but it was just those two turns that had little bumps, nothing crazy, but I went into one turn and I caught my edge a bit, then going into the big turn with the compression I was just really off-balance and I tried a recovery turn on that one, but I wasn’t over the outside enough, so I just fell over,” Shiffrin said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “It was not a very exciting crash, but that’s OK for me.”

Nine of the first 22 racers failed to finish the super-G, including including Olympic combined champion Michelle Gisin, downhill gold medalist Sofia Goggia and Petra Vlhova, Shiffrin’s rival in slalom and giant slalom.

It marked Shiffrin’s first DNF since Jan. 28, 2018, when she skied out of a slalom with a few gates left of the final run en route to sure victory.

Brignone went on to win her 12th World Cup race and third straight combined dating to 2018. Swiss Wendy Holdener was runner-up, a half-second behind combining times from super-G and slalom runs. Italian Marta Bassino was third. Full results are here.

Shiffrin remains a comfortable 261 points ahead of Brignone in the World Cup overall standings, seeking her fourth straight season-long title. The American is expected to headline Tuesday’s slalom in Flachau, Austria (12 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold), the 16th of 40 scheduled races this season that ends in March.

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MORE: Shiffrin among 10 dominant Winter Olympians of 2010s decade

Mikaela Shiffrin passed in World Cup GS standings after ‘heartbreaking’ result

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Mikaela Shiffrin, who opened the World Cup season with four straight podiums and two wins, could not find her usual speed Tuesday, finishing 17th in a giant slalom in Couchevel, France.

Italian Federica Brignone won and snatched the World Cup GS standings lead from Shiffrin through three of a scheduled nine races. Shiffrin, the Olympic GS champion, won the season-long World Cup GS title for the first time last season.

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, according to a press release. “Look, it’s not really OK for me to expect something more from the day. I mean … I skied and I placed how I placed. The girls who are ahead of me skied harder, better and cleaner than me.”

Shiffrin was 19th after the first run and had the 11-fastest time in the second run. She finished 1.65 seconds behind Brignone, who edged Norwegian Mina Fuerst Holtmann by .04. Shiffrin’s coach Mike Day set the course for run No. 2.

“I don’t have any excuse, really,” Shiffrin said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “They did an amazing job preparing the surface. The slope was actually in an amazing condition. Both courses were really fun to ski, and my equipment has been really great in training and everything. There’s really no one to blame but myself. I’m for sure going to watch my video. It’s experience, and there’s always a lesson to learn. Right now it feels heartbreaking, but it’s also not the end of the world, so we just have to move on to the next one.”

In the World Cup GS standings, Brignone moved from 14 points behind Shiffrin to 71 points ahead.

The Italian is likely to go into 2020 with the lead, given there is one World Cup GS over the next month and race winners receive 100 points for a win on a sliding scale for the top 30 finishers.

Shiffrin is still comfortably ahead in the chase for her fourth straight World Cup overall title, 165 points clear of Brignone.

Shiffrin skipped Sunday’s parallel slalom in St. Moritz, Switzerland, her third time passing on a tech race (aside from injury) since she burst onto the scene as a teenager in 2012. She used the time off to rest after last Saturday’s super-G, ahead of Tuesday’s GS and this weekend’s downhill and super combined in Val d’Isere, France.

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