Mikaela Shiffrin took another step toward the World Cup overall title, winning her first World Cup super combined race Sunday in her second-ever start in the discipline.
The youngest Olympic slalom champion prevailed by seven tenths of a second combining super-G and slalom runs in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Italian Federica Brignone was second, followed by Slovenian Ilka Stuhec.
Shiffrin was in seventh place after the morning super-G, 1.30 seconds behind leader Sofia Goggia of Italy. She then had the fastest slalom by .35. Shiffrin had the disadvantage of starting 31st in the super-G because of her lack of super combined experience.
Shiffrin notched her ninth World Cup win this season and the 29th of her career after 25 victories in slalom and three in giant slalom. She ranks No. 1 in the world in slalom and No. 2 in giant slalom, but had only raced one top-level combined before Sunday (finishing eighth in a World Cup last February).
Now a super combined winner, Shiffrin could go into the 2018 Olympics as a threat to become the first American woman to earn three (or more) Alpine medals at one Winter Games.
Shiffrin beat a field Sunday that didn’t include Lindsey Vonn, who skipped the race after dealing with likely food poisoning on Friday and crashing in Saturday’s super-G.
Shiffrin was 13th in Saturday’s race won by Stuhec.
Shiffrin now leads the standings for the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, by 298 points over Stuhec with eight races left.
With 100 points awarded to race winners, Shiffrin will become the third U.S. woman to take the crystal globe (Tamara McKinney, Vonn), barring a complete collapse.
Shiffrin and Vonn are expected to fly to South Korea ahead of next weekend’s World Cup downhill and super-G.
However, Shiffrin said that she would only train at the 2018 Olympic venue and return early to the U.S. to prepare for her favored technical races in Squaw Valley, Calif., the following weekend.
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VIDEO: Vonn crashes out of super-G
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