Federica Brignone

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

Mikaela Shiffrin sixth in last race of season; eyes speed events in 2018

Leave a comment

Mikaela Shiffrin completed her best season yet with a sixth-place finish in the World Cup Finals giant slalom in Aspen, Colo., on Sunday. Then she looked ahead to expanding her Olympic program.

Shiffrin, the World Cup overall champion, ended up 2.14 seconds behind Italian Federica Brignone at the 37th and last race of the season. Shiffrin was in second place after the first run but struggled in the second run, going 15th-fastest.

“I’m not very satisfied,” Shiffrin said on NBCSN. “I didn’t take enough aggression when I really needed it. It’s a bit of a bummer, but it’s good motivation for next year.”

Italy swept the first three places. Brignone was followed by Sofia Goggia and Marta Bassino.

France’s Tessa Worley placed fifth, wrapping up the giant slalom season title by 85 points over Shiffrin. Shiffrin also took second to Worley in the giant slalom at the world championships in February.

Full Results

This season, Shiffrin was once again the world’s best slalom skier, improved to become the second-best giant slalom skier and won her only super combined start.

“I’ve been dreaming about the overall globe,” Shiffrin said. “I just wanted to be the best skier in the world. When you look at the definition of the best skier in the world, the overall globe pops up.”

At 22, she is the youngest World Cup overall champion since Janica Kostelic in 2003, and the fifth American to take home the sport’s biggest annual prize (Phil MahreTamara McKinneyBode MillerLindsey Vonn).

Her 11 World Cup wins are joint-second-most by an American man or woman in one season, trailing only Vonn, who took 12 in the 2011-12 season.

Three medals at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics are possible. One U.S. woman has captured three medals in one Winter Olympics — speed skater Sheila Young in 1976.

The 2017-18 World Cup season will likely start with the traditional opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, in late October.

Shiffrin’s goal next year is to improve in the speed events of super-G and downhill, racing at least one speed event in PyeongChang. She has made five career World Cup super-G starts and two downhills, with a best finish of fourth.

“I still don’t feel like the best skier in the world,” Shiffrin said. “I feel like the best slalom skier, one of the best GS skiers, and I have some work to do in speed. Maybe someday I’ll be the best skier in everything, and then I can really sit back and say, OK, now I’ve done it. But I don’t know if that day will ever come.”

A challenge will be stamina. Shiffrin started 25 of 37 World Cup races this season, skipping the majority of the speed races. Even with that schedule, she noted fatigue in Aspen this weekend.

“You just want to take a nap for three days straight,” Shiffrin said Sunday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. downhiller suffers leg fracture in race crash