Lenzerheide

Mikaela Shiffrin’s late mistake costs win in last slalom before Olympics

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Not the momentum Mikaela Shiffrin hoped to carry into the Olympics.

The world’s best all-around skier lost her balance with a few slalom gates left, en route to sure victory, and skied out in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Shiffrin led by 1.09 seconds at the final intermediate split before the uncharacteristic mistake.

She worked her way back up to the missed gate and straddled it for a DNF.

Slovakian Petra Vlhova ended Shiffrin’s streak of five straight traditional World Cup slalom wins.

It was Shiffrin’s last race before the Olympics, her manager said, according to The Associated Press.

Full results are here.

Shiffrin goes into PyeongChang with these results in her last five races: 7th, DNF, DNF, 7th, DNF, albeit two of those were speed races that Shiffrin does not favor.

The women’s World Cup continues with a head-to-head slalom event in Stockholm on Tuesday.

Shiffrin leads the overall standings by 751 points with 10 wins this season.

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Mikaela Shiffrin misses podium as Olympic golds quest gets tougher

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Plenty of talk about Mikaela Shiffrin possibly winning three gold medals in PyeongChang, but the last two days showed just how tough that task will be.

France’s Tessa Worley notched her first international giant slalom win on Saturday since claiming the world championships and World Cup titles in the event last season.

German Viktoria Rebensburg, the 2010 Olympic GS champ, was second on Saturday, extending her lead in this season’s World Cup GS standings.

Shiffrin was seventh, four days after crashing out of the previous giant slalom. Before this week, Shiffrin placed in the top six of the last 15 giant slaloms since the start of the 2016-17 season.

Full Saturday results are here.

Lenzerheide marked the final World Cup giant slalom before the Olympics.

Shiffrin was the strongest GS racer around the new year, but Rebensburg has unquestionably been the top woman in the event over the whole season. The German has three wins and two runners-up in seven World Cup GS races.

Couple that with Swiss Wendy Holdener routing Friday’s super combined by 1.55 seconds. Holdener won the 2017 world title in the combined, though Shiffrin wasn’t in that field or in Friday’s race. Holdener also recorded both victories on home snow in Switzerland.

Shiffrin has been billed as the Olympic favorite in slalom, GS and the combined — Sports Illustrated picked her to win all three — but it wouldn’t shock anyone if Worley, Rebensburg or Holdener keeps the world’s best all-around skier from the record-tying triple.

Toni SailerJean-Claude Killy and Janica Kostelic share the mark of three Alpine titles at a single Games.

Shiffrin headlines her trademark event, a slalom, in Lenzerheide on Sunday, streaming on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app with the second run also airing on NBCSN.

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Lindsey Vonn just misses podium in World Cup combined

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Lindsey Vonn couldn’t hang onto the podium in the slalom run of a World Cup combined Friday, going from first after the morning super-G to finish fourth in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Wendy Holdener, the world champion in the combined, made up a .71 deficit on Vonn after the super-G to win by 1.55 seconds over Italian Marta Bassino.

Slovenia’s Ana Bucik ended up third despite being 30th in the super-G. Vonn was 1.88 back of the Swiss Holdener.

Holdener was fifth overall after the super-G run but also the most decorated slalom skier in the field.

Full results are here.

Vonn led Italian Federica Brignone by six tenths after the super-G, but Vonn struggles in slalom. It’s the one event the 79-time World Cup race winner definitely will not race in PyeongChang.

She had the 17th-fastest slalom run of the top 30 skiers from the super-G.

The Olympic combined medal favorites are tougher to gauge due to the fact that Friday’s race marked the only combined this season before the Winter Games.

Vonn is certainly in the mix. She was fifth in the combined at last season’s world championships.

“That’s why I’m starting [Friday’s race], so I can see how it feels for the Olympics and know how much I need to improve if I want to get a medal,” Vonn said.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who didn’t contest the combined at worlds but is nonetheless an Olympic medal favorite, skipped Friday’s race to rest. She is expected to headline a giant slalom Saturday and slalom Sunday in Lenzerheide.

Coverage will be on NBCSN and streaming on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

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