Mikaela Shiffrin wins inaugural giant slalom in Alpine Ski World Cup season

Mikaela Shiffrin wins inaugural giant slalom in Alpine Ski World Cup season

SÖLDEN, Austria – The American Mikaela Shiffrin won the Sölden Giant Slalom, the inaugural race of the Alpine Ski World Cup season, this Saturday, defeating the reigning world champion Lara Gut-Behrami in a close fight for the 70th. victory of his career.

The three-time overall champion was two hundredths of a second behind Gut-Behrami after the first heat, but made another clean run in the second to overtake her Swiss rival by 14 hundredths of a second.

The pair finished well ahead of the rest of the competitors; the defending champion overall Petra vlhova Slovakia finished third at 1 second and 30 hundredths.

Shiffrin became just the third skier in World Cup history to reach 70 victories, after Ingemar Stenmark and Linsey Vonn accomplished the feat before closing their careers with 86 and 82 victories, respectively.

The 13th. Shiffrin’s victory in GS came seven years after she won her first race in the discipline at the same location, as she shared victory in 2014 with Austrian Anna Fenninger.

The Italian Giant Slalom Specialists Marta Bassino and Federica Brignone both were disqualified.

Bassino, who won at Sölden last year and dominated the discipline with four wins last season, lost control of his outside skiing midway through the first heat, when he was already 57 hundredths behind then-leader Shiffrin.

Brignone was 15th, lagging 1 second 52 hundredths after the first run, before hooking a gate with his left arm in the second.

Other big names suffered difficulties as well. The French star Tessa worley finished 2 seconds and 6 hundredths in eighth place and the New Zealander Alice robinson, who won the inaugural event in 2019, crossed the finish line 2 seconds 41 hundredths from the lead in eleventh place.

Shiffrin led a solid performance for the American Alpine Ski Team; four of his five starters added World Cup points, including a ninth place for Nina o’brien, the best result of his career. What’s more, AJ Hurt achieved the 20th. place, and Paula moltzan ended 23rd.

Among rigorous anti-COVID measures, the race received 9,000 spectators.

A minute of silence prior to the race was dedicated to Gian Franco Kasper, a former FIS president who passed away in July, just weeks after Johan Eliasch was chosen as his successor.

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