Shiffrin bounces back to take Killington slalom

AFP
Shiffrin led by a wide margin of 0.89 seconds after the morning run and ended up a huge 1.64 seconds ahead of Petra Vlhova, of Slovakia, who won the last World Cup slalom.
AFP
Reuters

Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States poses next to her grandmother Pauline Condron (center) and mother Eileen Shiffrin (left) after winning the women's slalom race at the FIS alpine skiing World Cup at Killington Resort in Vermont on November 26, 2017.

Olympic and world champion Mikaela Shiffrin returned to the winner's circle on Sunday, with a dominant performance in her favorite slalom event where she stormed to her first World Cup victory of the season.

The 22-year-old American blitzed the field in snowy and windy conditions, producing the best combined time over two runs of 1 minute, 40.91 seconds at the Killington Mountain ski resort in Vermont.

"It worked out quite well," said Shiffrin. "It wasn't easy but when I ski balanced it makes it easier than when I don't."

Shiffrin led by a wide margin of 0.89 seconds after the morning run and ended up a huge 1.64 seconds ahead of runner up Petra Vlhova, of Slovakia, who won the last World Cup slalom.

Bernadette Schild, of Austria, placed third, a full 2.67 seconds adrift of Shiffrin. Swiss Denise Feierabend finished fourth while Frida Hansdotter of Sweden rounded out the top five.

Shiffrin's margin of victory was the largest for any women's World Cup race since the American captured the World Cup Finals slalom by 2.03 seconds in 2016.

The American who was coming off a pair of back-to-back slalom losses to the much improved 22-year-old Vlhova, showed that she is ready to defend her slalom dominance, just 10 weeks before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. 

Shiffrin also snapped a winless run in her first three races of a season.

She did, however, finish second in Saturday's giant slalom on the same course and said the home crowd helped ease the pressure on Sunday.

"Sometimes I hear that and I am like uh-oh everybody is depending on me. But today they carried me to the finish," she said.

American star Lindsey Vonn is not racing in Vermont but is expected to take part in next weekend's speed races in the Canadian Rockies.

Vonn has won a record 18 times in 41 starts at Lake Louise.

AFP

Kjetil Jansrud of Norway celebrates his victory in the super G at the FIS World Cup in Lake Louise, Alberta, in Canada on November 26, 2017.

In Lake Louise, Alberta, Kjetil Jansrud of Norway won the World Cup super-G on Sunday, beating Austrian's Max Franz by 0.28 seconds.

The 32-year-old Jansrud finished in 1 minute, 30.76 seconds. In 2014, he won both the super-G and downhill at Lake Louise. He was fifth in the downhill on Saturday

"Yesterday, was a decent effort. My result was fifth place, but I didn't feel very confident in my skiing, which is not cool," Jansrud said. "So it was good to get on top of things today, gather my thoughts and try to attack it."

Austria's Hannes Reichelt was third, 0.32 seconds back.

The course became icier between the morning inspection and the noon race start. Lifting and settling fog, along with rain turning to snow and back again, altered visibility throughout the race.

Reigning world super-G champion Erik Guay of Canada withdrew from both races this weekend because of a sore back.

"Erik is one of the big competitors around," Jansrud said. "He's important for the sport in Canada. He's also reigning champ, so we're missing out. I think Erik was smart today and this weekend. Unfortunately before a home crowd, that's a tough decision to make. Hopefully it will pay off at the Olympics."

Beat Feuz of Switzerland won the downhill.

The men will now head to Beaver Creek, Colorado.


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