The wait between Mikaela Shiffrin’s first and second giant slalom wins was 26 months. The gap between wins Nos. 2 and 3 was only 24 hours.
Just one day after winning the first of two giant slalom races in Semmering, Austria, the 21-year-old sensation picked up the back end of the two-race sweep Wednesday, besting the field with her total time of 2:09.40 in a heavy snowstorm and edging France’s Tessa Worley by 0.15 seconds. Tuesday’s race replaced last week’s event in Courchevel, France, which was cancelled due to high winds.
Shiffrin led after the first run with a 1:00.84, 0.08 seconds better than Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg and 0.10 ahead of Worley, who entered the race ranked No. 1 in the world cup standings. Rebensburg finished third in 2:09.58.
“It was a big fight,” Shiffrin said of the conditions. “There was so much snow coming down. I could feel my skis in the tracks, and then (feel them) coming up and slowing down. I thought ‘This isn’t good, it’s got to be slow.’”
With six podium finishes thus far this season between slalom and giant slalom, Shiffrin already has matched her total for the 2015-16 season, which was interrupted by a knee injury. Of her eight career giant slalom world cup podiums, the last seven have come on Austria’s slopes.
Already dominant in slalom, where she will seek her 12th consecutive victory Thursday, Shiffrin now is looking for the same type of consistency in giant slalom.
“It’s two victories, but in the same place,” she said when asked if the consecutive wins are a sign of progress. “It would be nice to repeat it at a new venue, but it’s definitely nice to ski free for four runs in a row.”
The win further padded Shiffrin’s lead in the overall world cup standings. She now has 698 points, 115 ahead of Austria’s Lara Gut, who finished sixth Wednesday. It also trimmed Worley’s lead in giant slalom as Shiffrin gained 20 points to improve her total to 265, 55 behind Worley’s 320 points.