Mikaela Shiffrin established herself as the most dominant slalom skier in the world as this decade developed, so it’s only fitting that she closed it out with yet another world cup victory.
In her final race of 2019, Shiffrin on Sunday cruised to her 64th career world cup win, and second this weekend, when she won the slalom Sunday in Lienz, Austria. The win came one day after she won a giant slalom in Lienz to move into second in the all-time world cup wins list for women, behind fellow American Lindsey Vonn with 82.
Only Austria’s Marcel Hirscher (67) and Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark (86) have more on the men’s side.
The win also marked Shiffrin’s 43rd in slalom, tying Vonn for the most wins in a discipline by a woman. Vonn, who retired last season, won 43 downhills. Stenmark holds the overall record with 46, which he did in giant slalom.
Lienz was a fitting place for Shiffrin to close out the decade as well. She earned her first career podium there with a third-place finish in slalom all the way back in 2011—on the same date. That launched a career that now includes three Olympic medals in two trips to the Games, three consecutive world cup overall titles, four consecutive world championships golds in slalom plus an ever-growing list of world cup victories.
On Sunday she posted the fastest time in the first run at 54.54 seconds, leading Slovakia's Petra Vlhova by .26 seconds. In the penultimate run, Vlhova improved upon her first run, but so did Shiffrin, who clocked in at 54.35 to ultimately win by .61 seconds. Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin was a full 1.72 seconds behind for third place.
Shiffrin has now won the past seven slaloms she’s competed between the world cup and world championships. She’s three-for-three to start the season.
Her bounce back weekend in Lienz also follows her worst world cup finish in two years when she took 17th in a giant slalom on Dec. 17 in Courchevel, France. Shiffrin then skipped competing in the upcoming downhill and combined races in Val d’Isere, France, to focus on training, before returning to competition this weekend.
Sunday's win extended Shiffrin's lead in the world cup overall standings to 295 points. She also leads the slalom standings and ranks second in giant slalom.
The alpine world cup season continues Jan. 4-5 with men’s and women’s slalom races in Zagreb, Austria.