(L-R) Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova smile after tying for first at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on Feb. 1, 2019 in Maribor, Slovenia.
For the second time in her career, Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin skied to a tie for first place in a world cup giant slalom race.
The first time was five years ago when Shiffrin tied Austria’s Anna Fenninger for her first-ever world cup victory in the discipline in Soelden, Austria. On Friday in Maribor, Slovenia, she did it again. Shiffrin posted a time of 2:31:31 to claim her ninth career world cup giant slalom win, a result she shared with Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova.
This was the final giant slalom race of the season before the world championships begin.
Shiffrin, 23, from Eagle-Vail, Colorado, is now tied with Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider for the third-most women’s world cup victories with 55. Only Lindsey Vonn (82 and counting) and Austrian skier Annemarie Moser-Proell (62) have more.
Shiffrin is the reigning Olympic champion in the event, and after the first run on Friday she led Vlhova by .48 seconds with a time of 1:14.28 to put her in first place. That remained the fastest run of the day, but Vlhova posted the best time of the second run with a 1:16.55. With Shiffrin’s time of 1:17.03, the skiers were locked even with a combined time of 2:31.31. Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel was third with a time of 2:32.24.
Shiffrin, the two-time defending overall world cup champion, maintains a lead of nearly 600 points above Vlhova, and also ranks first in giant slalom, slalom and super-G.
The alpine world championships will be held Feb. 5-17 in Are, Sweden. Shiffrin could become the first ever to win four consecutive world championships in the same event in slalom on Feb. 16.