Mikaela Shiffrin continued her podium ways with a third-place finish in women’s giant slalom at the FIS World Cup Saturday in Sestriere, Italy, her 11th world cup podium and fifth in giant slalom so far this season.
Shiffrin’s first run resulted in a time of 1 minute, 10.7 seconds, which put her fourth behind Italy’s Frederica Brignone, Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova and Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg. But as the two-time Olympic gold medalist does so well, she left everything on the course in her second run, shaving nearly three tenths of a second off her run for a total time of 2:21.16 seconds.
Still, the 24-year-old needed help in order to gain her 65th world cup victory, and neither Brignone nor Vlhova were in an accommodating mood. The Slovakian, who has emerged as Shiffrin’s biggest rival in her best event, slalom, has shown marked improvement from last season and has been skiing with more confidence. That was evident Saturday, as Vlhova met Shiffrin’s challenge and maintained her composure, moving ahead of Shiffrin with by a margin of just 0.01 seconds.
Brignone, skiing last, had the fifth-fastest time in the second run, but ended with an overall times of 2:21.15, tying with Vlhova for the win. Of the top three from the first round, it was Rebensburg who gave way, ending seventh after a mistake on her final descent.
Shiffrin, who arrived in Italy via helicopter after competing in slalom in Flachau, Austria earlier this week, has entered her busiest part of the season, but brushed away rumors that the demanding schedule has been affecting her results. Her 2019 season was exceptional for the number of victories it produced, and she told media earlier this week that she’s confident that she will continue to improve as 2020 continues.