Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Victory (again) in Flachau

As expected conditions changed as the evening went on. It started snowing right before the second run. After an outstanding first run, Mikaela Shiffrin stayed focused and raced to the seventh World Cup slalom victory in her career. She logged a combined time of 1:45.83, 0.83 seconds less than runner-up of the day Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, while Maria Piatilae-Holmner took third, 1.14 seconds off the pace.
At 18 years and 307 days, Shiffrin is the second youngest woman to win seven World Cup slalom races and the youngest for 34 years. Perrine Pelen (FRA) won her seventh at 18 years and 258 days in March 1979. Until today, Pelen and Janica Kostelic (CRO) were the only women to have won seven World Cup slalom races before turning 19.
Mikaela Shiffrin was crowned Snow Space princess for the second time in a row. She already won the slalom race in Flachau last season. The Austrian resort is now the first venue at which she has won twice at World Cup level.
"It was really really fun, especially in the first run", said the American prodigy. "I managed to let my skis go. It was like every gate was coming faster and faster. Every victory is special. It always means something else. If there are conditions that are tougher or whatever it is, it's always nice to be on top (...) Going into the second run with a comfortable margin over the others helps for sure. But I learned in Lenzerheide that a one second gap might not enough to win the race".
"It's tough hill. Not steep, not flat. It's not easy to find the right pace. Overall, I did my best skiing in the first run today. It's the best feeling after working so many years, to be able to ski like you do in training. It gives now me a lot of confidence going into the next races and the Olympics", the 18-year-old concluded.
Frida Hansdotter finishes on the second place for the 8th time in her career. "I hope I won't have to wait too long to get my first World Cup victory", she commented. "Who knows it might happen at the Games. I am really satisfied with my skiing tonight. Mikaela was just unbeatable".
Already on the podium in Bormio, Maria Piatilae-Holmner has had an amazing season so far. A victory is still missing though. "It is so sweat to be part of such a good and strong team", she said at the press conference. "We train really hard together, help and push each other".
World Cup leader Maria Höfl-Riesch ended in fourth place tonight and increases her lead in the overall standings. She has now 781 points, 79 more than Austria's Anna Fenninger who doesn’t race slalom.

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