Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Slalom Victory and Title in Meribel


Mikeala Shiffrin made it a slalom three-peat today at the Audi FIS World Cup Finals in Meribel (FRA) as she earned her third straight Season Title in the slalom, topping Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter for bragging rights.
Shiffrin entered today’s race with a healthy 90-point lead, meaning she basically only needed to cross the finish line to grab the title. But Hansdotter put up a good fight as she led Shiffrin by 0.07 seconds after the first run and ended up finishing in second place in the race behind the American, only 0.05 seconds off the pace. Veronika Zuzulova hung on to third.. It was Shiffrin’s fifth slalom victory this season.
"Frida has been pushing me hard all season, she’s been skiing so fast and I really had to give it my all in the second run to get the win today", said Shiffrin after the race. "When I hit the flat section I had a good feeling, but knew I had to give it everything I had if I wanted to win and luckily it worked out".
Shiffrin ended up winning the slalom globe by a 110-point margin ahead of Hansdotter, while Tina Maze (SLO) finished well behind the two-horse race ending 240 points behind in third place.
In the other major storyline of the weekend, Anna Fenninger (AUT) and Maze are still both in the hunt for the Overall Title. Fenninger entered the race with a 32-point lead against Maze, but the tables have turned after today’s slalom as Maze holds a very precarious 18-point lead after finishing in fourth place vs. Fenninger’s 23rd.
Fenninger is not a traditional slalom skier as her last appearance in the event was in 2011, but with points at a premium, the Austrian took the chance to race today. Tomorrow should be a different story as Fenninger and Maze quite evenly matched in the giant slalom, with Fenninger being the defending champion in the event. They will duke it out in the grand finale race tomorrow to see who wins the Overall Title.
Today was the first time all week that clouds rolled into Meribel. The cloud cover provided some relief for the softening course conditions, but temperatures were still in the double digits still making it far-from-easy for the racers, especially in the second run.

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