Three-time defending Audi World Cup overall women’s alpine ski champion Mikaela Shiffrin, 23, staged a powerful performance Sunday in front of 11,000 spectators watching the HomeLight Killington Cup women’s slalom event in Vermont.
In a field of 61, Shiffrin clocked a massive 2.29-second victory to capture her second World Cup slalom triumph of the young 2019-20 season and finish the day with career victory No. 62—42 coming in slalom. It was her fourth straight Killington Cup slalom win on the SuperStar course.
She increased her season prize winnings to $119,976 in just four races and her overall World Cup point lead to 340-118 over Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin. Shiffrin podiumed in third place in Saturday’s Killington Cup giant slalom before 19,500 fans.
“It was a really big fight. I was on the limit every single turn,” said Shiffrin after Sunday’s slalom win during an NBC television interview.
Conquering one of the circuit’s toughest slalom courses, rutted out and slick before Shiffrin’s final 63-gate run, the American champion extended her 1.13-second lead over Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova by posting the fourth-fastest second run. Vlhova struggled with the 18th-best finale.
She told Megan Harrod of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, “In these conditions, it’s tough because there were spots that were breaking and also some spots that were pretty slick. I really thought I was out of the course a couple of times. It was just fighting all of the way down. I really didn't think it was going to be fast.”
The Colorado gate ace tied Austrian alpine skier Annemarie Moser-Pröll (1969-80) for fourth place on the all-time World Cup victory list. Now, only Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden (86 victories from 1973-89), American Lindsey Vonn (82) and Marcel Hirscher (67) have more wins than Shiffrin.
Last winter, Shiffrin outscored Vlhova 2,204 to 1,355 for her third straight World Cup overall title, and she’s off to a strong start this time.
On Saturday, Shiffrin fought her way to the third-place giant slalom finish, 0.29 seconds behind first-time World Cup winner Marta Bassino of Italy and 0.03 seconds off the pace of runner-up Federica Brignone, Italy. Shiffrin was second in the season-opening GS at Soelden, Austria.
Next up for women is the first speed series of the season, at Lake Louise, Canada with two women’s downhills Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, and super giant slalom Sunday.
Shiffrin said Sunday that she plans to ski in all three events at Lake Louise. “Let’s get this party started!” she said. “I hope everyone’s watching again this year because I’m having a lot of fun and I hope it’s fun to watch. Right now I’m having the time of my life, and I hope you are too.”