The 2019-20 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season ended prematurely in early March with two weeks of canceled races including the World Cup Finals in northern Idaho because of coronavirus (COVID-19) health concerns.
New leaders emerged, with the pre-season retirement of eight-time World Cup men’s overall champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria and the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding Colorado’s Mikaela Shiffrin, the three-time World Cup women’s overall champion.
Shiffrin, 25, appeared well-positioned for a fourth straight World Cup title before she left the circuit to be with her family after the unexpected death of father Jeff Shiffrin, 65, in Colorado Feb. 2.
The Eagle/Vail racer out of Burke Mountain Academy was gone for six weeks before returning to Europe to train prior to the World Cup Finals, which ended up being canceled. Her absence was noteworthy. She had piled up 3,977 World Cup points and earned $1.629 million in prize money over the last two campaigns.
Shiffrin’s chief pursuer this season, 29-year-old three-time Olympian Federica Brignone, ended up as the first Italian female skier to win the overall World Cup title, by 153 points over runner-up Shiffrin.
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, 27, of Norway, with only one victory this season, used his point-getting efforts in downhill, super giant slalom and combined to capture his first-ever World Cup overall title in a close finish over Hirscher’s heir-apparent Alexis Pinturault, 29, of France.
Pinturault, a six-time World Cup alpine combined season winner, has finished second in overall standings two years in a row. With 29 wins and 62 podiums in 12 seasons, he has become the most successful French male skier in World Cup history.
And that list includes the legendary Jean-Claude Killy, now 76, the three-time Olympic gold medalist in 1968 who was the World Cup’s first men’s overall champion in 1967 and 1968. Killy ended up racing only those seasons, and he had 18 wins.
Nevertheless, when the dust settled in 2020, Shiffrin with her six season victories still claimed the World Cup prize earnings title with $407,342 in her 18 events.
Her last race of the season was Jan. 26 in Bulgaria, but Shiffrin earned more than Brignone ($383,222 in 22 events) and Petra Vlhova, 25, of Slovakia ($352,113). Indeed, Shiffrin was the top earner once again among all men and women—Pinturault ($369,662) topping the World Cup men.
Dominating discipline crystal globes were Brignone (overall, giant slalom, alpine combined), Vlhova (slalom, parallel GS) and speed queen Corinne Suter of Switzerland (downhill, super giant slalom).
The World Cup men had a slew of close races for discipline crystal globes, the only exceptions the downhill title won by Beat Feuz of Switzerland by 212 points over Thomas Dressen of Germany, and Pinturault’s combined victory by 108 points over Norway’s Kilde.
Norway’s Kristofferson won his giant slalom globe by six points over Pinturault, and his slalom title by just two points over Clement Noel of France. Switzerland’s Mauro Caviezel was the super giant slalom champ by just three points over Vincent Kriechmayr of Austria.
Here are final World Cup 2019-20 top standings and Americans plus overall discipline results:
Women’s overall: 1—Federica Brignone (Italy) 1,378 points. 2—Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 1,225. 3—Petra Vlhova (Svk.) 1,189.
4—Corinne Suter (Switz). 837. 5—Marta Bassino (Italy) 817. 6—Wendy Holdener (Switz.) 791. 7—Lara Gut-Behrami (Switz.) 616. 8—Michelle Gisin (Switz.) 591. 9—Viktoria Rebensburg (Germ.) 556. 10—Ester Ledecka (Czech) 503.
Others from Team USA: 37—Alice Merryweather 167. 38—Breezy Johnson 162. 65—Alice McKennis 87. 74—Nina O’Brien 53. 102—Paula Moltzan 19. 116—Jacqueline Wiles 6.
Prize earnings: 1—Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) $407,342. 2—Federica Brignone (Italy) $383,222. 3—Petra Vlhova (Svk.) $352,113.
Women’s downhill: 1—Corinne Suter (Switz.) 477. 2—Ester Ledecka (Czech) 322. 3—Federica Brignone (Italy) 320. 4—Lara Gut-Behrami (Switz.) 288. 5—Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 256.
Others Team USA: 20—Breezy Johnson 136. 27—Alice Merryweather 64. 28—Alice McKennis 57. 48—Jacqueline Wiles 6.
Women’s super giant slalom: 1—Corinne Suter (Switz.) 360. 2—Federica Brignone (Italy) 341. 3—Nicole Schmidhofer (Aut.) 217. 4—Lara Gut-Behrami (Switz.) 209. 5—Stephanie Venier (Aut.) 205.
7—Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 256.
Others from Team USA: 26—Alice Merryweather 63. 33—Alice McKennis 30. 41—Breezy Johnson 14.
Women’s giant slalom: 1—Federica Brignone (Italy) 407. 2—Petra Vlhova (Svk.) 333. 3—Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 314. 4—Marta Bassino (Italy) 309. 5—Alice Robinson (New Zealand) 300.
Others from Team USA: 37—Nina O’Brien 20.
Women’s slalom: 1—Petra Vlhova (Svk.) 460. 2—Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 440. 3—Katharina Liensberger (Aut.) 276. 4—Wendy Holdener (Switz.) 260. 5—Anna Swenn Larsson (Swe.) 235.
Others from Team USA: 37—Paula Moltzan 19. 50—Nina O’Brien 2.
Women’s alpine combined: 1—Federica Brignone (Italy) 200. 2—Wendy Holdener (Switz.) 125. 3—Ester Ledecka (Czech) 100. 4—Franziska Gritsch (Aut.) 80. 5—Ramona Siebenhofer (Aut.) 64.
Others from Team USA: 13—Alice Merryweather 40. 30—Breezy Johnson 12.
Women’s parallel giant slalom: 1—Petra Vlhova (Svk.) 113. 2—Clara Direz (Fra.) 100. 3—Federica Brignone (Italy) 90.
Others from Team USA: 19—Nina O’Brien 31. 20—Mikaela Shiffrin 29.
Men’s overall: 1—Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (Nor.) 1,202 points. 2—Alexis Pinturault (Fra.) 1,148. 3—Henrik Kristoffersen (Nor.) 1,041. 4—Matthias Mayer (Aut.) 916. 5—Vincent Kriechmayr (Aut.) 794. 6—Beat Feuz (Switz.) 792. 7—Mauro Caviezel (Switz.) 669. 8—Kjetil Jansrud (Nor.) 665. 9—Thomas Dressen (Germ.) 602. 10—Loic Meillard (Switz.) 579.
Others from Team USA: 20—Ryan Cochran-Siegle 375. 22—Tommy Ford 325. 24—Travis Ganong 309. 44—Ted Ligety 165. 48—Bryce Bennett 161. 55—Steven Nyman 150. 92—Jared Goldberg 65. 127—Luke Winters 20. 129—River Radamus 18. 145—Samuel Dupratt 9.
Prize earnings: 1—Alexis Pinturault (Fra.) $369,662. 2—Matthias Mayer (Aut.) $343,556. 3—Henrik Kristoffersen (Nor.) $305,885. 18—Tommy Ford (USA) $76,966.
Men’s downhill: 1—Beat Feuz (Switz.) 650. 2—Thomas Dressen (Germ.) 438. 3—Matthias Mayer (Aut.) 424. 4—Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (Nor.) 413. 5—Dominik Paris (Italy) 384.
Others from Team USA: 13—Travis Ganong 169. 14—Ryan Cochran-Siegle 143. 16—Bryce Bennett 120. 20—Steven Nyman 101. 32—Jared Goldberg 58.
Men’s super giant slalom: 1—Mauro Caviezel (Switz.) 365. 2—Vincent Kriechmayr (Aut.) 362. 3—Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (Nor.) 336. 4—Matthias Mayer (Aut.) 324. 5—Kjetil Jansrud (Nor.) 305.
Others from Team USA: 12—Travis Ganong 140. 20—Ryan Cochran-Siegle 58. 26—Steven Nyman 49. 47—Samuel Dupratt 9. 57—Ted Ligety 3.
Men’s giant slalom: 1—Henrik Kristoffersen (Nor.) 394. 2—Alexis Pinturault (Fra.) 388. 3—Filip Zubcic (Cro.) 368. 4—Zan Kranjec (Slov.) 364. 5—Tommy Ford (USA) 267.
Others from Team USA: 12—Ted Ligety 162. 20—Ryan Cochran-Siegle 82.
Men’s slalom: 1—Henrik Kristoffersen (Nor.) 552. 2—Clement Noel (Fra.) 550. 3—Daniel Yule (Switz.) 495. 4—Ramon Zenhaeusern (Switz.) 323. 5—Sebastian Foss-Solevaag (Nor.) 297.
Others from Team USA: 49—Luke Winters 20.
Men’s alpine combined: 1—Alexis Pinturault (Fra.) 280. 2—Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (Nor.) 172. 3 (tie)—Matthias Mayer (Aut.) 140 and Riccardo Tonetti (Italy) 140. 5—Loic Meillard (Switz.) 139.
Others from Team USA: 10—Ryan Cochran-Siegle 70. 16—Bryce Bennett 41. 37—Jared Goldberg 7.
Men’s parallel giant slalom: 1—Loic Meillard (Switz.) 129. 2—Rasmus Windingstad (Nor.) 103. 3—Stefan Luitz (Germ.) 82.
Others from Team USA: 12—Tommy Ford 58. 24—Ryan Cochran-Siegle 22. 25—River Radamus 18.