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Shiffrin .02 Off Podium In World Cup Slalom In Sweden; Ligety Second In GS

Maria Pietilae Holmner SweThe Audi FIS World Cup men's and women's tour moved to Are, Sweden this weekend from snow-starved Courcheval. Here's what happened:

Alpine women: Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) just missed the podium in Saturday's slalom, finishing just .02 off the pace in fourth place. Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner brought the home country crowd to its feet with a stunning win over Tina Maze. Another Swede, Frida Hansdotter, was third. 

Sixth after the first run and over a half second back, Shiffrin felt good in the starting gate and pushed out to an aggressive, more characteristic run to take the lead. She hammered the top, held back a little in the mid-section, and let her skis run at the bottom, but the deficit was too much to match. 

"It's a really tough field. With World Championships coming up, everyone is gunning for the podium. I'm trying to do the same," said Shiffrin. "I have to learn to have a fighting spirit, not just a winning spirit."

Shiffrin skied to 10th place in Friday's giant slalom. She was the only American to complete both runs. Winner was Tina Maze (Slovenia), her third win this season in three different disciplines Rising Swedish star Sara Hector made the most home turf with a second place finish, while Eva-Maria Brem (Austria) was third. 

Alpine men: For the first time in World Cup history, the men got to race a night giant slalom and American champ Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah), who had won the GS at Beaver Creek last week, finished second in Are Friday. 

Austria's Marcel Hirscher was unstoppable, winning under the floodlights. Germany's Stefan Luitz rounded out the podium. Ligety is skiing with an injured hand and, though he said it was getting better, he was happy with the result.

The men's slalom rounded out the World Cup weekend Sunday with Ligety in third after the first run. He was looking for his first Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom podium since 2008, but went out near the bottom of the second run. David Chodounsky grabbed another result, finishing 22nd.

The men's tour heads to Italy next week for downhill, super G and GS action, while American Lindsey Vonn looks to follow-up on her stunning comeback weekend in Canada with downhill and super G races set for France, snow permitting.

Photo: Maria Pietilae Holmner of Sweden delighted a homebase crowd in Are with a victory in the slalom (Homner/Facebook)

 

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