Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) skied a gutsy second run to salvage a sixth place finish in the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational World Cup Giant Slalom Saturday won by Austrian Eva-Maria Brem. Sunday saw the American champion winning the first run. But she over-skied the second run and dropped to fifth.
Nicole Hosp of Austria took the win Sunday. Shiffrin remained second in the overall Audi FIS Ski World Cup standings, and is eighth in slalom after two races.
With just a slight lead over Tina Maze after the first run, Shiffrin cited her nerves. “I was really nervous at the start and was a little stiff on the first run,” said Shiffrin. “I just have to not let the nerves impede my skiing.” Although she said she wasn’t as nervous second run, she did remark, “I have some training to do.”
Meanwhile at Lake Louise Saturday, Marco Sullivan was the American to watch in Saturday’s downhill, holding onto the lead for 13 racers, before finally finishing in fifth place. Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud squeaked a first place by Manuel Osborne-Paradis. It was Sullivan's best finish in two seasons, since skiing to the podium in Lake Louise in 2012.
“I knew it was going to be good snow and I needed to take advantage of that early start number. I didn’t feel the fastest, but I was clean the whole way,” said Sullivan. “I’m one of the veteran guys now and I’m just feeling comfortable racing these days. Nothing is holding me back.”
Sunday’s super G saw Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.) leading the U.S. Ski Team with a 20th place finish. Jansrud, the Oympic super G champion, made it a clean sweep winning both opening speed races.
Next up for the ladies is downhill and super G at Lake Louise, Canada. The men are at Beaver Creek for Giant Slalom and slalom.
Photo: Mikaela Shiffrin led after first slalom run, dropped to fifth at Aspen (USST/Grafton Smith)