Shriffrin Is 'Snow Queen' Again With World Cup Slalom In Zagreb
Mikaela Shiffrin from Eagle-Vail, Colo. celebrated the New Year in style, winning her second straight Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom in Zagreb, Croatia and laying claim for the second time to the Snow Queen Trophy.
Shiffrin won in dominating style, leading the first run by .80 and expanding that lead in the second for a 1.68 second margin over Austria's Kathrin Zettel. Nina Loeseth of Norway was third, nearly three seconds behind Shiffrin. Resi Stiegler from Jackson, Wyo. was 13th.
"Both runs today I had so much fun," said Shiffrin. She repeated the win she earned in Zagreb two years ago on a hill she enjoys. "Snow Queen is a nice title," she said. "More than that, I really like this hill. I like the challenge. It’s a little bit steep, a little bit flat - you have to work it all the way down. The crowd is incredible. It’s a classic race where the fans love to watch ski racing."
For the second straight race, Shiffrin served notice that equipment issues that plagued her earlier in the season have been resolved. Despite a mistake early in her first run, she built a .80 second lead, then expanded on that in the second.
The win launched Shiffrin into second in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup overall behind Tina Maze. Only a single point now separates Shiffrin from the slalom lead held by Sweden's Frida Hansdotter.
Shiffrin will get a break until the Jan. 13 night slalom in Flachau, the final tech race before the World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
The speed team will be back in action next weekend in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria where Lindsey Vonn from Vail, Colo. will be going for a record 62nd Audi FIS Ski World Cup win. The women's speed team is wrapping up a four-day on-snow camp on Raptor at Beaver Creek.
Photo: Westin Zagreb Hotel salutes American star Mikaela Shiffrin ("Sure feels good to eat some chocolate." (Mikaela Shiffrin/Facebook)