Vonn Wins Fourth Straight World Cup Race; Shiffrin Injured; Ligety Misses Cut
Lindsey Vonn won her first giant slalom Saturday at Are, Sweden since her near career-ending 2013 World Championships crash.
Vonn captured her fourth straight victory and 71st overall, prevailing by .07 of a second over two runs in Åre, Sweden (full results). But, the rest of the U.S. Ski Team news was a downer.
Team-mate and potential challenger for the overall World Cup Mikaela Shiffrin was injured free-skiing Friday and did not compete. Results of an MRI on her knee were not released as of this writing.
Vonn padded her standings lead for the World Cup overall title, the top prize this season with no Olympics or World Championships.
“The old woman still has some tricks up her sleeve,” Vonn, 31, told media in Åre. “I’m not maybe as agile as I used to be. I’m not maybe as explosive. … My experience paid off.”
Shiffrin stands in second place — 104 points behind — but is now very much in doubt to rival Vonn’s quest for a fifth overall title the rest of the season.
Bonn’s best disciplines are the faster downhill and super-G, and said she had not trained for the GS.
Ted Ligety‘s quest to regain the World Cup giant slalom season title took a blow at Val d’sere, France.
Ligety, the Olympic and World champion in the event,finished tied for 42nd spot and did not qualify for the second run. It was just the first time Ligety failed to qualify for the second run of a giant slalom since Dec. 21, 2005. Ligeti fell last week at Beaver Creek.
“Ted was upset about the start time, 9:30 [a.m. local time] start time where the top part’s in the sun and the bottom part’s in the shade,” U.S. coach Sasha Rearick told media in Val d’Isere, presumably talking about changing light conditions for the second run three hours after the 9:30 run. “He was very dramatic about how he was upset about it. … I think he never got his mind off of that.”
Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who unseated Ligety as World Cup giant slalom champion last season, won Saturday’s race by 1.29 seconds, his third straight World Cup victory.
Hirscher, also the four-time reigning World Cup overall champion, notched his 34th career World Cup victory, breaking a tie with Bode Miller and moving into solo seventh place all time.
Hirscher also moved 160 points clear of Ligety in the World Cup giant slalom season standings through three of a scheduled 11 races.
Slalom races are on tap Sunday at both Are and Val d’Isere.
Photo: Mikaela Shiffrin awaits results of MRI on her knee at hospital (Mikaela Shiffrin/Facebook)