Mikaela Shiffrin won her second straight slalom race of the season Sunday at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternationals World Cup, leaving the rest of the ladies’ ski world wondering if her uncharacteristic edge catch mistake in Friday’s Giant Slalom might be it for the winter. Shiffrin won Sunday by a margin of 2.65 seconds.
“Yesterday was such a big margin and I wondered what happened,” Shiffrin said. “This morning I woke and I was like oh they are all playing a joke on me. So I thought I had to ski even harder today, they are all joking with me,” she added smiling. “So I just tried to attack even more. I felt good yesterday but that I could also raise the bar more and I think everybody else did to.”
Shiffrin, who had set a World Cup record margin of three seconds Saturday, beat Frieda Hansdotter of Sweden today. Shiffrin’s combined two-run time time was 1:40.18 to Hansdotter’s 1:42.83. Czech Sarka Strachan was third in 1:43.08.
There was another bright spot for the U.S. women as Resi Steigler, back from surgery after surgery the past few years, was 10th after the first run and stayed there in the final standings at 1:44.25.
No American had won a World Cup at Aspen before Shiffrin turned the trick twice this weekend since Tamara McKinney in 1981. McKinney was on hand for the Winternationals.
An interesting scenario could set up with the possibility of Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn potentially both in the hunt for the overall World Cup title. Vonn, who skis downhill, super G and the occasional GS gets going in earnest next weekend at Lake Louise (known as Lake Lindsey for all her World Cup success there). Shiffrin plans to foray into the speed world by competing in the super G. If she can collect some speed points added to GS and slalom, it could become a lot of fun to watch, particularly in a year without a World Championship or Olympic Games.
It’s Svindal Again In Canada
Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal completed a World Cup sweep at Lake Louise, Canada, by winning Sunday's super-G. Svindal also won the season-opening downhill Saturday. He didn't race on the World Cup last season because of a torn Achilles' tendon.
The USA’s Travis Ganong had another solid result, just missing the podium in fourth. Gaining was third in Saturday’s downhill.
Svindal's time was one minute 29.30 seconds. Matthias Mayer of Austria was second in 1:29.65.Peter Fill of Italy, who was second to Sinvdall in downhill, was third in 1:29.75.
The men head south to Beaver Creek, Colo. for the Birds of Prey downhill and super G Dec. 5-6.
Photo: Top - Mikaela Shiffrin picks up congratulations from Tamara McKinney, the last U.S. racer to win on the Aspen course in 1981 (USST/Tom Kelly); Bottom: Resi Steigler, shown in Saturday’s slalom, is on the comeback trail finishing 10th Sunday (USST/Sara Brunson)