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After finishing fourth in the last women’s World Cup slalom event in Zagreb, Croatia, Mikaela Shiffrin said her skiing was headed in the right direction. The American proved that to be true in Tuesday’s World Cup night slalom in Flachau, Austria, by clinching her first World Cup slalom victory in more than a year. Austria’s Katharina Liensberger finished 0.19 seconds off Shiffrin’s winning time to take second; Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener finished 0.49 seconds behind Shiffrin to round out the podium in third.
This season’s Flachau event, a staple on the women’s World Cup circuit, was an exceptionally tight race. Shiffrin secured the lead after the first run by a mere 0.08 seconds ahead of Holdener, who has landed on the World Cup slalom podium 24 times over the course of her career but has yet to claim the top spot. Petra Vlhova, the current overall and slalom World Cup leader on the women’s circuit, found herself in third after the first run, just 0.14 seconds off Shiffrin’s first run time.
Watch: Mikaela Shiffrin Wins, Earns 100th Podium
The slim margins separating the top racers after the first run put extra pressure on each racer to ski a clean, fast, and aggressive second run. Liensberger, in fourth after the first run, rose to the challenge and skied the fastest second run of the evening to move up to second place overall, bumping Vlhova off the podium. Only Shiffrin, skiing in her characteristically “smooth is fast” style, was able to maintain her lead over Liensberger in the second run to secure the win—marking her 44th World Cup slalom victory and 100th World Cup podium.
“[All my energy] went out on that run,” said Shiffrin after the race. “I definitely wasn’t thinking about records today. I just wanted to ski well. This slope has kind of tripped me up the last couple of years. And I just wanted to ski strong and inspired. It was really fun tonight.”
While Shiffrin has won the Fachau slalom three times and landed on the podium here seven times over the course of her World Cup career, her last victory at this venue came in 2018.
American Paula Moltzan, who clinched a career-best slalom result in Flachau in 2019 after finishing 12th, topped that result in Tuesday’s race by finishing 9th. AJ Hurt, starting in only her second World Cup slalom event, finished 29th to secure her first World Cup points in the discipline.
See the full results from the women’s Jan. 12 Flachau World Cup Slalom here.
Thanks to her win in Flachau, Shiffrin now moves up from fourth to third in the World Cup slalom standings with 335 points. Vlhova still leads in slalom with 400 points, with Liensberger in second with 360 points.
Shiffrin also retains her third-place ranking in the overall standings with 485 points. Vlhova leads the overall standings with 699 points. Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin ranks second in the overall category with 485 points.
From Flachau, the women’s World Cup moves to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for two giant slalom events scheduled to take place on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17.