Shi≠rin stays on slalom roll

The Denver Post - - AROUND THE NFL -

sestriere, italy» Olympic cham­pion Mikaela Shiffrin re­mains un­beat­able in slalom.

Sun­day, the alpine star from Ea­gleVail won the 11th con­sec­u­tive World Cup race she has en­tered in the dis­ci­pline, adding to a slim firstrun lead with a dom­i­nat­ing per­for­mance on her sec­ond trip down an icy course.

Shiffrin fin­ished with a mas­sive 1.09-sec­ond ad­van­tage over Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slo­vakia, with Wendy Hold­ener of Switzer­land plac­ing third, 1.21 sec­onds back.

“I pushed and it felt re­ally good,” Shiffrin said. “The first run I felt tight and the sec­ond run I tried to let it fly, and that’s such a good feel­ing.”

Shiffrin, 21, missed two months last sea­son af­ter suf­fer­ing a torn lig­a­ment in her right knee dur­ing a train­ing fall in Swe­den. She has won six con­sec­u­tive slalom com­pe­ti­tions since her return.

Shiffrin in­creased her lead over de­fend­ing cham­pion Lara Gut in the over­all stand­ings to 105 points. Gut, who rarely races slalom, fin­ished 28th on Sun­day.

It was the 23rd win of Shiffrin’s World Cup ca­reer, with 22 com­ing in slalom and one in gi­ant slalom.

As she seeks her first over­all ti­tle, she is branch­ing out into the speed dis­ci­plines of down­hill and su­per-G this sea­son. The mul­ti­event ap­proach has meant that she has had less time to ded­i­cate to slalom, and it showed with an un­char­ac­ter­is­tic mis­take on her first run Sun­day.

On the up­per sec­tion of the hard and icy Gio­vanni Agnelli course, Shiffrin briefly lost con­trol and had to spread her skis apart to re­gain her bal­ance.

On her sec­ond trip down, Shiffrin was cau­tious on the top but then gained huge chunks of time on her chal­lengers the rest of the way down — as she usu­ally does.

Upon com­plet­ing her race, Shiffrin let out an adren­a­line-filled fist pump.

“I tried to have some fun in the sec­ond run,” Shiffrin said. “I’m try­ing to en­ter­tain my­self.”

Shiffrin also led the first run of Saturday’s gi­ant slalom but fin­ished sixth.

The women’s World Cup cir­cuit had not stopped in Sestriere since 2008. Sestriere hosted alpine ski races dur­ing the 2006 Turin Olympics.

The women travel to Val d’Isere, France, for alpine com­bined, down­hill and su­per-G races next week­end.

Kristof­fersen cruises

B val d’isere, france» Hen­rik Kristof­fersen of Nor­way won a World Cup slalom as first-run leader Alexis Pin­tu­rault strad­dled a gate on his sec­ond trip down.

Show­ing off both his power and flex­i­bilty on the steep and icy Face de Bell­e­varde, Kristof­fersen fin­ished with a large gap of 0.75 sec­onds ahead of five­time de­fend­ing over­all cham­pion Mar­cel Hirscher.

Alexan­der Khoroshilov of Rus­sia placed third, nearly two sec­onds back.

Hirscher in­creased his over­all lead to 156 points.

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