World Cup title in hand, Shi≠rin edged in Aspen
Mikaela Shiffrin still can’t believe an overall World Cup title happened and won’t fully buy in until the crystal globe is actually placed into her hands.
Part of the reason stems from this: She found out about locking up the crown shortly after waking up from a nap. So, it feels a little unreal.
It’s real all right, even if Petra Vlhova of Slovakia stole some of the show from Shiffrin by speeding up near the bottom to take a slalom race over the American at World Cup Finals on Saturday in Aspen, Colo.
Shiffrin secured the overall Friday when Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia decided to skip the slalom. Shiffrin was drowsy when her mom came into her room and delivered the news.
“It didn’t seem like a real thing, because it’s odd to say I won something in ski racing when I wasn’t actually out on the hill,” said Shiffrin, who will receive her trophy Sunday. “It will feel more real tomorrow, definitely, when I’m actually holding it.”
“It’s been a goal and a dream of mine since I was 5 years old. It’s really difficult to understand something that finally happens after 20 years,” she said.
The 22-year-old Shiffrin becomes the fifth American ski racer to win the overall crown, joining Phil Mahre (1981-83), Tamara McKinney (1983), Bode Miller (2005, 2008) and Lindsey Vonn (2008-10, 2012) . . . .
Marcel Hirscher of Austria rallied to a giant slalom victory at the World Cup Finals.
He powered through the shorter-than-usual course in a combined time of 1:49.79. First-run leader Felix Neureuther of Germany was second, 0.53 seconds behind. Mathieu Faivre of France took third.
There really wasn’t much at stake in this race for Hirscher, who already had clinched the seasonlong giant slalom title along with his sixth straight overall crown.
NORDIC COMBINED: Eric Frenzel took a big step toward an unprecedented fifth straight Nordic combined World Cup overall title with his second successive victory while closest rival Johannes Rydzek finished third in Schonach, Germany.
Olympic champion Frenzel placed seventh in the ski jump for a six-second advantage over Rydzek. But Rydzek, who claimed gold at the worlds last month, fell as he tried to overtake his rival in the 10K cross-country race, dealing a blow to his hopes of a first overall title.
SKI JUMPING: Stefan Kraft set a ski jump world record during a World Cup competition in Vikersund, Norway.
Kraft jumped 253.5 meters while representing Austria in the first round of the team competition. That beat a mark of 252 meters set by Norwegian Robert Johansson earlier in the event.
Before Saturday, the record was 251.5, set by Anders Fannemel of Norway in 2015.