Shiffrin Lands 70th World Cup Win In Season Opener

Shiffrin lands 70th World Cup win in season opener

Slden, Austria, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Oct, 2021 ) :Mikaela Shiffrin delivered a dazzling second run in the giant slalom on Saturday to claim her 70th World Cup win in the season opener on the Soelden glacier.

The American edged Swiss first-run leader Lara Gut-Behrami by 0.16sec with Slovakia's Petra Vlhova, the winner of the overall World Cup title last season, a distant third, 1.3sec back.

Shiffrin was one of four US skiers to finish in the top 25 and said the strong competition within the team in an Olympic year was helping bring out the best in her.

"My teammates are pushing the pace really high, so I'm pushing too, so it's been a really good build-up and a great way to start the season," said Shiffrin.

"It's so cool. Like I said, the last two weeks we've all been pushing each other, and I see them skiing and think, 'I have to keep raising my level too, because you're here and you're hungry...and everybody's hungry,' and I feel that motivation." Shiffrin was 0.02sec slower than Gut-Behrami in the first run, but on a sparkling Alpine day produced a perfect second run.

This is her first giant slalom win since December 2020 when she won in Courchevel.

"Starting off the season strong is important," Shiffrin told Eurosport in the finish area.

"I'm super happy," she said. "It was a pleasure to ski today. I can't explain how good it felt to ski the hill." The women do not ski again until parallel slalom races in Lech, also in Austria, on November 13.

"It's early to start already racing in October you're like 'oh gosh, here we go!'" said Shiffrin, who gained her first World Cup giant slalom victory in Soelden in 2015 but had not won the race since.

"Sometimes people are not pushing so hard. They're almost using it like training. But you have to really attack this hill and I've learned that the hard way and I've learned that the good way. Today was a good one." Shiffrin won the overall women's World Cup title for three straight years to 2019.

That streak ended with a horrible season marked by the sudden death of her father in February 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic and a back injury as she went winless for the first time since her debut campaign, 2011-12, when she was 16.

Last season she had three wins, one in the giant slalom and two in the slalom.

Italian Marta Bassino, the World Cup giant slalom champion last season when she opened with victory in Soelden, made a mistake in the first run, missing a gate and skiing out.