It was a day of surprises in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, for the women’s World Cup slalom on Sunday. With the second run finish line in sight, American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin found herself out of balance and in the blink of an eye was flying out of the course, giving the win to Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova.

“I let it go a little too soon,” Shiffrin said. “At the end of the course with less energy in my legs I wasn’t able to make that recovery that I needed to pull off what I was trying to do in the flush. I’m for sure disappointed, couple inches to the right and I would have been fine but that happens.”

Shiffrin had a rare hang up just before the finish. Image Credit: GEPA Pictures/Mario Kneisl

Vlhova, second-place finisher Frida Hansdotter, and Switzerand’s Wendy Holdener didn’t know how to initially react to Shiffrin’s misfortune, with unsure looks abound before congratulations were eventually exchanged. It’s such a rarity to see Shiffrin finish off the podium — much less not finish at all — in slalom that Holdener was actually on her way out of the finish area before being called back in to take third place.

“I was really happy because you know, last races were not so good but not so bad,” Vlhova said. “After first run I was really angry because I did a really bad run. In the second run I tried to go full gas and I’m back on the podium so it’s amazing.”

For Hansdotter, her current streak of slalom podiums will no doubt do wonders for her confidence heading into next month’s Olympics in South Korea. The Swede will be looking to add some Olympic hardware to her already impressive trophy case.

“At first when I came down I didn’t think it was going to be enough for the podium but it showed that Petra was skiing so good,” she admitted. “It was fun to come on the podium again and the fifth in a row. For sure it’s always sad (when a competitor goes out), it’s not fun for (Mikaela), but in one way it’s also nice to see that she’s also human. She’s been skiing so good this season and you know when Mikaela is in the right spot she is so fast. In one way it’s nice for us others to feel a little bit like we are up there but I think she will come back even stronger.”

Holdener admitted to putting a lot of pressure on herself to perform in front of a home crowd. Initially deflated after her second run, it was a mix of emotions when she saw that she had in fact made the podium.

“In the end, it’s really good,” an emotional Holdener shared after the race. “I had some problems today. The pressure was high and I couldn’t ski as normal, it was hard for me. I had a big fight with myself and in the end I am for sure happy with the third place.”

Left to right: Hansdotter, Vlhova, and Holdener. Image Credit: GEPA Pictures/Mario Kneisl

Sunday was Shiffrin’s first DNF in a World Cup slalom since going out in the first run of the 2017 Snow Queen Trophy in Zagreb, Croatia, over a year ago. With a race-heavy January, Shiffrin admitted to some fatigue and is looking forward to some much-needed training and rest.

“I’m really excited to get some time to actually train, it feels like it’s been — it’s actually been — weeks since I actually had any solid, focused training days, it’s just been racing since Cortina,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to some rest, some training, and then going to the Olympics.”

“Momentum is a funny thing, sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t,” she added about her two-week slump. “During that period when we were just racing every other day there wasn’t much to do, it just kept going into the next race and I wasn’t getting that much training but nobody was. And now, going against some girls who are not doing speed and just focusing on GS or going against girls who are not doing so much GS or speed, they’re just focused on slalom, it’s a little bit harder to stay on top of that.”

Resi Stiegler finished in 18th place as the only other American finisher. Nina O’Brien did not qualify for a second run.

The men and women now travel to Stockholm, Sweden for a parallel city event on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

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Top 10

  1. Petra Vlhova (SVK) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  2. Frida Hansdotter (SWE) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  3. Wendy Holdener (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Melanie Meillard (SUI) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  5. Nina Haver-Loeseth (NOR) – Rossignol/Lange/Look
  6. Katharina Liensberger (AUT) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  7. Katharina Gallhuber (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  8. Erin Mielzynski (CAN) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  9. Irene Curtoni (ITA) – Rossignol/Lange/Look
  10. Denise Feierabend (SUI) – Head/Head/Head

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  6  705423 VLHOVA Petra 1995 SVK  55.53  55.00  1:50.53  0.00  100
 2  7  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE  55.24  55.39  1:50.63  +0.10  0.65  80
 3  1  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI  55.06  55.99  1:51.05  +0.52  3.39  60
 4  2  516528 MEILLARD Melanie 1998 SUI  55.29  55.95  1:51.24  +0.71  4.62  50
 5  5  425771 HAVER-LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR  56.31  55.74  1:52.05  +1.52  9.90  45
 6  25  56388 LIENSBERGER Katharina 1997 AUT  56.98  55.28  1:52.26  +1.73  11.27  40
 7  13  56367 GALLHUBER Katharina 1997 AUT  56.24  56.09  1:52.33  +1.80  11.73  36
 8  21  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN  56.58  56.11  1:52.69  +2.16  14.07  32
 9  17  296509 CURTONI Irene 1985 ITA  56.99  55.71  1:52.70  +2.17  14.14  29
 10  12  515997 FEIERABEND Denise 1989 SUI  57.10  55.89  1:52.99  +2.46  16.02  26
 11  19  206536 WALLNER Marina 1994 GER  57.45  55.64  1:53.09  +2.56  16.68  24
 12  15  705287 VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika 1984 SVK  58.04  55.10  1:53.14  +2.61  17.00  22
 13  16  56315 TRUPPE Katharina 1996 AUT  57.03  56.45  1:53.48  +2.95  19.22  20
 14  9  506146 SWENN LARSSON Anna 1991 SWE  59.05  54.69  1:53.74  +3.21  20.91  18
 15  10  516284 GISIN Michelle 1993 SUI  57.56  56.19  1:53.75  +3.22  20.98  16
 16  22  425981 SKJOELD Maren 1993 NOR  57.50  56.42  1:53.92  +3.39  22.08  15
 17  18  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie 1992 SWE  56.93  57.11  1:54.04  +3.51  22.86  14
 18  24  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA  58.48  55.59  1:54.07  +3.54  23.06  13
 19  42  516504 DANIOTH Aline 1998 SUI  58.62  55.52  1:54.14  +3.61  23.52  12
 20  27  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO  58.53  55.75  1:54.28  +3.75  24.43  11
 21  47  56143 GRUENWALD Julia 1991 AUT  58.40  55.90  1:54.30  +3.77  24.56  10
 22  8  206355 DUERR Lena 1991 GER  57.05  57.27  1:54.32  +3.79  24.69  9
 23  52  516437 BISSIG Carole 1996 SUI  58.90  56.29  1:55.19  +4.66  30.36  8
 24  31  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena 1990 SRB  58.83  56.86  1:55.69  +5.16  33.61  7
 25  4  56032 SCHILD Bernadette 1990 AUT  55.48  1:01.71  1:57.19  +6.66  43.38  6
 26  20  565401 BUCIK Ana 1993 SLO  56.97  1:03.04  2:00.01  +9.48  61.75  0
Did not finish 2nd run
 43  516426 STOFFEL Elena 1996 SUI  58.34  0
 29  56217 BRUNNER Stephanie 1994 AUT  58.71  0
 23  197616 ALPHAND Estelle 1995 SWE  57.72  0
 3  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  54.41  0
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 65  945000 CLERC Mialitiana 2001 MAD  1:05.23  0
 63  225518 GUEST Charlie 1993 GBR  1:00.73  0
 62  197808 BOEUF Johanna 1997 FRA  1:01.06  0
 61  6535773 O BRIEN Nina 1997 USA  1:01.23  0
 60  307255 ISHIKAWA Haruna 1994 JPN  1:02.06  0
 58  565471 HROVAT Meta 1998 SLO  1:05.60  0
 56  506583 SAEFVENBERG Charlotta 1994 SWE  1:00.38  0
 51  155727 CAPOVA Gabriela 1993 CZE  59.53  0
 40  56174 HAASER Ricarda 1993 AUT  59.30  0
 39  506664 FJAELLSTROEM Magdalena 1995 SWE  59.74  0
 38  206487 WIESLER Maren 1993 GER  1:00.83  0
 36  307493 ANDO Asa 1996 JPN  59.38  0
 34  485802 TKACHENKO Ekaterina 1995 RUS  1:01.27  0
 32  506348 STAALNACKE Ylva 1992 SWE  1:00.38  0
 30  196806 NOENS Nastasia 1988 FRA  59.40  0
Did not finish 1st run
 66  959300 PELLEGRIN Elise 1991 MLT  0
 64  705394 KANTOROVA Barbara 1992 SVK  0
 59  197540 FORNI Josephine 1994 FRA  0
 57  299632 INSAM Vivien 1997 ITA  0
 55  426187 LYSDAHL Kristin 1996 NOR  0
 53  665009 SHKANOVA Maria 1989 BLR  0
 50  565403 LIVK Klara 1994 SLO  0
 49  426100 HOLTMANN Mina Fuerst 1995 NOR  0
 48  25096 GUTIERREZ Mireia 1988 AND  0
 45  225525 TILLEY Alex 1993 GBR  0
 44  56253 HUBER Katharina 1995 AUT  0
 41  107427 ST-GERMAIN Laurence 1994 CAN  0
 37  155728 DUBOVSKA Martina 1992 CZE  0
 35  197319 BAUD MUGNIER Adeline 1992 FRA  0
 33  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN  0
 28  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT  0
 26  55977 THALMANN Carmen 1989 AUT  0
 14  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara 1984 ITA  0
 11  206279 GEIGER Christina 1990 GER  0
Disqualified 1st run
 54  299699 PETERLINI Martina 1997 ITA  0
Did not start 1st run
 46  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA  0
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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
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A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American status in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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