St. Moritz was a busy place on Saturday as the crowds rolled in to enjoy the snow, sunshine and World Cup racing as the men’s giant slalom and women’s slalom seasons came to a close side by side.
Women began the day with the U.S. Ski Team’s slalom queen, Mikaela Shiffrin, taking a decisive lead in the first run. Her 0.72 margin only increased on the second run, coming in 2.03 seconds ahead of Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova by the end of the race. Shiffrin’s victory, however, was not enough to launch her into the top three in the final slalom standings, as she was mathematically out of contention before the race even started.
Shiffrin’s teammate, Resi Stiegler, ended up in 11th place in her final race of the season.
Frida Hansdotter collected the discipline globe, which she will bring home to Sweden. While the globe was decided weeks ago, the Hansdotter’s third-place finish in Switzerland was a testament to her consistent, strong skiing all season.
“It’s an amazing day for me,” said Hansdotter after the race. “To stand there with the globe is something I have always dreamed of and I just don’t have words to explain the feelings and emotions and what this means to me.”
The French team absolutely dominated the men’s race, sweeping the podium in the final giant slalom of the season. Thomas Fanara beat out his teammate, Alexis Pinturault, by 0.02 seconds, earning his first-ever World Cup victory in the process. The youngest of the three Frenchmen, Mathieu Faivre, won the first run and ended up in third position to complete the sweep.
“It’s just an amazing feeling to get my first career victory,” said Fanara. “To share this with my teammates makes it that much more special for me. I want to enjoy this moment with the entire French team. So many other racers came up and congratulated me, and I could see in their eyes they were sincerely happy that I won today and that means a lot to me.”
Austria’s Marcel Hirscher already wrapped up the GS title in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, earlier this month, amassing an 111-point lead over a late-season surge by Alexis Pinturault. The Austrian’s performance on Saturday had little effect on the season rankings, but the fifth-place result certainly did not hurt as he earned the third giant slalom globe of his career.
Hirscher remained steady in GS all season long, finding himself off the podium just once this year with a sixth-place finish in Yuzawa Naeba, Japan. The Austrian superstar will likely have a bigger fight on his hands next season, however, as Pinturault, a clearly strong French team, and the injured Ted Ligety will aim to be in top form come the season opener in Soelden, Austria.
On Sunday, Hirscher will compete in the slalom – an event he can win – and then be crowned as the overall winner for the fifth time in his career. The women will race giant slalom alongside the men. Action starts at 8:30 a.m. CET.
By Hank McKee
- Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Velez-Zuzulova, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Hansdotter, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Holdener, Head/Head/Head
- Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Pietiliae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Barthet, Head/Head/Head
- Thalmann, Head/Head/Head
- Strachova, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Gagnon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Women’s World Cup slalom, St. Moritz, Switzerland, March 19, 2016. … It is the 39th race of the women’s schedule. … The 10th of 10 slaloms and third of four women’s race at World Cup Finals.
- It is the 20th career World Cup win for Mikaela Shiffrin. … Her 19th in slalom. … It is the 302nd U.S. World Cup win. … It is her fifth win of the season and third after returning from injury. … It is the 15th U.S. WOrld Cup win of the season. … The winning margin is 2.03 seconds. … Top six are within three seconds.
- It is the 25th career World Cup podium for Veronika Velez-Zuzulova. … Her sixth of the season (seven slalom and one city event, scored as a slalom).
- It is the 23rd career World Cup podium for Frida Hansdotter. … Her eighth of the season. … She was the only Swedish woman to podium in slalom this season.
- It is the 44th career top 10 for Marie-Michele Gagnon. … Her 11th of the season. … Resi Stiegler matches her 22nd best World Cup score. … It is her fourth best result of the season. … It is the 34th career scoring finish for Erin Mielzynski. … Her sixth of the season.
- Lara Gut (did not race) leads the World Cup overall standings over Lindsey Vonn 1462-1235 with one race remaining and cannot be beaten for the overall crown. … Viktoria Rebensburg is third overall with 1047pts. … Shiffrin closes to ninth overall with 648pts.
- Frida Hansdotter wins the slalom title 711-626 over Veronika Velez Zuzulova. … Wendy Holdener finishes third with 561pts. … Shiffrin is fourth with 500pts having missed five mid-season races.
- Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup standings 4641-4113 over Italy. … Switzerland is third with 3995, the U.S. fourth with 3017pts and Canada eighth with 1307pts.
- Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Pinturault, Head/Head/Head
- Faivre, Head/Head/Head
- Schoerghofer, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Sandell, Nordica/Nordica
- Eisath, Blizzard/Tecnica
- Muffat-Jeandet, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Murisier, Volkl/Dalbello/Marker
- Kristoffersen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
- Men’s World Cup giant slalom, St. Moritz, Switzerland, March 19, 2016. … It is the 43rd race of the men’s World Cup schedule with one remaining. … It is the 11th of 11 giant slaloms.
- It is the second time this season French men have swept a World Cup podium, the previous in combined at Kitzbuehel Jan. 22. … It is the first career World Cup win for Thomas Fanara. … It is his third podium of the season, all in GS. … The winning margin is 0.02 of a second. … Top six are within the same second. … Top 14 within two seconds.
- It is the 36th career World Cup podium for Alexis Pinturault … His 20th in GS. … It is his eighth podium of the season.
- It is the second career World Cup podium for Mathieu Faivre, the first also in GS, coming earlier this season at Yuzawa Naeba Feb. 13.
- It is just the sixth time this season Marcel Hirscher has not finished on the podium in a competed race. … It is the sixth completed race of the season for Tim Jitloff.
- Marcel Hirscher win the World Cup overall. … With one race remaining he leads Henrik Kristoffersen 1670-1272. … Alexis Pinturault is third with 1098pts.
- Hirscher wins the GS title 766-690 over Pinturault. … It is his third GS crown. … Kristoffersen is third with 487pts.
- Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup standings 5616-5531 over France. … Norway is third with 4773. … the U.S. is seventh at 2154 and Canada ninth at 744pts.
Official Women’s Slalom Results
|2||7||705287||VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika||1984||SVK||52.27||53.72||1:45.99||+2.03||14.06|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
Official Men’s GS Results
|11||26||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR||1:09.95||1:06.59||2:16.54||+1.62||11.77|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|10||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR|