Alpine

In stark contrast to Wednesday’s giant slalom, the slalom on Thursday evening in Semmering, Austria, took place under clear skies as American Mikaela Shiffrin won her third race in a row with a combined time of 1:40.06 seconds, 0.64 seconds clear of Slovakian Veronika Velez Zuzulova in second and 1.54 seconds ahead of Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener in third.

First run action took place in the late afternoon as daylight waned across the mountains. The aggressive surface combined with the tight course set proved a formidable challenge for the field as 24 of the 69 starters failed to finish the opening run. Velez Zuzulova challenged the usually unshakeable Shiffrin in the first run as Shiffrin’s lead was only a slim 0.09 seconds heading into the second run under the lights.

SEMMERING, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 29: Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia takes 2nd place, Mikaela Shiffrin of USA takes 1st place, Wendy Holdener of Switzerland takes 3rd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on December 29, 2016 in Semmering, Austria (Photo by Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom)

Photo by Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom

As the lights fully illuminated the slope, second run action delivered the excitement as fast skiing and shake-ups in the standings were on tap as the top 30 took to the course. Although the top three finishers after the first run maintained their positions, Velez Zuzulova looked to have finally unseated Shiffrin from the top of the podium as the American faltered in the first two intervals, losing time and forcing her to fight her way back into contention. With a brilliant bottom section that saw Shiffrin go from being 0.33 seconds down to finishing with a 0.64 second winning margin, the American cemented her claim as Queen of Semmering, taking her third victory at the venue in as many days. The last woman to win three tech races in a three day span was Swiss great Vreni Schneider in 1989.

“I felt like I was fighting, so I’m proud of that,” Shiffrin explained in the finish. “I didn’t even know that was a record, I was just trying to ski fast and have some fun. I’m still searching to have a perfect run and a really fast run, but sometimes it’s better to fight  so I did that today and I’m happy. I was trying to think about how Marcel Hirscher or maybe Henrik (Kristoffersen) would ski it. I don’t think I came close to that, but I was trying to channel that energy.”

Velez Zuzulova was understandably disappointed to lose out on a victory so close to the finish, but has faith that her skiing is there and is just waiting for the right time to shine and challenge Shiffrin’s slalom dominance.

“It’s hard,” she admitted. “For sure it’s hard because I try every race but I feel better and better and I hope it will go on the right way and it will come at the right time.”

Echoing The Slovakian, Holdener also feels like she has the speed to beat Shiffrin. The Swiss is planning on a couple of solid training days in Austria before her next chance at a win in Zagreb next week.

“The first run was tougher than the second because it was turnier,” Holdener said. “Yesterday I had the same problems. I had to fight a lot so I was used to it today. At the moment, I need some training days, but when I ski like I can, I can win.”

Apart from Shiffrin’s performance, the rest of the American contingent had a rough day as Resi Stiegler straddled a gate in the first run, Lila Lapanja ran into difficulty early and failed to qualify, and Megan McJames also failed to finish the first run.

Thursday’s race was the last before the New Year as racing action picks back up again in Zagreb, Croatia, for the annual Snow Queen Trophy slalom on Jan. 3.


 Top 10

  1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Veronika Velez Zuzulova (SVK) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  3. Wendy Holdener (SUI) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Nina Loeseth (NOR) – Rossignol/Lange/Look
  5. Bernadette Schild (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
  6. Sarka Strachova (CZE) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  7. Frida Hansdotter (SWE) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  8. Chiara Costazza (ITA) – Dynastar/Lange/Look
  9. Erin Mielzynski (CAN) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  10. Maren Skjoeld (NOR) – Voelkl/Dalbello/Marker

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  7  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  50.74  49.32  1:40.06  0.00
 2  5  705287 VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika 1984 SVK  50.83  49.87  1:40.70  +0.64  4.61
 3  6  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI  51.33  50.27  1:41.60  +1.54  11.08
 4  1  425771 LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR  51.76  50.29  1:42.05  +1.99  14.32
 5  12  56032 SCHILD Bernadette 1990 AUT  52.14  49.93  1:42.07  +2.01  14.46
 6  4  155415 STRACHOVA Sarka 1985 CZE  51.42  50.70  1:42.12  +2.06  14.82
 7  2  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE  51.33  50.87  1:42.20  +2.14  15.40
 8  26  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara 1984 ITA  51.92  50.48  1:42.40  +2.34  16.84
 9  17  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN  52.36  50.22  1:42.58  +2.52  18.13
 10  20  425981 SKJOELD Maren 1993 NOR  52.45  50.42  1:42.87  +2.81  20.22
 11  10  296509 CURTONI Irene 1985 ITA  51.77  51.18  1:42.95  +2.89  20.80
 12  9  516284 GISIN Michelle 1993 SUI  52.09  50.92  1:43.01  +2.95  21.23
 13  40  197319 BAUD MUGNIER Adeline 1992 FRA  53.25  50.10  1:43.35  +3.29  23.67
 14  8  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA  53.13  50.23  1:43.36  +3.30  23.75
 15  25  516528 MEILLARD Melanie 1998 SUI  52.89  50.73  1:43.62  +3.56  25.62
 16  41  56174 HAASER Ricarda 1993 AUT  53.63  50.08  1:43.71  +3.65  26.26
 17  38  206487 WIESLER Maren 1993 GER  53.16  50.59  1:43.75  +3.69  26.55
 18  50  155728 DUBOVSKA Martina 1992 CZE  53.34  50.82  1:44.16  +4.10  29.50
 19  32  206701 WILLIBALD Elisabeth 1996 GER  54.42  49.84  1:44.26  +4.20  30.22
 20  44  56217 BRUNNER Stephanie 1994 AUT  53.75  50.57  1:44.32  +4.26  30.65
 21  22  206279 GEIGER Christina 1990 GER  53.66  50.73  1:44.39  +4.33  31.16
 22  52  56388 LIENSBERGER Katharina 1997 AUT  54.29  50.17  1:44.46  +4.40  31.66
 23  28  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO  54.25  50.31  1:44.56  +4.50  32.38
 24  23  565401 BUCIK Ana 1993 SLO  53.47  51.32  1:44.79  +4.73  34.04
 25  16  206355 DUERR Lena 1991 GER  54.17  50.69  1:44.86  +4.80  34.54
 26  56  25096 GUTIERREZ Mireia 1988 AND  54.14  50.81  1:44.95  +4.89  35.19
 27  27  515997 FEIERABEND Denise 1989 SUI  54.18  51.16  1:45.34  +5.28  37.99
 28  63  565471 HROVAT Meta 1998 SLO  54.28  51.30  1:45.58  +5.52  39.72
Disqualified 1st run
 49  196803 MOUGEL Laurie 1988 FRA
Did not start 1st run
 53  307255 ISHIKAWA Haruna 1994 JPN
 30  56367 GALLHUBER Katharina 1997 AUT
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 69  299276 BASSINO Marta 1996 ITA
 62  107613 GRENIER Valerie 1996 CAN
 59  206408 WEINBUCHNER Susanne 1991 GER
 58  516344 KOPP Rahel 1994 SUI
 57  555018 GASUNA Lelde 1990 LAT
 54  516562 RAST Camille 1999 SUI
 47  516334 CHABLE Charlotte 1994 SUI
 42  307493 ANDO Asa 1996 JPN
 37  539927 LAPANJA Lila 1994 USA
 35  485637 ALOPINA Ksenia 1992 RUS
 34  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN
 3  705423 VLHOVA Petra 1995 SVK
Did not finish 2nd run
 19  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie 1992 SWE
 13  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN
Did not finish 1st run
 68  197616 ALPHAND Estelle 1995 FRA
 67  565403 LIVK Klara 1994 SLO
 66  405138 JELINKOVA Adriana 1995 NED
 65  665009 SHKANOVA Maria 1989 BLR
 64  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA
 61  425879 RIIS-JOHANNESSEN Kristina 1991 NOR
 60  155699 PAULATHOVA Katerina 1993 CZE
 55  225518 GUEST Charlotte 1993 GBR
 51  355061 HILZINGER Jessica 1997 GER
 48  56333 MAIR Chiara 1996 AUT
 46  56253 HUBER Katharina 1995 AUT
 45  425921 HAUGEN Kristine Gjelsten 1992 NOR
 43  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena 1990 SRB
 39  206532 SCHMOTZ Marlene 1994 GER
 36  225525 TILLEY Alexandra 1993 GBR
 33  485802 TKACHENKO Ekaterina 1995 RUS
 31  297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA
 29  56143 GRUENWALD Julia 1991 AUT
 24  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA
 21  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna 1991 SWE
 18  56315 TRUPPE Katharina 1996 AUT
 15  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT
 14  196806 NOENS Nastasia 1988 FRA
 11  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA

 

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Article Tags: Alpine , Top Rotator , Top Story
Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
-
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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