Image Credit: Agence Zoom

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — It was a vintage California day on Saturday for the women’s World Cup slalom in Squaw Valley. The self-proclaimed ‘Spring Skiing Capitol’ delivered big time with bluebird skies, warm temps and and an American victory as Mikaela Shiffrin completed her sweep of the weekend, winning with a combined time of 1:39.48 seconds, a full 1.03 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic and 1.08 seconds ahead of Austria’s Bernadette Schild in third.

Unfortunately, what made for awesome spectator weather provided quite the challenge for racers and course crew as it was a constant battle against the elements in order to keep the track in acceptable shape. Fortunately, low overnight temperatures made for a firm surface for much of the first run before the thermometer began to rise.

Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener took advantage of wearing bib number two and set the pace in run one with Shiffrin in hot pursuit, a razor-slim 0.02 seconds back. Strachova and Schild sat in fourth and fifth, 0.72 and 1.19 seconds off of the pace, respectively.

As the second run kicked off under intense sunshine, it felt more like beach weather than ski racing weather as it became evident in the early runners that it would be a fight to the finish for the fastest skiers from the first run. A quickly deteriorating course made for quite a few DNFs and some impressive jumps in the standings for some of the early starters.

Schild managed to battle her way down the demanding Red Dog slope and cross the line with an impressive lead until Strachova was able to sneak in front of the Austrian by only 0.05 seconds. After Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova — who sat in third after the first run — skied out just before the finish, the stage was set for Shiffrin to rise to the occasion and take control of the race. After a shaky start in the opening gates, the American found her groove and built up her lead, crossing the line with over a second to spare. Holdener held on to her lead through the final interval but heartbreakingly could not hang on through the final gates and spun out mere feet from crossing the finish line, giving Shiffrin the win.

Shiffrin also locked down this season’s slalom title with her win and her nearest competitor — Slovakia’s Veronika Velez-Zuzulova — failing to finish her first run. This will be Shiffrin’s fourth career slalom globe after missing out on the title last season to Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter due to injury.

SQUAW VALLEY, USA - MARCH 11: Sarka Strachova of Czech Republic takes 2nd place, Mikaela Shiffrin of USA takes 1st place, Bernadette Schild of Austria takes 3rd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Slalom on March 11, 2017 in Squaw Valley, USA (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom)

Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom

“Sometimes you have to put it out there,” Shiffrin said of her performance. “I made recoveries and came out with the win and I think Wendy was going for it. I know how it feels to lose it on the last two gates and that absolutely sucks; it’s a huge bummer. I knew there was a chance (to win both races) and I just tried to do my best to make it happen and I’m very happy to be on this side of the weekend.”

“(The slalom title) was my first, highest goal so it’s pretty important but I tried not to think about it in the first run today or at all today and now I can think about that a bit more; I’m quite excited,” she added of her new crystal globe.

Strachova prefers challenging venues like Squaw and Aspen and relished the opportunity to show the World what she has as four of the Czech’s World Cup podiums — and both of her wins — have come on American soil.

“The hill is quite difficult; it’s steep and you have to push from the start to the finish,” Steachova explained. “I felt quite comfortable in the first run, maybe too much, and I lost a little more time. In the second run, the course was a bit broken and it’s not my cup of tea, but I tried to take a risk and when I went through the finish and I saw that I was in the lead, I believed that maybe it could be a podium.”

It was a special result for Schild, not only because it was her first podium appearance in three years, but also because she spent many summers in the Lake Tahoe area as a child with family friends.

“I like difficult races so I knew this hill with the steep start and the rollers at the bottom could be something for me. I had quite the mistake in the first run actually but I knew that if I do my thing and ski technically the way I can, I really can make the podium. Wendy was leading after first run and she was really close to finishing but she went out but that’s how it is and I got third.”

Apart from Shiffrin’s win, it was a tough day for the rest of the American contingent as Resi Stiegler and Lila Lapanja both failed to finish their first runs and independent racer Megan McJames did not qualify for the second.

The top 25 women in each discipline now pack their bags and head to Aspen, Colo. for World Cup Finals March 15-19.

Check out our gallery from Saturday’s race here.

Fans can stay up to date on World Cup by  downloading the U.S. Ski Team – Ski Racing app for iOS and Android.


Top 10

  1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Sarka Strachova (CZE) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  3. Bernadette Schild (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
  4. Emelie Wikstroem (SWE) – Voelkl/Dalbello/Marker
  5. Chiara Costazza (ITA) – Dynastar/Lange/Look
  6. Christina Geiger (GER) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  7. Marina Wallner (GER) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  8. Catharina Truppe (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  9. Irene Curtoni (ITA) – Rossignol/Rosignol/Look
  10. Anna Swenn-Larsson (SWE) – Head/Head/Head

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points WC Points
 1  7  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  47.46  52.02  1:39.48  0.00  100.00
 2  3  155415 STRACHOVA Sarka 1985 CZE  48.16  52.35  1:40.51  +1.03  7.45  80.00
 3  8  56032 SCHILD Bernadette 1990 AUT  48.63  51.93  1:40.56  +1.08  7.82  60.00
 4  10  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie 1992 SWE  49.33  52.66  1:41.99  +2.51  18.17  50.00
 5  18  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara 1984 ITA  48.99  53.18  1:42.17  +2.69  19.47  45.00
 6  21  206279 GEIGER Christina 1990 GER  49.98  52.43  1:42.41  +2.93  21.21  40.00
 7  39  206536 WALLNER Marina 1994 GER  50.71  51.84  1:42.55  +3.07  22.22  36.00
 8  13  56315 TRUPPE Katharina 1996 AUT  50.27  52.53  1:42.80  +3.32  24.03  32.00
 9  22  296509 CURTONI Irene 1985 ITA  50.27  52.69  1:42.96  +3.48  25.19  29.00
 10  33  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna 1991 SWE  49.69  53.30  1:42.99  +3.51  25.40  26.00
 11  9  516284 GISIN Michelle 1993 SUI  49.48  53.55  1:43.03  +3.55  25.69  24.00
 12  14  425981 SKJOELD Maren 1993 NOR  50.12  53.00  1:43.12  +3.64  26.34  22.00
 13  24  515997 FEIERABEND Denise 1989 SUI  50.14  53.52  1:43.66  +4.18  30.25  20.00
 14  50  56199 KAPPAURER Elisabeth 1994 AUT  51.92  52.20  1:44.12  +4.64  33.58  18.00
 14  30  56143 GRUENWALD Julia 1991 AUT  51.45  52.67  1:44.12  +4.64  33.58  18.00
 16  42  56174 HAASER Ricarda 1993 AUT  51.89  52.64  1:44.53  +5.05  36.55  15.00
 17  48  196803 MOUGEL Laurie 1988 FRA  51.79  53.02  1:44.81  +5.33  38.58  14.00
 17  45  56217 BRUNNER Stephanie 1994 AUT  52.07  52.74  1:44.81  +5.33  38.58  14.00
 19  43  155728 DUBOVSKA Martina 1992 CZE  52.14  52.85  1:44.99  +5.51  39.88  12.00
 20  40  225525 TILLEY Alexandra 1993 GBR  50.61  56.17  1:46.78  +7.30  52.83  11.00
 21  23  516528 MEILLARD Melanie 1998 SUI  49.00  57.87  1:46.87  +7.39  53.49  10.00
 22  44  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE  51.21  1:04.68  1:55.89  +16.41  118.77  0.00
Disqualified 1st run
 25  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA
Did not start 1st run
 54  299276 BASSINO Marta 1996 ITA
 53  565331 LAVTAR Katarina 1988 SLO
 31  565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 55  107387 CRAWFORD Candace 1994 CAN
 52  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA
 46  425921 HAUGEN Kristine Gjelsten 1992 NOR
 37  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN
 35  485802 TKACHENKO Ekaterina 1995 RUS
 34  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena 1990 SRB
 28  565320 FERK Marusa 1988 SLO
 1  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE
Did not finish 2nd run
 36  56367 GALLHUBER Katharina 1997 AUT
 32  297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA
 27  197319 BAUD MUGNIER Adeline 1992 FRA
 26  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA
 16  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN
 12  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT
 5  705423 VLHOVA Petra 1995 SVK
 2  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI
Did not finish 1st run
 57  435334 GASIENICA-DANIEL Maryna 1994 POL
 56  516268 WILD Simone 1993 SUI
 51  405138 JELINKOVA Adriana 1995 NED
 49  425879 RIIS-JOHANNESSEN Kristina 1991 NOR
 47  56253 HUBER Katharina 1995 AUT
 41  539927 LAPANJA Lila 1994 USA
 38  485637 ALOPINA Ksenia 1992 RUS
 29  206487 WIESLER Maren 1993 GER
 20  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN
 19  206355 DUERR Lena 1991 GER
 17  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria 1986 SWE
 15  565401 BUCIK Ana 1993 SLO
 11  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA
 6  705287 VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika 1984 SVK
 4  425771 LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR

 

Article Tags: Alpine, Top Rotator, Top Story

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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 honors in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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