Alpine
Image Credit: Agence Zoom

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif.– In contrast to the stereotypical blue skies and sunshine that Squaw Valley is known for in the spring, Friday brought overcast skies, warm temperatures, and soft snow for the women’s World Cup giant slalom at the California resort. Despite the challenging conditions, American phenom Mikaela Shiffrin managed to walk away with the win on home snow with a combined time of 2:16.42 seconds, a scant 0.07 seconds ahead of Italian Federica Brignone in second and and 0.86 seconds ahead of Frenchwoman Tessa Worley in third.

Although drawing bib seven — the highest she could have — in the first run, Shiffrin managed to set the pace by 0.20 seconds ahead of standings leader Worley, who sat second. Bringnone sat in fourth, nearly a full second behind the American.

Second run action saw the temperature continue to rise as early racers had a clear advantage running the course ahead of their faster competitors. Although there were no eye-opening jumps in the standings, the overall margins condensed as the faster racers in from the first run had to contend with a quickly deteriorating surface. Brignone blew the doors off the race with an aggressive yet tactical second run that saw her cross the line with almost a full second advantage as the next two racers could not match her pace with Worley sliding into second with only Shiffrin left in the start. Building on her advantage after the first run in the opening gates, Shiffrin then saw her lead dwindle as she made her way down the demanding Dog Leg pitch and found herself 0.03 seconds behind Bringnone at the final interval before finding time on the final gates and crossing the line for razor-slim win.

Shiffrin credited her time training on the race hill last spring as the deciding factor in her performance and admitted that the level of women’s GS is so high at the moment that in order to walk away with a win, you have to be willing to risk everything.

SQUAW VALLEY, USA - MARCH 10: Mikaela Shiffrin of USA celebrates during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on March 10, 2017 in Squaw Valley, USA (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom)

Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom

“I’ve skied this hill before and I’m really lucky, a lot of the girls I’m competing against have not, but I just knew that no matter what hill I’m skiing on, I have to attack like crazy,” she said. “All of these girls are going for wins and I’m so happy with how that went today.”

Although a first run mistake nearly derailed her hopes at a podium, the top Italian left nothing to chance in the second run and nearly walked away with the victory if it were not for Shiffrin’s last-second heroics.

“It’s great, it’s great,” Brignone explained. “I’m really happy. The first run had a big mistake, and I almost stopped and I was really pissed because a slope like this is great, and the snow was not easy for anybody. I was expecting more difficulty, so I didn’t give my 100 percent, so I was really pissed so I said second run, ‘Go hard or go home.’ I was hoping to beat Mikaela for a second, but then I saw she was skiing really, really good, but in front of all of these people, it is amazing.”

Worley admitted to thinking about the prospect of locking up the GS globe with a win on Friday, but was none the less happy, but not satisfied, with her third-place finish. The race for the GS globe now heads to World Cup Finals in Aspen next week to determine the title, with Worley holding an 80-point lead over Shiffrin with one race remaining.

“It’s tough, for sure; the pressure is here and the girls are always fighting very hard and always skiing very fast,” Worley said. “I’m just trying to do run after run and race after race and for sure today is another solid race. I would have liked to do better; every time, for sure, winning is the goal, but third place is still great, podium is still great. One more race and I’ll be fighting hard.”

Apart from Shiffrin’s win, American independent racer Megan McJames managed to finish her World Cup season strong with a 22nd-place finish. Skiing independent of the U.S. Ski Team has its challenges, but McJames managed to channel her love of the sport and end her season on a high note. Resi Stiegler did not qualify for the second run.

“I’m really excited,” said McJames. “I think, for me, it’s really nice to be on home soil. I’ve got lots of support here, so it’s really nice to be in California, close to home and on the West Coast. I think it was remembering why I ski race and to go out there and think about the skiing; work on some technique and tactics but really just going for it and thinking about having fun because that’s why I’ve persevered through these last four years.”

This victory extends Shiffrin’s lead in the World Cup overall standings by 100 points, putting her total at 1423. Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec sits nearly 300 points behind with just 5 races left this season.

The women now race slalom at Squaw Valley on Saturday, March 11.

Check out our gallery from Friday’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. Federica Brignone (ITA) – Rossignol/Lange/Look
  3. Tessa Worley (FRA) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
  4. Manuela Moelgg (ITA) – Dynastar/Lange/Look
  5. Ana Drev (SLO) – Voelkl/Fischer/Marker
  6. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) – Stoeckli/Lange/Marker
  7. Sofia Goggia (ITA) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  8. Stephanie Brunner (AUT) – Head/Head/Head
  9. Marta Bassino (ITA) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  10. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) – 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  1:08.75  1:07.67  2:16.42  0.00  100.00
 2  3  297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA  1:09.74  1:06.75  2:16.49  +0.07  0.50  80.00
 3  4  196928 WORLEY Tessa 1989 FRA  1:08.95  1:08.33  2:17.28  +0.86  6.18  60.00
 4  14  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA  1:09.92  1:07.53  2:17.45  +1.03  7.40  50.00
 5  2  565268 DREV Ana 1985 SLO  1:09.92  1:07.54  2:17.46  +1.04  7.47  45.00
 6  6  205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria 1989 GER  1:10.27  1:07.24  2:17.51  +1.09  7.83  40.00
 7  5  298323 GOGGIA Sofia 1992 ITA  1:09.93  1:07.72  2:17.65  +1.23  8.84  36.00
 8  8  56217 BRUNNER Stephanie 1994 AUT  1:09.95  1:07.88  2:17.83  +1.41  10.13  32.00
 9  1  299276 BASSINO Marta 1996 ITA  1:09.30  1:08.83  2:18.13  +1.71  12.28  29.00
 10  10  425929 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild 1992 NOR  1:11.18  1:07.14  2:18.32  +1.90  13.65  26.00
 11  9  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT  1:10.47  1:07.87  2:18.34  +1.92  13.79  24.00
 12  12  705423 VLHOVA Petra 1995 SVK  1:10.37  1:08.02  2:18.39  +1.97  14.15  22.00
 13  16  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI  1:10.53  1:07.87  2:18.40  +1.98  14.22  20.00
 14  11  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN  1:10.95  1:07.84  2:18.79  +2.37  17.03  18.00
 15  19  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE  1:10.90  1:08.16  2:19.06  +2.64  18.96  16.00
 16  41  56199 KAPPAURER Elisabeth 1994 AUT  1:12.40  1:06.68  2:19.08  +2.66  19.11  15.00
 17  18  516268 WILD Simone 1993 SUI  1:11.81  1:07.45  2:19.26  +2.84  20.40  14.00
 18  25  516528 MEILLARD Melanie 1998 SUI  1:12.25  1:07.06  2:19.31  +2.89  20.76  13.00
 19  13  355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE  1:10.75  1:08.60  2:19.35  +2.93  21.05  12.00
 20  30  565373 ROBNIK Tina 1991 SLO  1:12.34  1:07.06  2:19.40  +2.98  21.41  11.00
 21  23  296509 CURTONI Irene 1985 ITA  1:12.52  1:06.91  2:19.43  +3.01  21.62  10.00
 22  33  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA  1:11.28  1:08.25  2:19.53  +3.11  22.34  9.00
 22  22  197124 FRASSE SOMBET Coralie 1991 FRA  1:11.99  1:07.54  2:19.53  +3.11  22.34  9.00
 24  39  425879 RIIS-JOHANNESSEN Kristina 1991 NOR  1:12.47  1:07.16  2:19.63  +3.21  23.06  7.00
 24  24  56315 TRUPPE Katharina 1996 AUT  1:12.48  1:07.15  2:19.63  +3.21  23.06  7.00
 26  26  297910 CURTONI Elena 1991 ITA  1:11.93  1:07.97  2:19.90  +3.48  25.00  5.00
 27  38  107532 TOMMY Mikaela 1995 CAN  1:12.43  1:07.77  2:20.20  +3.78  27.15  4.00
 28  28  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria 1986 SWE  1:11.84  1:08.47  2:20.31  +3.89  27.94  3.00
 29  34  425921 HAUGEN Kristine Gjelsten 1992 NOR  1:12.38  1:08.16  2:20.54  +4.12  29.60  2.00
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 53  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie 1992 SWE
 52  435334 GASIENICA-DANIEL Maryna 1994 POL
 51  425981 SKJOELD Maren 1993 NOR
 50  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena 1990 SRB
 49  565401 BUCIK Ana 1993 SLO
 48  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna 1991 SWE
 46  405138 JELINKOVA Adriana 1995 NED
 45  155728 DUBOVSKA Martina 1992 CZE
 44  56241 SCHNEEBERGER Rosina 1994 AUT
 43  206355 DUERR Lena 1991 GER
 40  107387 CRAWFORD Candace 1994 CAN
 37  537772 STIEGLER Resi 1985 USA
 36  225525 TILLEY Alexandra 1993 GBR
 35  565331 LAVTAR Katarina 1988 SLO
 32  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN
 27  56174 HAASER Ricarda 1993 AUT
 17  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE
 15  425771 LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR
Did not finish 2nd run
 29  56032 SCHILD Bernadette 1990 AUT
Did not finish 1st run
 47  56367 GALLHUBER Katharina 1997 AUT
 42  206487 WIESLER Maren 1993 GER
 31  565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO
 21  197319 BAUD MUGNIER Adeline 1992 FRA
 20  297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca 1990 ITA

 

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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