For the first time in nearly four decades, a Vermont ski resort hosted the best in the world on Saturday. Mikaela Shiffrin described the slope as “a mix between Maribor and Jasna,” noting that the weather of Saturday’s giant slalom was a lot like the Slovakian race last season with limited visibility. While Shiffrin did not earn a spot on the podium, the 16,000 fans in attendance certainly didn’t miss out on any excitement. Tessa Worley stole the show, earning her first World Cup win since suffering from a knee injury nearly three years ago.
“It’s been long,” Worley said. “Physically I could feel well. In less than a year after my injury, I felt..physically 100 percent. The tough part was to get the spirit back of the racing and to be able to give everything.”
The Frenchwoman had been within striking distance in Soelden, earning sixth place, but Vermont was where she really found her rhythm. Her win at Killington puts her at the top of the giant slalom rankings with 140 World Cup points ahead of Shiffrin with 125 points.
Right behind her on the podium was Nina Loeseth, a Norwegian tech skier, who matched her career-best giant slalom result, finishing in second place. The Attacking Viking was 0.80 seconds off of the winning pace.
“I didn’t think it was going to be enough even for a podium and thought I was for sure four seconds off,” Loeseth shared. “I had a few mistakes, but I think everybody did. Everybody felt really bad. I ski on feeling, so I always like to feel good, but sometimes you just have to leave the feelings in the start and just go.”
Rounding out the podium was a member of the powerful Italian squad, Sofia Goggia. The Italian earned her first-ever World Cup podium.
“I’m really happy because on the first run I didn’t ski that well, and it was pretty unexpected to podium today,” Goggia said. “I really wanted to ski as fast as I could second run and I actually did…For me, it’s great to do my first podium here in America because I really like America–east coast, west coast, the whole USA.”
Four of Goggia’s teammates–Marta Bassino, Francesca Marsaglia, Federica Brignone and Irene Curtoni–joined her in the top 10, finishing fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.
“I think we are the strongest team in giant slalom, actually, on the World Cup because we were nine girls and just the youngest one did not qualify for the second (run),” said Goggia of the Italian dominance.
Noticeably missing from the results was Swiss skier Lara Gut, who did not finish first run, but perhaps described the bumpy conditions of the day best.
“We have seen better races, but you can see it’s an outdoor sport and it’s so warm,” she explained after failing to finish the first run. “It’s so wet, so it’s normal that it looks like that.”
Last year’s Overall World Cup globe winner did say she was excited to see the East Coast enthusiasm for ski racing.
“Usually when we are in the USA, there’s not so many people coming to watch the races,” she explained. “Here it’s amazing. So many people and I was surprised. Yesterday, I had an autograph session. So many kids came around, so many people recognizing me. I feel that people are happy that I was here, so that was cool.”
Shiffrin lead the U.S. women, earning fifth place. American athletes Resi Stiegler, Megan McJames and World Cup newcomer Nina O’Brien did not qualify for a second run. Teammates Patricia Mangan, who made her World Cup debut on Saturday, and Alice Merryweather were bested by the tough conditions and did not finish first run.
Canadians Valerie Grenier and Candace Crawford finished in 24th and 27th respectively. Mikaela Tommy did not qualify for a second run, and veteran Marie-Michele Gagnon did not finish.
Shiffrin was feeling optimistic about the slalom race and the slope at the end of the day.
“With slalom, I feel like every hill plays to my strengths,” she shared. “It’s just about doing my best to put my training skiing out there. I mean I’ve been training well and even a lot better than I skied in Levi, so I’ll be very disappointed if I can’t put that skiing out there.”
Action continues on Sunday with the women’s slalom at Killington.
- Tessa Worley (FRA) – Rossignol / Rossignol / Rossignol
- Nina Loeseth (NOR) – Rossignol / Rossignol / Rossignol
- Sofia Goggia (ITA) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Marta Bassino (ITA) – Salomon / Salomon / Salomon
- Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – Atomic / Atomic / Atomic
- Ana Drev (SLO) – Volkl / Dalbello / Marker
- Francesca Marsaglia – Francesca Marsaglia (ITA) – Volkl / Dalbello / Marker
- Federica Brignone (ITA) – Rossignol / Rossignol / Rossignol
- Irene Curtoni (ITA) – Rossignol / Lange / Rossignol
- Adeline Baud Mugnier (FRA) – Rossignol / Rossignol / Rossignol
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|10||21||197319||BAUD MUGNIER Adeline||1992||FRA||1:01.84||59.57||2:01.41||+2.15||17.67|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|59||6535773||O BRIEN Nina||1997||USA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|25||197124||FRASSE SOMBET Coralie||1991||FRA|