Shiffrin leads Gisin in slalom after 1st run, Vlhova in 6th

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United States' Mikaela Shiffrin speeds down the course during an alpine ski, women's World Cup slalom, in Semmering, Austria, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)

SEMMERING – Mikaela Shiffrin held a slim lead after the opening run of women’s World Cup slalom Tuesday, putting Petra Vlhova’s five-race winning streak in danger.

Shiffrin edged Michelle Gisin by two-hundredths of a second as the American three-time overall World Cup champion positioned herself for a first win in her strongest discipline in 12 months.

Katharina Liensberger was 0.32 behind in third, while the rest of the field, led by Liensberger's Austrian teammate Katharina Truppe, had more than half a second to make up on Shiffrin in the second run.

Vlhova, who won all five slaloms since Shiffrin last triumphed in Lienz a year ago, lost time at each split and the overall World Cup leader from Slovakia finished 0.89 behind in sixth.

All 28 World Cup slaloms since January 2017 have been won by either Shiffrin, who triumphed 19 times, or Vlhova.

Shiffrin was 0.45 faster than then-leader Gisin halfway through her run but lost time on the bottom section.

“It felt good. The surface was really nice and I felt like the course set was really nice. My skiing was pretty good, pretty active. I can’t complain,” the American said.

Shiffrin is after her second win since returning to the circuit in November from a 10-month break.

The American won this race the last two times it was held, in 2016 and 2018.

Another win would put her in outright third position on the all-time World Cup list with 68 victories, one more than Marcel Hirscher.

Only Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Lindsey Vonn (82) won more races.

The floodlit slalom took place a day after strong winds had destroyed parts the finish area between two runs of a giant slalom as gusts blew away safety fencing and sponsor banners.

Workers rebuilt the setup at the bottom of the Zauberberg course early Tuesday.


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