What may turn out to be a historic season for American ski star Mikaela Shiffrin turned golden again on the slopes of Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA), as she won Sunday’s Super-G race to extend her World Cup lead and continued to lead in the seasonal Super-G standings.
“I watched a couple girls going and I was thinking, ‘OK … there are maybe two or three points on the course you really need to be on the right direction, and otherwise, it’s just to be aggressive,’” Shiffrin said. “I was comfortable with my skis and really, really comfortable with my setup, so I feel like I can do whatever I want if the surface is good, and today the surface was really nice.
“I was just kind of thinking ‘oh, the course looks tricky and a little bit more difficult than I thought from my inspection. But at the end when I started, I was just trying to trust my line and be aggressive. And yeah, I’m a little bit lucky…it’s super tight, but I’m happy to be on that side of the green light.”
Shiffrin’s victory continues an astonishing season in which she has now won 11 of the 22 races held so far and has a 1,494-898 lead over Petra Vlhova (SVK) in the overall standings. She leads in the Super-G, Giant Slalom and Slalom standings and is starting to close in for the most wins in a single season. That’s 14 by Vreni Schneider (AUT) back in 1989; the men’s record is 13 by three men, including Marcel Hirscher (AUT) last season … and he’s going for an even higher total this season.
Shiffrin’s brilliant run finished 0.16 ahead of Tina Weirather (LIE) and 0.18 area of Austria’s Tamara Tippler. On the other side of the ledger was comebacking American Lindsey Vonn, who finished 15th and ninth in the two Downhills in Cortina and then didn’t finish on Sunday as she ran through a panel.
“I haven’t quite processed everything yet,” said Vonn afterwards. “I can’t seem to stop crying. It’s been a lot of great memories here in Cortina. I tried to really ski my best, I tried to come through the finish and make a good result for the fans here, but I didn’t quite do that. It’s just hard. I thought it would be easier honestly. But it’s not.”
No, it isn’t, which makes Shiffrin’s season all the more magical. But as Vonn continues to be concerned with substantial pain during her runs, she told reporters that she is seriously considering retiring now. Summaries:
FIS Alpine World Cup
Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA) ~ 18-20 January 2019
(Full results here)
Women’s Downhill I: 1. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT), 1:15.44; 2. Ilka Stuhec (SLO), 1:15.84; 3. Stephanie Venier (AUT), 1:15.90; 4. Corinne Suter (SUI), 1:15.91; 5. Romane Miradoli (CFRA), 1:15.98. Also in the top 25: 9. Laurenne Ross (USA), 1:16.23; … 15. Lindsey Vonn (USA), 1:16.63; … 22. Alice Merryweather (USA), 1:16.88.
Women’s Downhill II: 1. Siebenhofer (AUT), 1:36.22; 2. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT), 1:36.26; 3. Stuhec (SLO), 1:36.73; 4. Kira Weidle (GER), 1:36.85; 5. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER), 1:37.38. Also in the top 25: 9 (tie). Vonn (USA), 1:37.58; … 20. Ross (USA), 1:38.02.
Women’s Super-G: 1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 1:22.48; 2. Tina Weirather (LIE), 1:22.64; 3. Tamara Tippler (AUT), 1:22.66; 4. Valerie Greiner (CAN), 1:22.96; 5. Jasmine Flury (SUI), 1:23.09. Also in the top 25: 23. Ross (USA), 1:24.12.