ALPINE SKIING: Shiffrin third in Soelden season opener

France's Giant Slalom star Tessa Worley

The 2018-19 Alpine World Cup opened with impressive racing in challenging circumstances on the Rettenbach Glacier at Soelden (AUT), with France’s two-time World Champion Tessa Worley showing she is still one of the best in the Giant Slalom.

Worley won the 2016-17 World Cup title in the Giant Slalom and was second last season, but had to come from behind to collect her 13 career World Cup victory. It was Italian Federica Brignone who led after the first run, ahead of defending Soelden champ Viktoria Rebensburg (GER), with Worley third.

But on the second run, despite windy and rainy conditions, Worley screamed down the hill in 1:01.40, the best time of the second run and won by 35/100ths over Brignone. Behind them, Rebensburg faded to 12th on the second run and opened the door for American Mikaela Shiffrin, fourth on the first run and fifth-fastest on the second, but her consistency brought her the bronze medal, two places better than last season!

“There are still expectations, but I’m trying not to pay so much attention to like ‘why should I feel so, so disappointed,’” Shiffrin said afterwards. “Especially because I had a podium today. Of course, I want to win, but there are many girls out there who want to win. I was able to start the season with a podium and it’s a great thing. It’s not enough, but it’s OK for now and it’s a good place to start.

“I’m trying to be a little bit more open to saying ‘yeah, OK, that’s what we have.’ I know what lessons I learned and I’ll just fight for the next races.”

Saturday’s wind and rain turned to heavy snow overnight and led to the cancellation of Sunday’s men’s Giant Slalom. A replacement race is to be named this week, but the next scheduled races are the Slaloms in Levi (FIN) on 17-18 November. Summaries:

FIS Alpine World Cup
Soelden (AUT) ~ 27-28 October 2018
(Full results here)

Women/Giant Slalom: 1. Tessa Worley (FRA), 2:0051; 2. Federica Brignone (ITA), 2:00.86; 3. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 2:01.45; 4. Viktoria Rebensburg (GER), 2:01.50; 5. tie, Stephanie Brunner (AUT) and Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR), 2:02.44.