Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova has been chasing American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin all season … and finally caught up on New Year’s Day.
In the City Event, a parallel slalom competition in Oslo (NOR), Vlhova got the better of Shiffrin in the final, winning the first run by 0.21 seconds and the second by 0.39 for a combined total of 36.89-37.28. “Finally, I did it,” Vlhova said. “I beat Mikaela.”
“I have pretty mixed thoughts about today,” said Shiffrin afterwards. “I felt pretty off when the race started and in warm-up run we took. I barged in the start, and then preceded to barge about 50% of my runs in the race. My feeling in the first few runs was really strange…it wasn’t quite ‘on.’
“On one hand, I’m a little bit relieved, surprised, and pretty psyched to be on the podium, but by the time I got to the Big Final, I was feeling a lot more myself. I was still not timing my starts very well, but I was pushing on my skis the way I know that I can, so that was better. Petra skied disciplined, fast, and she skied smart. She took the risk in the first run when she needed to, and she was smart in the second run when she needed to be.”
Vlhova had finished second to Shiffrin in five straight Slaloms through November and December, but started the new year with a victory and her sixth career World Cup win.
However, she will have little time to celebrate as the World Cup circus moves to Zagreb (CRO) for a men’s and women’s Slalom on Sunday. Shiffrin is the defending champ in Zagreb, finishing ahead of Wendy Holdener (SUI ~ third in Oslo) and Frida Hansdotter (SWE) a year ago.
On the men’s side, Austria’s Marco Schwarz picked up his third career World Cup medal and first victory in Oslo, beating surprise finalist Dave Ryding of Great Britain. The silver was Ryding first World Cup medal in two years and second career medal!
In Zagreb on Sunday, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher – eliminated in the quarterfinals in Oslo – is the defending champ, ahead of Michael Matt (AUT) and Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR).
FIS Alpine World Cup
Oslo (NOR) ~ 1 January 2019
(Full results here)
Men’s City Event: 1. Marco Schwarz (AUT), 35.39; 2. Dave Ryding (GBR), disqualified. Small Final: 3. Ramon Zenhaeusern (SUI), 35.39; 4. Andre Myhrer (SWE) disqualified.
Women’s City Event: 1. Petra Vlhova (SVK), 36.89; 2. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), 37.28; Small Final: 3. Wendy Holdener (SUI), 37.03; 4. Anna Swenn Larsson (SWE), 37.23.