American skier Mikaela Shiffrin dominated a slalom Saturday for her 85th career victory, moving within one of the Alpine World Cup records set by Swedish superstar Ingemar Stenmark in the 1980s.
Shiffrin may hit the high of 86 on another slalom Sunday, with the second run scheduled for 6:05 a.m. ET on CBCsports.ca, CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android.
She had shared the women’s record of 82 wins with former teammate Lindsey Vonn before triumphing in back-to-back giant slalom events in Italy this week, adding a third straight win on Saturday.
Shiffrin celebrated after finishing the race with a shoulder shake and a beaming smile before third-place finisher Wendy Holdener and second-place finisher Lena Durr came over for a hug.
WATCH l Shiffrin 1 win from overall World Cup record:
The American held a 0.29 second lead after the opening heat, but lost a tenth of his lead after going too far in some corners early in heat two before accelerating and once again setting the fastest time (45.66). to beat the German Durr 0.60 seconds in a minute 33.85 seconds.
“I knew it would be a bit of a risk and there’s a chance I might not finish at all, but I have to give my best curves to have a chance because these women are so strong,” Shiffrin testified Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic.
Switzerland’s Holdener was 1.31 seconds back in third place (1:35.16), followed by slalom Olympic champion Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in fourth place (1:35.41) and Shiffrin’s American teammate Paula Moltzan in fifth place (1:35.74).
“Thanks for cheering”
The race took place on an overcast day in the resort town near the Czech-Polish border where she made her World Cup debut almost 12 years ago as a 15-year-old. Shiffrin also won when the venue last hosted a World Cup race in 2019.
“Wow, I can hear you all so loud. Thanks for the cheering, it’s amazing to be racing for this crowd,” she told viewers during a post-race interview.
Shiffrin laid the foundation for her victory with a clean opening run, in which she got off to a fast start and was at least a quarter of a second ahead of her competitors in the first split.
She also gained time over most racers in a tricky passage midway through her run, where the layout of the course allowed for multiple paths to pass through the gates.
“You could ski either way,” Shiffrin said. “At the end of the track I was able to pick up a lot of speed. In the end, I felt really good about my run.”
Shiffrin has won five of the eight slaloms this season and extended her lead over Holdener in the discipline ranking to 175 points. She could complete the title if she leads by at least 200 points after Sunday’s race.
In total, Shiffrin has won 11 races this season. Only twice in her career has she won more races in a single season: 12 in 2017-18 and a record-breaking 17 in 2018-19.
In front of a large, boisterous crowd, Laurence St-Germain of St. Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que. was the top Canadian in 15th place (1:36.74). Toronto’s Ali Nullmeyer was 19th (1:36.84) and Amelia Smart (Invermere, BC) 30th in 1:38.04, all earning three World Cup points.