Shiffrin Takes A Third On Saturday And Dominates Sunday With A First At Killington

Women's World Cup GS and Slalom was the big deal at Killington Resort this past weekend. The HomeLight Killington Cup, the title sponsor of which is HomeLight, is known for drawing some of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds the tour has ever seen. This weekend was no exception as the Vermont ski hill was electric with fans cheering on the favorite home turf heroes, including Mikaela Shiffrin, who was able to do exactly what the masses were sure she would do.

Saturday - A One/Two Punch For The Italians With The Home Turf Hero In Third

It was a very cold day at Killington, with the temperatures barely reaching 20° at the start of the first run on Giant Slalom day, Saturday, November 30. The winds were also unforgiving at the top of the run, forcing race officials to move the starting gate to the reserve position. But, this did not prevent a wicked exciting race day.

The crowds were electric, cheering every single racer that came down the hill, but hitting a fever pitch the second Mikaela Shiffrin took to the hill. At the end of her first run, she sat in first for only a moment, holding on to the 5th place position at the end of the first run.

As the afternoon came, it wasn't any warmer out on the mountain, but the racing only got more exciting. At one point, Alex Tilley of Great Britain held the first position for some time, but as the day went on, the positions continued to change until the very end, when Marta Bassino sealed a first-place finish, the same position she held at the end of the first run, as well. With a combined time of 1:38.19, this would be her first career World Cup victory.

The second-place position would go to Bassino's Italian teammate, Federica Brignone, who finished just 0.26 of a second behind Bassino. Brignone was the winner of the GS at this venue the year prior but secured the one/two finish for the Italian team. Rounding out the podium was fan favorite and home turf hero Mikaela Shiffrin, who was able to improve two spots to get on the podium, finishing just 0.29 of a second behind the leader, making for an incredibly tight race. Shiffrin has yet to win a GS event at Killington.

Sunday - Shiffrin Does What She Does Best

As another cold day at Killington began, so did the Slalom race day as fans poured into the area at the bottom of the racecourse. Would home turf hero and Slalom phenom Mikaela Shiffrin be able to take her fourth Killington World Cup Slalom victory in a row?

To the cheering of close to 11,000 fans, Shiffrin would indeed take the win at Killington. The young superstar pulled a combined time of 1:50.45, giving her a lead of 2.29 seconds over her closest rival, another young slalom specialist and crowd favorite, Petra Vlhova of Slovakia. Such a commanding lead not only gave Shiffrin her fourth win in Slalom in a row at this venue, but she also tied Austrian alpine legend Annemarie Moser-Pröll for second on the women's World Cup career wins list with her 62nd victory.

"The record's keep going, don't they?" Mikaela laughed. "It's different from what Ingemar was able to do, or what Annemarie was able to do - to me, with these amazing racers, their records will last forever. It's a different generation, with different events. But the records are also a symbol of the work that I do and the work that my team does...the way that we all work together - it's like a family, and we're just doing the best we can every day."

Taking her first Slalom podium of this season was Petra Vlhova, the young Slovak who is Shiffrin's closest rival in the discipline. It was a welcome sight to see Vlhova back on the podium after a rough start to the Slalom World Cup season. In third, Anna Swenn Larsson, making her third career podium appearance, finishing 2.73 seconds behind the winner.

It should also be said the Killington Resort in Vermont puts on one hell of a show. Having some of the biggest crowds on the World Tour, and amidst rough weather and lodge construction, and epic lines for restrooms, the mountain was still a wonderful host.

Thumbnail Credit: Tim Meyer for Ski Rex Media


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