Alpine skiing: Vlhova took advantage of Shiffrin’s failure to win her third Kranjska

The Slovakian celebrated her third victory in a row in Kranjska Gora, grabbed her third “Golden Fox” trophy and took advantage of her great opponent Mikaela Shiffrin’s interference in the ball fight. Vlhova took her half-time lead safely to the finish ahead of Lena Dürr (+0.72 seconds) for her 31st World Cup victory. Katharina Liensberger was the best Austrian in seventh place (+1.53).

Katharina Huber landed in ninth place (+1.76), Franziska Gritsch (+2.75) immediately ahead of Katharina Gallhuber (+2.81) in 17th place. After days with plus temperatures, lots of rain and salt, the slopes were open pretty much through the steep Vitranc finish. The half-time 16. AJ Hurt used the extremely rotating second run to make a sensational jump onto the podium for the first time (+0.87), Camille Rast (SUI/fourth) and Chiara Pogneaux (FRA/eighth) also gained many positions.

However, Gritsch and Gallhuber, who came right after Hurt, were unable to convert their middle-class position in the deep pools into a happy ending. Liensberger and Huber – without a mistake at the bottom they would have been close to the podium at half time – also lost one and two positions respectively. With seventh place, Liensberger achieved her second best result of the season after third place in Levi. However, this time the industry giants Shiffrin and Wendy Holdener were missing from the results lists.

“The piste was such that you had to take risks and still find a good balance. There was definitely still a lot that could have been possible, especially on the final slope I didn’t come down without any mistakes,” said Liensberger, who was one for everyone at the end wanted to “work on consistency” over a challenging weekend. “I now know better how to deal with such conditions. Basically, I know that I can be quick there too. It means finding the looseness.”

Ultimately, Huber also identified it as a “thing in his head”. “I haven’t been so far ahead after the first round so often,” remarked the seventh-placed half-time player. “If you know that the conditions are not that easy, several factors play a role. That’s why, all in all, I’m definitely happy with ninth place.”

After six of eleven races with three wins each, Vlhova is now five points behind Shiffrin in the slalom standings. The American, who had a bad cold and said she had no energy, failed in the first round. Her threader, half a second behind Vlhova, meant the first failure since the Olympic Games in Beijing in February 2022. Shiffrin was last eliminated from the World Cup two years ago – also in Kranjska Gora. She had already finished ninth in the giant slalom on Saturday.

An appearance by the top star at the upcoming Speed ​​Triple (two Super-G, one downhill) in Zauchensee is questionable. For the technicians, the night slalom in Flachau (January 16th) also continues in Austria.

Katharina Troupe, who like Liensberger was already responsible for a slalom podium this season, also took over in the first round. The “home sleeper” from Carinthia experienced a completely botched weekend in Slovenia. She came 48th in the giant slalom. Marie-Therese Sporer missed the points for the fifth time in the sixth race (38th). 18-year-old Leonie Raich, closely related to Benjamin Raich, finished 42nd (65 starters) in her World Cup debut.

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