Alpine skiing: Petra Vlhova returns to form with her slalom victory at the World Cup finals while Shiffrin is on the podium for another record

Petra Vlhova claimed her second slalom win of the season at the FIS Ski World Cup Finals Andorra 2023 on Saturday (March 18).

The Slovakian Olympic champion led by 0.32 seconds after the first heat in Soldeu, turning her lead into a victory margin of 0.43 seconds over Croatia’s Leona Popovic, who took her first podium finish at this level.

Series winner and overall World Cup winner Mikaela Shiffrin was third, closing American Lindsey Vonn’s women’s record for World Cup podium finishes at 137.

With rain pouring down and visibility obscured on a rut, several racers were unable to complete their second heats, including Canada’s world champion Laurence St-Germain, Slovenia’s Ana Bucik, Katharina Liensberger and Austria’s Franziska Gritsch, who only survived three goals.

A turn after a roll late in the challenge proved particularly difficult for the skiers as Mina Fürst Holtmann, Lena Dürr and Paula Moltzan lost a lot of time.

The latter racers approached this section with great caution, but Shiffrin attacked the top half to allow himself to be a bit conservative in the bottom half.

And after Anna Swenn Larsson skied out, Popovic produced the skis of her life to take the lead with only Vlhova absent.

The 27-year-old struggled in the top half, losing her lead from heat one, but made it up in the bottom section to end the season on positive terms.

Vlhova told the FIS afterwards: “My season was up and down and – I don’t want to say ‘just’ – just one win this season in slalom. In the last race I was DNF but I felt good so I wanted to come here and show my skiing in the last races and have a good feeling for the next season. So I’m super happy to end the season like this.”

There is one race left for Vlhova, Shiffrin and co – the giant slalom on Sunday – and the Slovakian star said: “I’m feeling good in giant slalom too so we’ll try to attack, give as much as possible and just enjoy to show my skiing and then we’ll see.”


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