Monday January 17, 2022

Vlhova wins in Slovenia as Shiffrin skis out, slalom joy for Strolz

Published : 09 Jan 2022, 22:23

  By Mark Meadows, dpa

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia competes during the FIS Ski World Cup Women's Slalom race in Zagreb, Croatia, on Jan. 4, 2020. File Photo Xinhua.

Defending overall champion Petra Vlhova won a women's alpine skiing World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia on Sunday as US star Mikaela Shiffrin skied out while leading.

In a men's slalom in the Swiss resort of Adelboden, Austrian Johannes Strolz won his first ever World Cup race at the age of 29.

Switzerland's Wendy Holdener led after the first run in Slovenia but had to settle for second spot, 0.23 seconds adrift, as Slovakia's Vlhova took the glory in a combined 1 minute 44.29 seconds.

Sweden's Anna Swenn Larsson was third.

It was a fifth win in six races this season for Vlhova, who said the course did not look worthy of the World Cup.

"The conditions weren't right for this race," she told Eurosport.

"I didn't go full pelt in the first run, I knew that if I wanted to win, I had to step it up second time. I managed to do it. It's not easy to win all the time, the pressure increases."

Like Shiffrin, who had a big advantage before erring halfway down the piste, defending discipline champion and world champion Katharina Liensberger also missed a gate second time.

Shiffrin still tops the overall standings with Vlhova leading the slalom table.

Unlike in Slovenia, the stands were packed with Swiss fans in Adelboden as part of a coronavirus experiment involving mass testing.

But it was the rival Austrian duo of Manuel Feller and Fabio Gstrein who led jointly after the first run as snow fell continually on a tough piste.

Joint discipline leader Sebastian Foss-Solevaag slipped close to the end of the first run with French contender Clement Noel also skiing out.

Strolz was seventh after the first run and then emerged as a surprise winner in 1:50.05 with Feller 0.17 behind. Gstrein skied out late on and Germany's Linus Strasser took third.

Last season's overall champion Alexis Pinturault again struggled, with the Beijing Olympics taking place next month, and fell in the second run.

On Saturday, Switzerland's Marco Odermatt was roared to giant slalom victory as the World Cup overall leader ended a 14-year wait for a home win in Adelboden.

The women return with a rescheduled slalom in Schladming on Tuesday while the men have a super-g in Wengen on Thursday.