ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin’s first speed race weekend of the women’s World Cup season went so well, she believes it might make her even faster in her core technical events, too.
The four-time overall champion won a super-G Sunday to top off her weekend with career win No. 77.
The result leaves the American skier five wins short of the women’s record set by her former teammate Lindsey Vonn.
Shiffrin finished sixth and fourth, respectively, in two downhills over the past two days before excelling in the super-G format, despite having hardly trained those disciplines recently.
“Especially with downhill, it’s like: I haven’t done this in a while, so we just go step-by-step and I always learn something about my mentality doing speed as well,” Shiffrin said.
“So I feel really quite happy for this whole weekend and maybe try to take some of that with the slalom and GS as well.”
On Sunday, Shiffrin overcame a tricky jump halfway through her run but otherwise relied on her spot-on timing to master the Corviglia course and finish 0.12 seconds ahead Elena Curtoni, the Italian winner of Friday’s downhill.
“I felt very good the last days, but you never know, with super-G especially, you have to push so hard. It’s always on the limit. Actually, you’re pushing so hard, maybe you’re not going to finish,” Shiffrin said.
“I knew what my tactics should be, I was not thinking about what’s going to happen in the finish until I got there. I had a very, very good run, so I’m happy with that.”
Having not raced in speed events since last season’s World Cup finals in March, Shiffrin felt she has reconnected with the sport’s fastest disciplines right away, calling it “this instinct to go always down the hill.”
“I think that can help me with my giant slalom, and maybe even a bit with the slalom, to know if I can do it in downhill and super-G and downhill, I can do it in GS and slalom,” she said.
The next eight races on the women’s World Cup calendar are all technical events, before speed races return in back-to-back weekends in Austria and Italy, respectively, from mid-January.
Romane Miradoli was four-tenth behind in third for her second career podium, after beating Shiffrin to win the penultimate super-G of last season in March at another Swiss resort, Lenzerheide.
Swiss skier Michelle Gisin just missed her first podium of the season in fourth, but pushed Sofia Goggia into fifth place, a day after the Italian won the downhill.
Goggia broke two bones in her left hand after hitting a gate in Friday’s race, underwent surgery, but returned to racing the following day.
Skiing again with her left hand taped to her ski pole, Goggia lost two-tenths on Shiffrin in the flat start section and more time in the steep turns. She was the fastest in the final section but shrugged her shoulders when she saw her finishing time.
Shiffrin extended her lead over Goggia in the overall season standings to 105 points.
Goggia’s teammate Marta Bassino came closest to challenging Shiffrin’s win as the Italian clocked nearly the same times as the American at the first two splits before missing a gate in the steep section.
The winner of the only previous super-G this season, Corinne Suter, finished 15th. The Swiss skier triumphed two weeks ago in Lake Louise, where Shiffrin was not competing.
The next women’s World Cup races are two giant slaloms and a slalom in Semmering, Austria, on Dec. 27-29.
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