The final race of the year takes place in Semmering on Thursday. In the night slalom (3 p.m. / 6:30 p.m., live on ORF1), Mikaela Shifrin lands a semiring hat-trick after her double in giant slalom as in 2016. For the 27-year-old American, slalom will be her No. 50 and her 80th success on the World Cup stage. Petra Velhova and, above all, two-time winner of the season, Wendy Holdner, are the top contenders in the annual sweepstakes.
ÖSV women lead to a conciliatory home race result. A place on the podium would be a surprise given the recent races. The only podium finisher to date is Katarina Tropp, who finished third at Killington. “Night races or afternoon races are something very special, and I’m looking forward to that,” said Troby, who crashed Tuesday in sixth place in the first-stroke on RTL. “But in slalom, it feels better if I leave Sestriere. I have to shift to attack anyway.”
Catharina Linsberger finished second behind Michel Gesin of Switzerland in the last slalom edition at Semmering two years ago. This season, however, the Vorarlberg native has been languishing in her best major (11th, 8th, failure, 14th). Semmering-RTL’s 13th and 19th places seem to add to the 25-year-old’s current uncertainty. “I’m looking forward to slalom after two giant races,” Linsberger explained.
Shiffrin as a summering specialist
Schiffrin again introduced herself as a Simering specialist. Like Janica Kostelic (2000, 2002) and Marlies Raich (2004, 2010), the American has two slalom victories in Semmering. The US dominated here in 2016 and 2018, two years ago it was in third place. It will have a “fifties” in slalom is to expand its own discipline record. In January 2022, Shiffrin overtook Ingmar Stenmark, who was victorious 46 times in the giant slalom.
Flova, who is hailed by many Slovak fans on the pass on the border between Lower Austria and Styria, remains without a win this season, but scores in the slalom with tremendous consistency. The reigning World Cup finalists have consistently finished in the top four in their last 13 slalom races, including eleven podium finishes.
In the slalom classification, Shiffrin and Holdner are 95 points ahead of Vlhova. The Austrian’s best followed with Troop in tenth. Holdner reaches the hat-trick after two wins on the wing. “It was a great start to the season, and it couldn’t be better. It’s very interesting at the moment,” said the Swiss, who had to wait so long for her first slalom victory.
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