Alpine skiing: Petra Vlhova returns to form to win World Cup Finals slalom as Shiffrin takes podium for another record

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

Slovakia’s Olympic champion led by 0.32 seconds after the first run in Soldeu, and converted her advantage into a victory margin of 0.43 seconds from Croatia’s Leona Popovic who scored her first podium finish.

Series winner and overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin was third, to tie Lindsey Vonn’s record for World Cup podium finishes with 137.

With the rain lashing down and visibility compromised on a rutting course, several racers failed to finish their second runs including Canada’s world champion Laurence St-Germain, Slovenia’s Ana Bucik, Katharina Liensberger, and fellow Austrian Franziska Gritsch who lasted just three gates.

One turn after a roller late in the challenge proved particularly tricky for the skiers with Mina Fuerst Holtmann, Lena Duerr, and Paula Moltzan losing vast amounts of time.

The latter racers approached that section with a great deal of caution, but Shiffrin attacked the top half to allow herself to be somewhat conservative on the bottom half.

And after Anna Swenn Larsson skied out, Popovic produced the ski of her life to take the lead with just Vlhova to go.

The 27-year-old struggled on the top half, losing her first-run advantage, but put it together on the bottom section to end her season on her high.

The season concludes on Sunday with the women’s giant slalom.

More to follow…

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