Taking advantage of his small bib, Mikaela Shiffrin set the best time of the first round of the night slalom at Flachau. But the American did not widen the gap on her rivals, including Petra Vlhova.
Mikaela Shiffrin finds color. In difficulty during the recent Zagreb slalom, with a fourth place at the finish of a disappointing second round, the American took the lead in the Flachau slalom, the last repetition in the specialty before the Worlds of Cortina d’Ampezzo, at the end of the first track. If, with her bib number 1, Wendy Holdener established the first chronometric reference and then saw Petra Vlhova fail at six hundredths, Mikaela Shiffrin managed to finish strong to climb to the top of the hierarchy. Taking a quarter of a second on the last intermediate and twelve seconds of the race, the native of Vail showed that it was still necessary to count on her. Behind, if the Austrian Katharina Liensberger was able to resist with 33 hundredths of delay, it piled up.
Noens in trouble
Starting from Michelle Gisin’s fifth place, the gap with Mikaela Shiffrin was at least one second. In addition, over the passages, the layout of the Hermann Maier track deteriorated, not allowing the competitors to defend their luck as well as possible. A gap beyond two seconds became the norm after bib 16 and Nastasia Noens could not avoid such disillusion. The Frenchwoman, who remained on the best time of the second round in Zagreb, conceded almost three seconds to Mikaela Shiffrin and, with the 23rd fastest time at the end of the first 30 passages, the qualification for the second round is far from being insured for the Niçoise while Joséphine Forni (bib 40) and Doriane Escané (bib 46) are the two other French chances in the Austrian resort.
ALPINE SKIING – WORLD CUP / FLACHAU SLALOM (F)
Ranking of the 1st round (after 30 bibs) – Tuesday 12 January 2021
1- Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) in 54”04
2- Wendy Holdener (SUI) at 0”08
3- Petra Vlhova (SLQ) at 0”14
4- Katharina Liensberger (AUT) at 0”33
5- Michelle Gisin (SUI) at 1”09
6- Irene Curtoni (ITA) at 1”11
7- Kristin Lydsahl (NOR) at 1”42
8- Chiara Mair (AUT) at 1”46
9- Katharina Truppe (AUT) at 1”55
10- Laurence Saint-Germain (CAN) at 1”65
23- Nastasia Noens (FRA) at 2”93