Shiffrin Wins Stockholm City Event; Hirscher Eliminated in First Round

Stockholm, Sweden – There are times when a slight mistake pays dividends in ski racing. And for Mikaela Shiffrin, her first run mistake was the key to victory in Tuesday night’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup city event.

In the first race of the evening, in front of thousands of energized Swedish fans, Shiffrin and Adeline Baud Mugnier of France were locked in a tight battle until Shiffrin went wide with seven gates to go. However, Baud Mugnier, sensing an upset over the No. 1 seed, pushed too hard and fell into Shiffrin’s lane.

“Starting first, I had really no idea how the course was going to run, and I just tried to go for it,” said Shiffrin, of Eagle, Colo. “There was a bit of bumpiness at the bottom of the course, and I just didn’t stand on my outside ski, but Adeline kind of hit the bumps and shot into my course. Actually it was quite lucky for me that I made that mistake and slowed down, because if I hadn’t she might have hit me.”

Tuesday night's finals matchup in Stockholm, Sweden. (photo: FIS)
Tuesday night’s finals matchup in Stockholm, Sweden. (photo: FIS)

From then on, it was Shiffrin who was doing the hitting, knocking out the next two competitors she faced – Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon and home-crowd favorite Frida Hansdotter, to set up the match of the evening that all the fans waited to see – No. 1 seeded Shiffrin against No. 2 seeded Veronika Valez-Zuzulova of Slovakia.

Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia and Mikaela Shiffrin battle head-to-head in the finals during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup city event in Stockholm. (photo: Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard via USSA)
Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia and Mikaela Shiffrin battle head-to-head in the finals during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup city event in Stockholm. (photo: Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard via USSA)

In the finals, Shiffrin took the first run by a slim 0.10. In the second run, Shiffrin took a half-gate lead midway down to the course. But Valez-Zuzulova hit the gas and closed the gap over the jump. However, she carried too much speed into the final gates and blew out of the course, allowing Shiffrin to cruise to her first career city event victory and 100 World Cup points.

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Shiffrin now leads Swiss skier Lara Gut by 180 points in the chase for the overall World Cup title. Shiffrin also holds the overall World Cup slalom lead with 66 points over Valez-Zuzulova with two slalom events remaining this season.

The battlefield for Tuesday night's Stockholm City Event. (photo: FIS)
The battlefield for Tuesday night’s Stockholm City Event. (photo: FIS)

In the men’s race, Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde upset No. 1 seed Marcel Hirscher of Austria in the tightest race of the evening, taking the first run by 0.02 and second by 0.03. However, Kilde was ousted in the next round by Alexis Pinturault of France, who advanced to the finals to face off against No. 15 seeded Linus Stasser of Germany.

Stasser eliminated No. 2 seeded Henrik Kristofferson of Norway in the opening round, then defeated Italy’s Stafano Gross and Swedish favorite Mattias Hargin to face Pinturault in the finals. Stasser took the first run over Pinturault by 0.13, and then held on for a 0.04 victory in the second run of the finals to win his first career World Cup event.

Despite his elmination on Tuesday night, Hirscher still leads the men’s overall World Cup Standings with 1,275 points. Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen and Alexis Pinturault of France are tied for second with 843 points. Hirscher also leads the World Cup slalom standings with 635 points.

Linus Strasser and Mikaela Shiffrin celebrate their victories on Tuesday night in Stockholm, Sweden. (photo: FIS)
Linus Strasser and Mikaela Shiffrin celebrate their victories on Tuesday night in Stockholm, Sweden. (photo: FIS)

“It is a great event,” Shiffrin added about the night race in the center of Stockholm. “The crowd is awesome. It was fun, it was really fun. I think it’s really good for the sport (for the fans) to be able to see that live head-to-head action, the battles, and I’m happy to come away with the win.”

RELATED STORY:  Hirscher Wins Levi Slalom

Up next, the 2017 World Alpine Ski Championships kick off in St. Moritz, Switzerland, next week with women’s super G on Tuesday, Feb. 7 and men’s super G on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

OFFICIAL RESULTS
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
Stockholm City Event – Stockholm, Sweden – Jan. 31, 2017

Women

Rank NATION Name Tot. Time Diff. Time WC Points
1 USA SHIFFRIN Mikaela 100
2 SVK VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika 80
3 NOR LOESETH Nina 60
4 SWE HANSDOTTER Frida 50
5 SUI MEILLARD Melanie 40
5 ITA COSTAZZA Chiara 40
5 CAN GAGNON Marie-Michele 40
5 SVK VLHOVA Petra 40
9 FRA BAUD MUGNIER Adeline 15
9 SUI FEIERABEND Denise 15
9 SLO BUCIK Ana 15
9 AUS TRUPPE Katharina 15
9 USA STIEGLER Resi 15
9 AUS SCHILD Bernadette 15
9 CZE STRACHOVA Sarka 15
9 SUI HOLDENER Wendy 15

Men

Rank NATION Name Tot. Time Diff. Time WC Points
1 GER STRASSER Linus 100
2 FRA PINTURAULT Alexis 80
3 SWE HARGIN Mattias 60
4 GBR RYDING Dave 50
5 NOR KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 40
5 ITA RAZZOLI Giuliano 40
5 ITA GROSS Stefano 40
5 RUS KHOROSHILOV Alexander 40
9 NOR FOSS-SOLEVAAG Sebastian 15
9 NOR NORDBOTTEN Jonathan 15
9 FRA LIZEROUX Julien 15
9 AUT MATT Michael 15
9 SUI YULE Daniel 15
9 ITA MOELGG Manfred 15
9 NOR KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 15
9 AUT HIRSCHER Marcel 15

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