Shiffrin wins World Cup giant slalom gold for 2nd straight day, Canada’s Grenier 5th

Mikaela Shiffrin won a thrilling duel with Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami in a women’s World Cup giant slalom on Wednesday to claim her second win in two days and 79th career win.

Shiffrin edged leader Gut-Behrami by 0.22 seconds after the opening run, but the pair swapped places after a thrilling final race in which both made mistakes, with the American rider ultimately beating her rival of 0.10.

« It was hard, it was so dark, there were really big bumps, I tried to push, » Shiffrin said.

Marta Bassino, who leads the GS standings, was 0.47 behind in third, followed by her Italian teammate Federica Brignone in fourth.

Valérie Grenier, the only Canadian in the field, was fifth in 2:04.36. A day earlier, the St. Isidore, Ont., native was disqualified after leaving the starting house early as she was in contention for the podium after finishing fourth in her first run.

The 26-year-old earned some redemption on Wednesday by posting the fastest second-run time to move up from 12th place.

Shiffrin also won a GS at the same course on Tuesday and is now three World Cup wins behind the women’s record held by Lindsey Vonn. It could even come close before the end of 2022 since the three-day series in Semmering will conclude with a night slalom on Thursday.

Shiffrin won all three events the last time the resort near the capital Vienna held races for three consecutive days, in December 2016.

Wednesday’s victory was Shiffrin’s 16th in GS, moving her to second place on the all-time winners list alongside Annemarie Moser-Pröll and Tessa Worley. Only Vreni Schneider has won more giant slaloms with 20.

The win also extended Shiffrin’s overall lead to 305 points over Sofia Goggia. The Italian speed specialist is not competing at Semmering.

Far in the opening race

Shiffrin and Gut-Behrami set up their duel by building a big lead over the rest of the field in the first run, when the Swiss skier looked flawless on the icy Panorama course.

With the gates placed on an unusual straight, Gut-Behrami and Shiffrin completed the course in less than a minute, about five seconds faster than Tuesday.

Shiffrin led Gut-Behrami’s time throughout her race but couldn’t match the Swiss skier’s pace in the flat-bottomed section.

« It’s a pretty straight course, a very fast course, and there are some bumps, » Shiffrin said. « It’s a bit difficult to ski something with so few turns and I’m really happy that I was able to do it so well. »

In the second stage with more corners, no rider made a clean run. Starting last as the first moto leader, Gut-Behrami lost her advantage to Shiffrin in the first split, but she gained time again in the sections where her rival struggled.

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