Liensberger wins, Shiffrin comes second on her birthday to take World Cup slalom title race to the wire

Austria’s Katharina Liensberger puts in a magnificent second run to put the Olympic champion into second place in Are, as Petra Vlhova remains top of overall season title hunt.

By Ed Knowles
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

The three-way battle for the World Cup alpine skiing season title in the women's slalom will go down to the final race after Saturday's result in Are, Sweden.

World Champion Katharina Liensberger secured the win for Austria with her second run to enhance her hopes of winning the crystal globe.

Mikeala Shiffrin’s quest to win the season title also continues after the American finished second on her 26th birthday.

It means they are both within striking distance of Slovakia’s Petra Vhlova, who finished in eighth place in Are on Saturday (13th March), and now holds a slim 22-point lead in the slalom standings following her win on Friday.

Wendy Holdener of Switzerland rounded off the podium in third place.

It was Liensberger's first-ever world cup first place finish.

The 2021 season has been one of great success for the 23-year-old who became world champion in both the slalom and giant slalom in Cortina.

The season finishes with a final race in the Swiss resort of Lenzerheide. The women’s slalom is scheduled for 20 March.

Vhlova also remains ahead in the overall standings with Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland in second place and Michelle Gisin, also of Switzerland, in third.

Shiffrin, who returned from a 300-day break from the sport at the start of the season, is in fourth position overall.

Mikaela Shiffrin [left], Katharina Liensberger [centre], and Wendy Holdener [right] celebrate on the podium at world cup slalom event in Are
Picture by 2021 Getty Images