Petra Vlhova wins women's slalom in Lienz to continue season dominance

Slovakian claims her 23rd World Cup alpine ski victory to close on overall standings leader Shiffrin, who is missing the Lienz races due to Covid.

By James Pratt
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia signed off the year in style with victory at the alpine ski women's slalom World Cup in Lienz on Wednesday (29th December).

Fresh from her second-place finish in the Giant Slalom race on Tuesday, the reigning overall crystal globe holder was in top spot after run one after finishing almost half a second quicker than her rivals.

Her second place in run two meant that she finished top overall with a time of 1:42:10, claiming a 23rd World Cup race win and 15th in the slaloms.

"It feels good," Vlhova said afterwards. "The conditions were perfect, both runs were a little easier than other races.

"I have big confidence in slalom right now. After the first run, I felt I could do more, even though I was first. I knew I could go faster."

Katharina Liensberger was back on form, seal silver +0.51 back in her second race after a long coronavirus-enforced break from competition.

The Austrian double world champion recently told Olympics.com why she is skiing with a smile.

Olympic combined champion Michelle Gisin of Switzerland was third in the final women's race of 2021.

The victory is Vlhova's third slalom win from four races this season, to extend her lead in the discipline standings.

She is now third in the overall standings, but may lose ground in the new year after admitting that she will skip the majority of World Cup speed races in order to focus on the slalom events at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics which begin in February.

Sofia Goggia is second overall, behind leader Mikaela Shiffrin. The American Olympic champion and Lara Gut-Behrami both missed the Lienz races after testing positive for Covid.

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