After last season's cancelation of the races in the North American ski resorts due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Alpine Ski World Cup Tour is back in the American playground with events to be held in Lake Louise (Canada), Killington (USA), and Beaver Creek (USA).
This weekend, whilst Men’s speed events are taking place in Lake Louise, Women will be competing in Giant Slalom and Slalom in Killington.
Back in 2019, Italy’s Marta Bassino put two clean and fast runs together to win the first World Cup race of her career on a course shortened because of gusting winds at the planned start line.
Federica Brignone, winner of the Killington Giant Slalom in 2018, delivered a storming second run. She clocked the quickest second run climbing six positions to finish in second place.
Local hero Mikaela Shiffrin finished in third place, 0.29 seconds off of Bassino’s winning pace. Shiffrin remains in search of a first Giant Slalom win at Killington, where she has won four slalom races.
In 2019 Mikaela Shiffrin drove the local fans crazy with a demonstrative victory in Killington, Vermont. After leading the first run of the second slalom of the season, Shiffrin finishes ahead of Petra Vlhova (+ 2.29) and Anna Swenn Larsson (+ 2.73). It was the 4th consecutive slalom victory for Shiffrin in Vermont.
Conditions were really challenging. An icy slope, flat light, and a turny set made for a gritty slalom.
Marta Bassino has won the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe last season. She was the only woman to win more than one World Cup giant slalom event in the 2020-2021 season. She claimed her victories in Sölden, Courchevel and Kranjska Gora (2). She failed to finish the first run in the season opener in Sölden.
Bassino won the most recent World Cup Giant Slalom held in the Killington Superstar racecourse. A female skier has yet to claim multiple GS wins in Killington.
Katharina Liensberger, the winner of last season's Slalom crystal globe, finished sixth and eighth in the opening two Slalom races in Levi.
Katharina Liensberger is the most recent Austrian woman to finish on a World Cup Giant Slalom podium: third in Lienz on 28 December 2019. She finished fourth in the Sölden season opener last month.
Liensberger's three major wins in the Slalom all came in March 2021: at the world championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo and in the World Cup events in Åre and Lenzerheide.
Mikaela Shiffrin won this season's opening World Cup event, the Giant Slalom in Sölden. It marked her 70th win in total in the World Cup, ranking her in third place all-time behind Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Lindsey Vonn (82).
Shiffrin can become the third woman in the last nine World Cup seasons to win the opening two Giant Slalom events, after Viktoria Rebensburg (2017-2018) and Marta Bassino (2020-2021).
The American is level with Deborah Compagnoni and Sonja Neff (all 13) in fourth place in the women's list for most World Cup Giant Slalom wins.
She finished in the top five in all four Giant Slalom events held in Killington: 5th in 2016, 2nd in 2017, 4th in 2018, and 3rd in 2019.
Mikaela Shiffrin won all four previous World Cup slalom events held in Killington. She could equal the women's World Cup record for most slalom victories at a single ski resort, set by Anja Pärson (5 in Maribor) and equaled by Petra Vlhová (5 in Levi) last weekend.
She has claimed 45 World Cup wins in the slalom. Only Ingemar Stenmark (46 in giant slalom) has achieved as many World Cup wins in a single discipline.
Shiffrin finished on the podium in each of the last seven slalom events in the World Cup, since the fourth place in Zagreb on 3 January 2021. Her last four slalom podiums were all second places. In her last 54 World Cup slalom participations, Shiffrin finished on the podium 50 times (36 wins).
Lara Gut-Behrami, the 2021 world champion in the Giant Slalom, finished second in the season opener in Sölden.
Gut-Behrami's last World Cup win in the Giant Slalom came in Sölden on 22 October 2016. That victory also marks the last World Cup GS win by a Swiss woman.