Petra Vlhova wins third World Cup alpine race in 6 days

Petra Vlhova received her third World Cup race in six days Thursday in Lech, Austria, beating unheralded Paula Moltzan of the United States in a floodlit parallel occasion.

Coming off two straight slalom wins in Finland final weekend, Vlhova received the primary run of the ultimate in opposition to Moltzan by 0.21 seconds. The American appeared to have made up the deficit within the deciding run on the quicker blue course however she crashed 4 gates in need of the end.

It was the American’s first profession podium on the World Cup, lower than six weeks after she earned her first top 10 on the season-opening large slalom in Austria.

Vlhova prolonged her lead within the general standings. The World Cup slalom champion from Slovakia was on the rostrum in all 4 races thus far, having completed third within the season-opening large slalom in October.

Former general champion Lara Gut-Behrami, who was the quickest in qualification earlier Thursday, completed third after beating Sara Hector within the small closing.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who returned from her 10-month break from racing with second and fifth-place finishes in Finland final weekend, skipped the occasion.

The three-time general champion most popular to coach for upcoming super-G races and large slaloms. Limited in her choices by the pandemic and a again damage, Shiffrin had solely skilled slalom just lately.

In the absence of her teammate with 66 World Cup wins, Moltzan got here near her first.

Moltzan grew up in Minnesota and skilled on the identical slope, Buck Hill, as retired standout Lindsey Vonn a decade earlier.

Moltzan earned her first World Cup factors in 2015 however was later dropped off the group. She went to the University of Vermont in 2017 however rejoined the World Cup in 2018-19 after two years away.

Thursday’s occasion had a knockout format and noticed two rivals race side-by-side on an identical, shortened large slalom programs, with run occasions simply over 23 seconds.

All rounds have been contested over two legs, with skiers having one run on every course and the shortest combination time figuring out the winner.

To maintain the occasion inside a TV pleasant timeframe, solely 16 starters have been allowed.

Some of the pre-race favourites, together with Wendy Holdener, Alice Robinson, Sofia Goggia and Tessa Worley, have been eradicated earlier within the qualification runs, vital to scale back the sphere of 68.

Kristina Riss-Johannessen posted the quickest time within the first qualifying run however the Norwegian failed to complete her second, while Moltzan certified in fifth.

Michelle Gisin, who was runner-up to Vlhova within the general standings, opted to not race so as to concentrate on coaching, with two super-G races in St.-Moritz in her native Switzerland on 5-6 December developing subsequent.

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