Shiffrin Fourth in Levi, Moltzan 15th
Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete and winningest skier of all time Mikaela Shiffrin took fourth place in the first World Cup slalom of the season in Levi, Finland. Teammate and 2023 world champion Paula Moltzan skied to 15th place.
In the first run, the conditions were solid with hard snow making it an opportunity for any skier to come down into a good position. Ultimately Slovakia’s Petra Vhlova sped down into first with Germany’s Lena Duerr in second place and Shiffrin close behind in third. Moltzan landed in 12th after run one.
Shiffrin had a crash last week in training where she sustained a bone bruise so stepping back into the start gate was already a step in the right direction.
"It was awesome to get this race in and feel like I could push without holding back," said Shiffrin.
In the second run the conditions were still strong making for an exciting race. Moltzan managed a few mistakes, skiing into 15th overall.
"Today was a good start to the slalom season for me," said Moltzan. "Happy with how I skied some sections of the course but I am hoping to find some more speed and put it all together tomorrow."
Shiffrin skied well with a minor mistake on her second run and landed in fourth place. She moved back one spot from the first run. Shiffrin noted that she is excited to build upon what she learned on day one of the Levi slalom and is ready to push more on Sunday.
"In some ways I felt like I was searching for the right line and pressure where sometimes I would hit and sometimes I would miss it," said Shiffrin. "I am trying to get my feet under me and get my timing better, be more active on the course, I was quite happy with the day overall," said Shiffrin.
Vlhova won the race by an impressive 1.41 seconds, securing her sixth win on the track. Second place went to Germany’s Lena Duerr and third place went to Austrian Katharina Liensberger.
Vlhova and Shiffrin are now tied with six World Cup wins at Levi throughout their careers. Only retired Swiss skier Vreni Schneider has won as many women's World Cup slalom events at a single venue.
Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete AJ Hurt was skiing very fast first run, punching it into the top 30 from bib 70. Unfortunately she was later disqualified for a straddle. Lila Lapanja finished the first run in 51st place and did not qualify for a second run. Zoe Zimmermann did not finish.
It was an exciting day for Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Dasha Romanov making her World Cup debut in Levi. She finished the first run in 61st place and did not qualify for a second run. However she was thrilled for the opportunity to experience skiing on the biggest stage.
“It was such an amazing experience to have my first World Cup start!” said Romanov. “The atmosphere is incredible and it was a really fun day. I definitely had a rough run and know that I have a lot more to show but it was nice to break the ice! Definitely going to remember this one.”
The women take on the Levi slalom track again on Sunday, Nov. 12.
The men’s speed team will also hope to race downhill Sunday in Zermatt-Cervinia, Switzerland. Saturday’s race was canceled due to weather.
HOW TO WATCH
Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023
4:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup, Women’s slalom, run 1, Levi, Finland, skiandsnowboard.live
7:00 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup, Women’s slalom, run 2, Levi, Finland, skiandsnowboard.live
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup, Men’s downhill, Zermatt-Cervinia, Switzerland, skiandsnowboard.live