LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin missed out on her seventh successive World Cup slalom win when she lost her balance meters from the finish line on Sunday, handing victory to Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova.
In the last slalom before the Pyeongchang Olympics, Shiffrin was quickest on the first leg and was nearly one second inside Vlhova’s time on the second when she lost her balance and missed a gate within sight of the finish.
Shiffrin also failed to finish the Super G at Cortina one week earlier and the giant slalom at Kronplatz on Tuesday. She was a modest seventh in Saturday’s giant slalom at Lenzerheide.
Vlhova completed her two runs in a combined time of one minute 50.53 seconds to win by one tenth of a second from Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter and claim the fourth World Cup win of her career. Swiss Wendy Holdener was third.
Shiffrin is widely expected to retain the Olympic slalom title she won at the 2014 Games in Sochi, as well as having a shot at gold medals in the giant slalom and Super G.
Although Shiffrin has won 10 World Cup races this season and is runaway leader in the overall standings, she has suffered a dip in form in the run-up to Pyeongchang.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern, editing by Pritha Sarkar