Mikaela Shiffrin notched the 75th World Cup win of her career to end Petra Vlhova’s winning streak in Levi as the women’s FIS Ski World Cup season finally got underway with a thrilling slalom race.
The American was third after the first run, but put in a strong second run to finish ahead of Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larsson in second and Slovakia’s Vlhova in third.
Germany’s Lena Duerr led the standings after the first run to raise hopes of just a second career victory, but a slow third sector in her second run saw her drop to fourth place.
Alpine Skiing
Suter wins Super G at Lake Louise with Goggia down in fifth
04/12/2022 AT 20:33
The start of the season faced major disruption as four consecutive events were cancelled, but action finally got underway at the famous black slope in Finland.
“It felt good, especially on the second run. I made the adjustments I wanted to make. It’s a really nice feeling, I’m excited to ski it again tomorrow," Shiffrin said.
She added: “Seven out of eight races at the start of the season were cancelled. Finally we’re racing, finally the women’s World Cup has started and with quite a spectacular race to start with, it’s very nice conditions."
Shiffrin, who is the Overall World Cup holder, got the new season off to a great start with her 75th career win, 48 of which have come in the slalom.

'Made the adjustment I wanted to make' - Shiffrin reacts to win in Levi

The 27-year-old finished with a time of 1:51.25, jumping two places in the second run to claim her fifth victory in Levi - and earn her the winner's prize of a local reindeer.
That saw Shiffrin match Olympic champion Vlhova’s record tally of five victories in Finland ahead of a second slalom event on Sunday.
"It’s always nice (equalling the record), but its more just that today was a really good day," Shiffrin said. "It wasn’t easy, I was a bit nervous, but in the end I could ski the way I wanted to, on the second run especially.
"I felt the good skiing, the turns that are fun to do. Sometimes you push as hard as you can and it doesn’t work. You straddle or you don’t win, it can be heartbreaking. But for today I get to be happy about it and try to re-focus for tomorrow."
Vlhova won back-to-back races in Levi in 2020 and 2021 and took the slalom World Cup crystal globe last season.
But she finished 0.20 seconds off the pace to sit third, four hundredths of a second behind an impressive Swenn Larsson.
Shiffrin’s victory continues a remarkable run, as no skier other than the American or Vlhova has won this event since Tina Maze of Slovenia in 2014.
Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was fifth, with Slovenia’s Ana Bucik sixth and Sara Hector of Sweden seventh.

Heartbreak for Duerr as she fails to make podium in Levi

Austria’s Katharina Liensberger, the 2021 World Cup slalom winner, could only finish in 11th.
Great Britain’s Charlie Guest got off to a flier with a super first run that put her joint-ninth and on course to match her career best World Cup finish of ninth place.
The Scot got off to a great start in her second run and looked on course to record another strong time, but an error in the final sector sent her off course for a gut-wrenching DNF.
There will be a second slalom event on Sunday, when Shiffrin expects her USA team-mate Paula Moltzan to impress after a DNF on Saturday.
“We saw today that there are quite a few women with the potential to be very fast. We have different course settings again and we just need to see who’s able to bring out the best skiing," Shiffrin said. “It’s quite a high level, so I have no guarantees. But I think the same girls are going to be fast, and maybe some others as well.
“My team-mate Paula (Moltzan) straddled today, but she’s been pushing me in training and faster than me on many runs, so I think there’s a lot of opportunity for the race.”
Lake Louise
Shiffrin to miss Lake Louise speed events to focus on Sestriere
28/11/2022 AT 09:53
Killington, VT
Holdener and Swenn Larsson triumph at Killington slalom, Odermatt takes Super-G
27/11/2022 AT 19:47