Katharina Liensberger Claims First World Cup Victory in Åre
Katharina Liensberger, after claimed eight World Cup podiums in Slalom, finally earned her first career World Cup victory. And she earned the victory in convincing fashion, with a 0.72 second lead over American Mikaela Shiffrin. Third place went to Switzerland’s Wendy Holdener, who was a hefty 1.65 seconds off the winning pace.
Liensberger won on the strength of a solid second run, which was nearly a second faster than Shiffrin’s second run efforts.
She is the sixth active female skier to win a World Cup slalom event, after Mikaela Shiffrin, Petra Vlhová, Michelle Gisin, and Erin Mielzynski.
She is the first Austrian woman to have won a World Cup slalom since former overall champion Nicole Hosp won in Aspen in November 2014.
“I felt like flying, it was a flight from top to bottom, (...) I just gave it all. That’s really amazing. If there’s something you love and you put all your energy into it, you can really achieve it”, Liensberger said.
The only racer who was faster than Liensberger in the second round was Petra Vlhova, but due to a massive mistake in the first run, Vlhova was only in 27th place heading into the second run and ultimately had to settle for eighth place.
“I was thinking: OK, nothing to lose, I take a lot of points or I take zero points. So I took a lot of risks”, Vlhova said.
Liensberger’s victory today, made another globe story even more dramatic as the Austrian bumped Mikaela Shiffrin down to second place in the Slalom Globe standings. Petra Vlhova still leads the race for the small globe, but now has only a 22-point lead over Liensberger.
Vlhova sits now 96 points ahead of Lara Gut-Behrami in the Overall standings.