Mikaela Shiffrin Returns To The Top of The Podium in Courchevel
Mikaela Shiffrin returned to the top step of the podium after 323 days. Bluebird skies, a compact and icy surface, and a difficult course were the ingredients of the second Courchevel Giant Slalom where Mikaela finished the first run in the lead with the Italian duo Bassino-Brignone just 14 hundredths of a second behind.
With today's victory, Mikaela Shiffrin is tied with 67 victories with Marcel Hirscher for third place among all-time best skiers and now trails only Lindsey Vonn with 82 and Ingemar Stenmark with 86.
An emotional Mikaela Shiffrin initially was unable to compose her words during the TV interview.
"It’s pretty hard to explain. Ninety-five percent of me felt that I couldn’t do it and then just a small bit of me at the right time and I was..., (...) It’s crazy to be back here", Shiffrin said.
Federica Brignone made a huge mistake and almost fell, but with the determination that distinguished her, she added an extra gear and crossed the finish line 0.82s behind Shiffrin.
Now Brignone took the lead in the discipline standings with 205 points 5 more than Bassino.
Tessa Worley skied an excellent second run and she recovered two positions to her first podium after Soelden 2019. She was 1.09s behind the American.
Marta Bassino wasn't able to strike a third straight Giant Slalom victory this season and she skied out in the second run.
World Cup leader Petra Vlhova went out in the first run in a tricky section four gates from the finish.
After the race, Federica Brignone and Tessa Worley spoke warmly of their rival.
"I think she’s really strong, (...) the best skier in the world. She’s technically almost perfect”, Brignone told Austrian broadcaster ORF.
"I was so, so proud and happy for her (...) I can’t even imagine what she has been through", Worley said.
The World Cup for the Ladies continues in the French Alps with a speed weekend in Val D'Isere.