Olympic slalom gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin finished 15th to lead the U.S. Ski Team in the first of two World Cup GS races in Sweden (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Nisse Schmidt)
ARE, Sweden (March 6) - Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) finished 15th Thursday to lead the U.S. Ski Team in the first of two Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom races held in Are. Austrian Anna Fenninger took the win for her second straight World Cup giant slalom victory, moving her firmly into the chase for both the overall and giant slalom titles. Fenninger now trails Germany Maria Hoefl-Riesch by a 67 points in the overall chase and Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby by 54 points in giant slalom. A second giant slalom will be staged Friday under the lights in Are with a slalom closing the three race series on Saturday.
Olympic slalom gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) led the U.S. Ski Team with 15th in the first of two Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slaloms scheduled for Are, Sweden.
Shiffrin finished 13th in the opening run after sliding low on a right boot turn that forced her to ski uphill to stay on course. She skied cleanly in the final, but wasn't able to make up ground in the soft snow conditions.
Sochi super combined bronze medalist Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) was 28th and fellow Olympian Megan McJames (Park City, UT) did not qualify for the second run.
Later in the day, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced Shiffrin and Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) as February Athletes of the Month for their stunning gold medal performances in Sochi.
Austria's Anna Fenninger won her second straight World Cup giant slalom to move within 54 points of discipline leader Jessica Lindell-Vikarby. Fenninger is also now within 67 points of German Maria Hoefl-Riesch for the overall title.
Anemone Marmottan of France was second for the first World Cup podium of her career, while Austrian Eva-Maria Brem and Lara Gut of Switzerland tied for third.
A second giant slalom will be held Friday under the lights followed by a slalom Saturday, the final women's race before the March 12-16 World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Universal Sports Network will broadcast the entire weekend on their 24 hour television network.