Reigning Flachau night slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin defended her title winning her seventh career Audi FIS Alpine World Cup. (Getty Images/AFP - Alexander Klein)
FLACHAU, Austria (Jan. 14) - Reigning Flachau Night Slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) powered to a .90 second first run lead then cruised to a strong victory Tuesday in the resort south of Salzburg. Shiffrin took the title with a .83 second margin over a hard-charging Frida Hansdotter of Sweden in front of 20,000 screaming Austrian fans as wet snow fell throughout the final run. Universal Sports Network will replay the thrilling race at 8 p.m ET. The women's tour now heads to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy for a weekend of speed racing.
World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) won the seventh Audi FIS Alpine World Cup of her young career with a stunning .83 second victory in Flachau.
It was the second straight season Shiffrin won the Flachau slalom joining Croatian Janica Kostelic and Marlies Schild as the only athletes to have won it twice.
Shiffrin beame the first American skier in either gender to win three or more slaloms in a World Cup season twice, having won four times last season. Phil Mahre (1981/82), Tamara
McKinney (1982/83), and Bode Miller (2001/02) are the only other Americans to have done it once.
Shiffrin is now the second youngest woman to win seven World Cup slalom races and the youngest for 34 years. Perrine Pelen (FRA) won her seventh in March 1979.
Frida Hansdotter and teammate Maria Pietilae-Holmer finished 2-3 to continue the strong slalom by the Swedish women.
With three slaloms remaining on the World Cup calendar, Shiffrin leads the discipline standings by 144 points over Hasdotter.
Resi Stiegler (Jackson Hole, WY) and Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN) also raced, but did not qualify for the top 30 final run.
It was the last women's slalom of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games qualification period. The U.S. Olympic alpine nominations will be announced Jan. 26.
The race, aired live on Univesral Sports Network, will be rebroadcast at 8 p.m. ET.
Next up for the women's tour is a downhill and super G in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
It's nice to sing my National Anthem a couple of races before the Olympics. Hopefully I can sing it again in Sochi. It’s really cool to be a favorite going into the Olympics. Imagine being in my position. I’m 18 and I’m going to the Olympics. It’s one of my dreams come true.
The two Swedish girls, Maria and Frida, they really fought the second run. I think every victory is special. It always means something if the conditions are tough or whatever it is — it’s always nice to be on top.
It's always feels good to ski like that. It’s the best feeling because you work so many years and all you really want to do is ski in a race like you do in training. That first run was some of my best skiing. I’m really psyched to have done that in a race.