Mikaela Shiffrin struggles in Aspen slalom (video)
Mikaela Shiffrin dropped from leading after the first run to finish fifth in a World Cup slalom in Aspen, Colo., on Sunday.
Austrian Nicole Hosp won with a two-run time of 1 minute, 44.9 seconds, which was .19 better than Swede Frida Hansdotter. Austrian Kathrin Zettel was third to keep her World Cup overall lead.
Shiffrin, who led by .11 after the first of two runs, finished 1.08 behind with the 19th-fastest second run. The reigning Olympic, World Championships and World Cup slalom champion has finished 11th and fifth in two slaloms this season.
“I have a little bit of work to do in the slalom, and I knew that coming into this race,” Shiffrin said on NBC.
“I’m starting off a little bit behind, I feel like [this season],” Shiffrin said later.
She said she’s handling the disappointment of finishing sixth in Saturday’s giant slalom and fifth Sunday better than two weeks ago, when she was 11th in a slalom in Levi, Finland.
This is the first time that Shiffrin has finished off the podium in consecutive slaloms since March 2012.
“In Levi, I just kind of wanted to sit on the ground and scream,” Shiffrin said. “Here, I’m like, all right, I get to go watch the video and figure out where I can improve in both [giant slalom] and slalom.”
Shiffrin was bidding to win her 10th World Cup slalom and break her tie with Tamara McKinney and Phil Mahre for the most World Cup slalom wins by an American.
“I knew I needed to do something special in the second run today, but that little extra something wasn’t there,” Shiffrin said, according to Reuters.
The Austrian Hosp, 31, won her first World Cup race since Jan. 13, 2008. Hosp won the World Cup overall title at age 23 in 2006-07 but has been working her way back since suffering an ACL injury that kept her out of the 2010 Olympics.
Hosp won super combined silver and super-G bronze at the Sochi Olympics.
“It’s like another lifetime,” Hosp said of the near seven years between wins, according to Reuters. “To win today is a bit like scoring my first victory.”
The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday. That is slated to be Lindsey Vonn‘s first race since Dec. 21.
Shiffrin is not expected to race in Lake Louise but should race in a giant slalom in Courchevel, France, on Dec. 13.
The men’s Alpine World Cup continues in Beaver Creek, Colo., with three days of racing beginning Friday. NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will have coverage (full schedule here).