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Nina Ortlieb wins Kvitfjell super-G; Mikaela Shiffrin’s chase moves to Sweden

Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Women's Super G

KVITFJELL, NORWAY - MARCH 5: Mikaela Shiffrin of Team United States competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women’s Super G on March 5, 2023 in Kvitfjell Norway. (Photo by Jonas Ericsson/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

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Mikaela Shiffrin finished in seventh position at a World Cup super-G affected by changing weather conditions Sunday as the American skier missed out on a record-tying 86th career victory.

Shiffrin was among the early starters when low clouds caused flat light and snowfall slowed most racers before later starters benefited from improved conditions when skies cleared.

Wearing bib 31, Nina Ortlieb led an Austrian sweep of the podium ahead of Stephanie Venier, who started 29th, and Franziska Gritsch, who started 26th.

“It’s slow with the snow on the flat part,” Shiffrin said. “But I also felt very strong down there pushing the limits, so I’m super happy with my run.”

Shiffrin’s next races are in her best events -- a giant slalom and slalom in Are, Sweden on Friday and Saturday, site of her first World Cup win in 2012. She needs one victory to match Ingemar Stenmark‘s total on the all-time overall winners list – between men and women. The Swede competed in the 1970s and 80s.

Shiffrin broke a tie on the all-time women’s list with Lindsey Vonn in January. Vonn had 82 wins when she retired in 2019.

Shiffrin finished fourth in a super-G Friday and fifth in a downhill the following day to lock up her fifth World Cup overall title.

On Sunday, Sofia Goggia of Italy was the first racer from the top 20-ranked skiers in fourth position, trailing Ortlieb by 0.69 seconds.

Ortlieb acknowledged the conditions gave her an advantage.

“I have to be honest, I definitely had better conditions than early starters, the snowfall got less,” the Austrian said after her second career win.

“I’m sorry it was not fair for all, but for me it was a huge improvement. It’s relief and happiness, but a bit of luck was involved, too.”

Ortlieb’s win marked only the second victory for the Austrian women’s team this season after Cornelia Huetter triumphed in Friday’s super-G.

Ortlieb became the seventh different winner in seven World Cup super-G races this season.

It was the first Austrian sweep in a women’s super-G since Alexandra Meissnitzer, Andrea Fischbacher and Michaela Dorfmeister finished on the podium in Lake Louise, Alberta in December 2005.

The race was interrupted after Alice Robinson crashed and slid into the safety nets on a tricky passage near the end of her run but the New Zealand racer appeared unhurt.

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