Mikaela Shiffrin signs off season in style with 88th World Cup victory in giant slalom at Soldeu

Mikaela Shiffrin signed off her historic season in style by winning the giant slalom at Soldeu to land a record-extending 88th World Cup win.

The American great held a 0.62s lead after the first run in Andorra and she needed almost all of that on the second to squeak victory by 0.06s ahead of Norway’s Thea Louise Stjernesund, chasing her first ever World Cup win. Canada’s Valerie Grenier was third.

Victory ensured Shiffrin posted her best-ever overall World Cup tally (2206 points), with only Tina Maze’s astonishing 2013 season (2414 points) ahead of her in the all-time rankings. She also moved clear of Lindsey Vonn for most podiums on the women’s circuit with her 138th.

Shiffrin’s record-breaking season had already seen her surpass Ingemar Stenmark at the top of the all-time standings with her 87th win earlier in March. The 28-year-old had already wrapped up the giant slalom crystal globe heading into the final weekend, along with the overall and slalom titles.

And she capped a memorable year with her 14th World Cup win of the season after another remarkable display, holding on in the final sector to deny Stjernesund a famous win.

With Shiffrin’s giant slalom crystal globe already banked, attention was on the battle for second between Lara Gut-Behrami and Marta Bassino. And it was the Swiss star who took it, with a fourth place seeing her take second in the GS standings on 482, ahead of Bassino on 475.

The slope might have been short, but it was a steep, severe and challenging track to finish the season’s competition.

Skiers had to contend with a rough and bumpy track that had attracted plenty of attention from race organisers who had attempted to improve the conditions.

However, that did not prevent a string of early exits as Petra Vlhova, Frederica Brignone and Sara Hector – two Olympic champions, one world champion – were three of five DNFs in the first run.

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Shiffrin’s partner, surprised the American with a post-race interview, and asked what she made of her success.

She replied through laughter: “I feel OK, this is amazing.

“I feel great and all these women are fighting in the second run. Congrats, I barely squeaked by that. Congrats to all the women. I’ve decided to come back and do it all again next year.

“Just keep moving on. Going back to the US, going to get some beach time.”

Kilde then paid tribute to her, saying: “Thank you, you’re amazing.”

In the second run, Coralie Frasse Sombet marked the final race of her career by taking 16th. Defending giant slalom World Cup champion Tessa Worley, who has entertained but not confirmed plans to retire, finished in 11th.

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