COURCHEVEL, France (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin dominated the first of two midweek women’s World Cup giant slaloms with three of the American’s main rivals sitting out Tuesday’s race after positive COVID-19 tests.
Building on a big lead from the first run, the Olympic champion finished the race on the Emile Allais course .86 seconds ahead of Sara Hector of Sweden, who posted the fastest second-run time.
Michelle Gisin of Switzerland, who was second after the opening run, dropped to third, 1.08 behind.
Defending overall champion Petra Vlhova, who skipped the last three weekends of speed racing to focus on the technical events, finished fourth.
Shiffrin reclaimed the overall lead from Sofia Goggia, who failed to finish her second run after she lost balance when hitting a bump on the icy surface. Goggia had overtaken Shiffrin at the top of the standings with two wins in nearby Val d’Isère last weekend.
World Cup giant slalom champion Marta Bassino, Goggia’s teammate on the Italian team, failed to finish her first run after she slid off the course into the safety netting half a minute into her run.
It was Shiffrin’s 72nd career victory, leaving her 10 short of the women’s best mark set by Lindsey Vonn.
Also, her 14th GS win put Shiffrin in a tie for third place on the all-time winners list, trailing only Vreni Schneider, who racked up 20 wins, and Annemarie Moser-Pröll, who had 16.
World champion Lara Gut-Behrami, slalom World Cup winner Katharina Liensberger, and Alice Robinson had to skip the race after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Gut-Behrami and Liensberger placed second and fourth, respectively, in the only previous GS this season, which was won by Shiffrin. Robinson had won the season-ending race in March.
The trio was expected to also miss a second GS in the French Alps on Wednesday, which replaces the race that was canceled in Killington, Vermont, last month.
The sport is being affected by a rising number of positive COVID-19 tests, with the Austrian Ski Federation announcing Tuesday that Christian Hirschbühl, who won a World Cup parallel event last month, had also contracted the virus and would not compete in a men’s slalom in Italy on Wednesday.
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