Shiffrin may run super-G at finals
VAIL — Upon further review, three-time defending World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin may be spicing things up next week at the World Cup finals in Soldeu, Andorra.
Shiffrin is already slated to return to the World Cup with giant slalom and slalom races in Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic on Friday and Saturday. We assumed she would also compete in those disciplines during the World Cup finals the next week.
But Wednesday on Facebook, Shiffrin posted a picture of herself after training in Folgaria, Italy. After thanking a lot of people, Shiffrin wrote, “P.S. Yes, these are my super-G skis, which can only mean one thing…take a guess??”
That’s as good of an indication as any that Shiffrin is throwing her hat into the ring for next week’s super-G in Andorra on March 14. And why not? With two super-Gs being snowed out last weekend in Russia, Shiffrin still holds the lead in the season-long super-G competition, despite having raced only three times. Granted, she’s 3-for-3, winning in Lake Louise, Alberta; St. Moritz, Switzerland; and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in super-Gs.
With the caveat that her FIS Alpine World Ski Championships gold in super-G won’t count toward World Cup points, Shiffrin can add to her globe collection — she’s already clinched the overall and the slalom this season.
In the season’s super-G standings, Shiffrin has 300 points, followed by Lichtenstein’s Tina Weirather (268), Austria’s Nicole Schmidhofer (253) and Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel (247). With 100 points awarded for a World Cup win, these three are the only ones who can catch Shiffrin for the lead and the globe.
World Cup finals have a different format than regular races on the circuit. Only the top 25 racers in the discipline start and just the top 15 score, as opposed to 30 in a full field. If Shiffrin finishes second or better, she’ll clinch the super-G globe, regardless of how Weirather, Schmidhofer and Mowinckel do. Obviously, the permutations multiply if Shiffrin finishes in different places.
All of this adds up to a busy finale for Shiffrin to the World Cup season. In addition to two tech races in the Czech Republic Friday and Saturday, she’ll compete in the super-G on March 14, the slalom on March 16 and GS on March 17 in Andorra.
And on March 13, she turns 24 years old.