Mikaela Shiffrin takes slalom for seventh World Cup win of season, 38th of career

Eric Willemsen
The Associated Press
United States' Mikaela Shiffrin, center, winner of an alpine ski, women's World Cup slalom, celebrates with second-placed Switzerland's Wendy Holdener, left, and third-placed Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, in Zagreb, Croatia, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)

ZAGREB, Croatia — Mikaela Shiffrin passed the 1,000-point milestone for the women’s World Cup season on Wednesday after just 14 starts.

The Olympic champion from Eagle-Vail took a slalom for her seventh win of the season, and 38th overall of her career.

Building on a commanding first-run lead, Shiffrin beat Wendy Holdener of Switzerland by 1.59 seconds. Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was 2.11 behind in third, while Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, the only skier to beat Shiffrin in a slalom event this season, finished 2.24 off the lead in fourth.

“The second run was much closer,” said Shiffrin, who started the final leg in snowfall with a 1.41-second advantage.

“The first run I was really, really aggressive. It seems like, maybe, I was more aggressive than everyone else,” said the American, who is the defending overall and four-time slalom World Cup champion.

In last year’s race on the Sljeme hill, Shiffrin was eying a record-equaling eighth straight slalom win but straddled a gate early in her first run.

“I love racing here so I wanted to come back and have a little bit of redemption and ski aggressive,” said Shiffrin, who also won the event in 2013 and 2015.

After skipping two speed races in Val d’Isere last month, Shiffrin leads the overall standings with 1,081 points after 16 of this season’s 38 races. Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany, who didn’t enter Wednesday’s slalom, trails by 571 points in second.

If Shiffrin maintains her point average, she would finish the season by setting an all-time record of 2,567 points, beating the current best mark of 2,414 set by Slovenia’s Tina Maze five years ago.

Shiffrin has won five of the last six World Cup races, including last week’s slalom in Lienz where she also led the field by more than a second after the opening run.

A men’s slalom on the same course is scheduled for Thursday, while the women’s World Cup continues in Slovenia this weekend. Those races have been moved to Kranjska Gora because of a lack of snow and mild temperatures in Maribor.