(Kranjska Gora) Under falling snow, Slovak skier Petra Vlhova maintained her lead after the first run to win the World Cup in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on Sunday.
Vlhova beat the German Lena Duerr by 72 hundredths of a second and the American AJ Hurt by 87 hundredths.
“I’m very happy and very proud,” Vlhova said. The ski conditions were very difficult. Especially on the second descent, it was a big battle from the first to the last gate. »
Last to start, Vlhova fought to get through the gates and gained time from Duerr on the second run.
“I knew the conditions would be difficult so I pushed myself as much as possible,” said Vlhova, who was largely cheered on by the Slovak fans. When I crossed the finish line and saw the green light, it was an explosion. It’s different to win in front of so many Slovaks. »
For a rare time, the American skier on the podium was not Mikaela Shiffrin. Hurt took advantage of a fast second run to secure third place.
“It’s a great feeling,” Hurt said after recording his first career podium on the World Cup circuit.
Hurt moved from 16th to third with the best second run of any skier. She was faster than Vlhova by 54 hundredths.
“I like this snow so I knew I could give it my all,” analyzed the American, who won the bronze medal in slalom at the Junior World Championships three years ago.
Vlhova and Shiffrin have now each won three slaloms this season. The American holds a five-point lead ahead of Vlhova at the top of the discipline rankings.
Shiffrin also remained at the top of the overall standings, 207 points ahead of her Slovakian rival.
On the first descent, Shiffrin straddled a gate while trailing by 47 hundredths during the first intermediate. The American’s left ski went to the wrong side of a gate just 24 seconds into her run.
Seeking her 31st career victory, Vlhova started the race with a fast but imperfect descent.
“I couldn’t see anything halfway through the race because of the snow,” Vlhova said. The first section and the last section were okay, but in the middle section I lost a bit of speed and [rhythm]. In the end, it’s okay. »
Vlhova took a lead of 26 hundredths ahead of Duerr and Croatian Leona Popovic, who shared second place.
Amelia Smart was the top-ranked Canadian in 16th place, 2.64 seconds behind Vlhova. His compatriot Ali Nullmayer finished the event in 19th place.