Valérie Grenier concluded her season in superb fashion by climbing to the third step of the giant slalom podium in the finals of the Alpine Skiing World Cup on Sunday in Soldeu, in the Principality of Andorra.

The skier from the Mont-Tremblant club was provisionally second behind American Mikaela Shiffrin after the first run. She made a few mistakes on her second run, but was still able to be fast enough to claim her third podium of the season after winning the giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, and finishing third in the team competition mixed in parallel with the World Championships.

Shiffrin won the race ahead of Norway’s Thea Louise Stjernesund (0.06 seconds). Grenier was 0.20 seconds behind the American, who also won the discipline’s crystal globe.

“It’s unbelievable and obviously one of my best races ever,” Grenier told Sportcom. I didn’t want my Kranjska Gora podium to be just luck. I wanted to prove that I could do it again and that I really am one of the best. I’m really proud to end my season like this! »

Shiffrin took her tally of World Cup victories to 89. On Sunday, the American also rewrote the record books with two new marks: for the most World Cup podiums, 138 to overtake compatriot Lindsey Vonn and 21 victories in the giant slalom, surpassing the record of 20 held by Vreni Schneider of Switzerland.

Grenier didn’t feel any added stress heading into the second run, although she was on course for a second win this season.

“I knew that if I did my usual skiing without too many mistakes, it could be good. I really wanted to finish on the podium. I was second [after the first heat] like in Äre and I didn’t want the same thing to happen [where she had slipped to sixth place]. I was a little stressed about that, but I felt good. »

At the top of the course, she came out of a corner very low and she had to work hard to regain her rhythm.

“I was told I did this, but I can’t remember to be honest. I think I had a few corners that were a bit borderline, but I’m proud to have saved them and that was enough to stay on the podium. That was really my ultimate goal. »

On the course of the second round, which was more bumpy than that of the first, the 26-year-old athlete was also unbalanced at the entrance to the bottom wall.

“It was a place where there was a big bump between two doors. I knew she was there, but she still took me by surprise a little bit and I didn’t panic. »

The Franco-Ontarian thus ends the season in seventh place in the general classification of the specialty.

The next season promises to be full of promise for her, especially with the two World Cup stages that will take place in Mont-Tremblant on December 2 and 3.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m at my best in giant slalom right now and to have two races at Tremblant where it’s my mountain, it’s a dream. I’m really looking forward to it and I think it’s going to be amazing! »