Hansdotter makes top step in Kranjska Gora

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Frida Hansdotter went from being the nearly woman of World Cup slalom racing to standing on the top step in the last race World Cup race before the Winter Olympic Games. Second after the first run, Hansdotter benefitted from … a couple of mistakes by first run and World Cup Slalom leader, Mikaela Shiffrin as the American dropped down to seventh. Marlies Schild and her sister Bernadette Schild took second and third respectively.

With Kranjska Gora still reeling in the effects of so much snow falling in the days leading up to the scheduled Giant Slalom and Slalom World Cup weekend, conditions were tough for the racers. Early start numbers down the clean course definitely had an advantage and by the time the race came to a conclusion on the second run, conditions were very hard for the racers: Technique was reduced to trying to stay smooth and suck up the bumps that were forming all the way down the course.

“It was a tough day,” 28 year old Hansdotter admitted. “Conditions were really soft in the first run, a bit less in the second. I did my best and it feels really good to have my first victory. I have always been really happy about my second places. I knew I could ski really fast and my day would come. I have had a great season so far and earning my first victory just before going home for some training and then to the Olympics, that is just ideal,” she concluded.

With all the World Cup races before the Olympics now concluded there will be some nervous racers hoping for the phone to ring to tell them that they are going to the Olympics. For the Austrians, the Schild sisters should be fixed with a start and then it will be a choice between Niki Hosp (11th in Kranjska Gora); Michi Kirchgasser and Kathrin Zettel (both DNF).

Despite having a lead of three tenth, Shiffrin hit a rut head on and her chances of winning were gone. Had Shiffrin gone on to win the race, she would have secured a second straight World Cup Globe, as it is it will now go to the wire.

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