It was something of a shock win for Shiffrin over Vlhova, who has dominated the slalom this season with five wins and two runner-up finishes. Such is her authority in the discipline that Tuesday’s second place was enough to secure Vlhova the slalom World Cup title two races before the end of the season.
However, Shiffrin’s win is an eye-catching result ahead of the Winter Olympics and sets up a intriguing clash between the two on the slopes at Beijing 2022.
The 26-year-old American was made to earn her win the hard way, surging from fifth place after her first run to eventually beat Vlhova by 0.15 seconds after an aggressive second run.
When Vlhova crossed the line and Shiffrin saw she had taken victory, the American leaned over the wall at the bottom of the course and burst into tears.
“I’m just crying a lot lately,” Shiffrin told ORF Sports.
“Any time you’re able to be a little bit faster than Petra, that’s an incredible job. She’s so strong, she’s making no mistakes, she’s skiing slalom the way it’s meant to be skied. It’s impressive. It’s really special to watch that.
“It’s a special season she’s had so far. It’s not stopping tonight, that’s for sure,” added Shiffrin, who maintains her lead at the top of the overall World Cup standings.
The Winter Olympics begin on February 4, with Shiffrin reportedly set to line up in five individual events.