Velhova leads Shiffrin in the first round of the Slalom Slalom at Killington

Velhova leads Shiffrin in the first round of the Slalom Slalom at Killington

Killington, Vt. Petra Velhova had a slim lead over Michaela Shiffrin in the opening round of slalom on Sunday in the first women’s World Cup race in North America in two years.

The Slovakian finished off the overall by 20 seconds over Shiffrin, who was cheered by the crowd as the American chased a record while also trying to protect her unbeaten streak at Killington.

Shiffrin formed 0.29 in the latter part of the session. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was the only other skater within a second of Vlhova at 0.58 slower.

Shiffrin has won all four of the previous World Cup races in Killington. Last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.

While the 26-year-old Shiffrin hails from Vail, Colorado, she can count Killington as a hometown racer as she honed her skills nearby at Bourke Mountain Academy as a teen.

The two-time Olympic champion won 45 World Cup slalom races, putting her below the record for most victories in a single sport, which the great Swede Ingmar Stenmark set with 46 giant slalom victories in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Shiffrin won the season’s inaugural giant slalom in Sölden, Austria, but finished second to Velhova – her biggest competitor – in both slalom races in Levi, Finland, last week.

Shivrin and Velhova share the lead in the World Cup standings with 260 points.

A giant slalom was scheduled for Saturday but was canceled shortly after the start due to strong winds.

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