|Vlhova stunned Shiffrin for the second time in eight days. — AFP Photo|
FLACHAU, Austria — Petra Vlhova continued her magnificent run of form by edging out Mikaela Shiffrin to win a thrilling slalom World Cup race in Flachau on Tuesday.
The Slovakian has now won three of her last six World Cup events, finishing runner-up to Shiffrin in the other three.
Vlhova cut the gap to Shiffrin in the slalom discipline standings to 80 points, but still trails the American star by 446 points overall.
"I finally beat ’Mika’ in a slalom," said Vlhova. "I didn’t feel like I had at the finish line, but it’s often like that when I’m fast."
The 23-year-old was 0.31sec behind the two-time Olympic champion after the first run in Austria, but produced a strong second effort of 56.40sec to steal victory as Shiffrin made two small errors to finish just 0.15sec slower than her rival.
Shiffrin had stormed into the lead after the first run, but was pipped by Vlhova for the second time in 2019 after her final loss in the Oslo parallel slalom on New Year’s Day.
It was Vlhova’s seventh career World Cup win and fifth in the slalom.
A strong opening run was enough to help home hope Katharina Liensberger finish third and seal her first-ever World Cup podium finish.
Shiffrin claimed a record-breaking 15 victories last year and remains firmly on course for a third straight big Crystal Globe. — AFP