KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia — Mikaela Shiffrin’s pursuit of Lindsey Vonn’s women’s World Cup wins record will continue for at least one more day.
Shiffrin finished sixth in a giant slalom Saturday to end a five-race winning streak. She was stuck at 81 career wins – one win away from Vonn’s 82.
Valerie Grenier of Canada won the race by a comfortable margin for her first career victory by recording the fastest time in both races. Marta Bassino was second, 0.37 behind, and Petra Vlhova completed the podium, 0.40 behind.
Shiffrin, who finished 1.33 behind, could match Vonn in another giant slalom scheduled for the same course on Sunday.
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“I don’t mind talking about it, and I’m not sick of it,” Shiffrin said. “I’m just like, ‘It is what it is.’ Everybody’s going to say, ‘You have a chance to win 82 races and tie the record,’ every race until I actually do it – if I do it.
“So it kind of makes no difference. I still want to go out and ski my best every day. And today was the best I could do. But maybe I can make some improvements for tomorrow.”
Shiffrin was fifth after the opening race, but only had the 18th fastest second run.
“The thing that stands out in my mind was just one turn. I went pretty wide on this second race, but I don’t think that’s what cost me that much,” Shiffrin said. “So I have to look at the final track and also just think about what I can do to be more aggressive. But the main thing is also just to get some energy back.”
Already with seven wins this season, Shiffrin is also fast approaching Ingemar Stenmark’s overall record, in men’s or women’s competition, of 86 wins.
Vonn retired four years ago when injuries ended his pursuit of Stenmark’s record.
Grenier’s best finishes in her 89 previous World Cup races were fourth in this race last year and fourth in a super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in 2019.
Grenier won three medals – a gold, a silver and a bronze – at the junior worlds between 2015 and 2016. But she broke the tibia and fibula bones in her right lower leg in 2019.
“I had four layoffs and it just took a really long time to heal. So since the injury, I’ve kind of focused more on giant slalom,” she said. “I feel like everything is finally coming together and I’m finally skiing at my best.”
A Canadian woman had not won a World Cup giant slalom since Kathy Kreiner in 1974, while Kreiner also won the event at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics.
Canadian teammates mobbed Grenier in the goal area to celebrate.
While there were few, if any, Canadian or American fans along the Podkoren 3 pitch near the Italian border, there were plenty of spectators waving Slovenian and Slovak flags.
The upper part was foggy during the first race, but visibility improved for the second leg and the snow conditions were decent.
American Nina O’Brien fell midway through the first race, but did not appear to be seriously injured.