Mikaela Shiffrin dominates Aspen Winternational slalom; Tahoe’s Lila Lapanja gets first World Cup start
ASPEN, Colo. — Mikaela Shiffrin made amends for a crash that prevented her from winning last Friday’s World Cup giant slalom with back-to-back victories in the Aspen Winternational slalom on Saturday and Sunday.
Incline Village native Lila Lapanja, meanwhile, was thrilled to get her first World Cup starts over the weekend.
“I’m ready to keep racing World Cups,” said Lapanja, who skied for Diamond Peak and Sugar Bowl. “This lights a fire in me.”
After dominating the field in Saturday’s slalom by over three seconds, Shiffrin showed that she wasn’t letting off the gas on Sunday. On the first run, she came through the lights 1.99 seconds ahead of the next fastest female, and would eventually win the run by 1.69 seconds.
She came out attacking on the second run and bobbled on the second gate, before calming down and ripping to the bottom. She took the win by 2.65 seconds.
“It was really exciting. I had three great races, really,” said Shiffrin, who, before falling near the finish of Friday’s GS, looked poised to take the first American victory in Aspen since Tamara McKinney won the same race in 1984. “The GS was disappointing, but still a great race. And today was awesome; yesterday was awesome. I’m walking away from my U.S. part of the World Cup tour very happy this year.”
U.S. teammate Resi Stiegler also had a fantastic day, skiing into the top 10 for the first time since a ninth-place finish in Zagreb in 2013 — a race that Shiffrin also won.
In addition to Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn also crashed in Friday’s GS after her ski popped off partway down the course.
“My ski came off! I don’t know. It wasn’t even really bumpy, so I’m kind of perplexed on how it actually happened,” Vonn said. “It’s never happened to me in a race before, so to have it happen in Aspen is definitely disappointing. Next week is Lake Louise, so I’m just going to move on and focus on that.”
The U.S. women’s speed team will head to Lake Louise to race super G this week, while the rest of the tech team will head to Are, Sweden.