Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova has a little winning streak going, taking her second consecutive World Cup slalom on Tuesday in Flachau, Austria, topping Sweden’s Anna Swenn Larson, by 1-tenth of a second, and Mikaela Shiffrin in third by 0.43. seconds.
If Shiffrin is going to win her eighth slalom globe in nine seasons, she’s going to have to fight for it. Vlhova’s win and Shiffrin’s third-place finish closes the latter’s lead in the discipline to 440-360 with seven races remaining in the season.
There are four traditional slaloms and three parallel slaloms left and both count toward the slalom globe. The two will meet again on Sunday in a parallel slalom in Sestriere, Italy.
In the stunning-trivia department, the last time Shiffrin “lost” two consecutive slaloms in one season was more than five years ago, according to The Associated Press. Shiffrin finished 11th in Levi, Finland, on Nov. 15, 2014, fifth in Aspen on Nov. 30, and then fourth in Are, Sweden, on Dec. 13 of that year.
As the U.S. Ski Team’s Twitter feed rightly noted immediately after the race’s finish, Shiffrin still holds the lead in the overall (quite comfortably, 886-613 over the Slovakian), but Vlhova is not backing down in the slalom chase.
Vlhova built a 6-tenths-of-a-second lead over Shiffrin during the first run. Larsson actually ripped off the fastest second heat, which vaulted the Swede to the silver medal, while Shiffrin could gain just 17-hundredths on the Slovakian.
This story will be updated.