Mikaela Shiffrin crowned Snow Queen | ParkRecord.com

Mikaela Shiffrin crowned Snow Queen

USSA News Bureau,

ZAGREB, Croatia – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colorado) celebrated the New Year in style, winning her second straight Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom in Zagreb and laying claim for the second time to the Snow Queen Trophy. Shiffrin won in dominating style, leading the first run by .80 seconds and expanding that lead in the second for a 1.68 second margin over Austria’s Kathrin Zettel. Nina Loeseth of Norway was third, nearly three seconds behind Shiffrin. Resi Stiegler (Jackson, Wyoming) was 13th.

"Both runs today I had so much fun," said Shiffrin. She repeated the win she earned in Zagreb two years ago on a hill she enjoys.

"Snow Queen is a nice title," she said. "More than that, I really like this hill. I like the challenge. It’s a little bit steep, a little bit flat — you have to work it all the way down. The crowd is incredible. It’s a classic race where the fans love to watch ski racing."

For the second straight race, Shiffrin served notice that equipment issues that plagued her earlier in the season have been resolved. Despite a mistake early in her first run, she built a .80 second lead, then expanded on that in the second.

"I feel really good on my equipment right now," she added. "Having to test a little bit and see what’s out there and what works for my style was probably the best thing I could have done — learning more about my own skiing and learning how to work with Atomic better. They have been so incredibly supportive — I feel I have the best setup in the world."

Shiffrin spent time with Atomic in Santa Caterina over the holidays testing equipment and dialing in settings to get to the point where she’s now extremely comfortable with her setup.

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The win launched Shiffrin into second in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup overall behind Tina Maze. Only a single point now separates Shiffrin from the slalom lead held by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter.

Shiffrin is now on a break until the Jan. 13 night slalom in Flachau, the final tech race before the World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek. The speed team will be back in action this weekend in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, where Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colorado) will be going for a record 62nd Audi FIS Ski World Cup win. The women’s speed team is wrapping up a four-day on-snow camp on Raptor at Beaver Creek.

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