Vlhova wins World Cup parallel slalom in Shiffrin’s absence

Sports

Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova celebrates at the finish area of an alpine ski, women’s parallel slalom World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Sergio Bisi)

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ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Petra Vlhova took advantage of Mikaela Shiffrin taking the day off to win a World Cup parallel slalom event on Sunday.

Vlhova rallied from a slower start in the final to edge ahead of Anna Swenn Larsson by just 0.02 seconds at the line.

They had filled the podium places behind Shiffrin in a traditional slalom two weeks ago at Killington, Vermont.

The Slovakian racer’s 10th career World Cup win was the first in a season where she shapes as the biggest rival to Shiffrin winning a fourth straight overall World Cup title.

“I had some difficult times the last two weeks so this victory is really important,” said Vlhova, who clutched her right hand in pain in the finish area.

In the third-place race, Franziska Gritsch beat Meta Hrovat to take her first career podium finish.

Shiffrin won the parallel event at St. Moritz last year, but said Saturday after placing third in super-G she would rest and manage her upcoming schedule in France. A giant slalom is raced Tuesday at Courchevel and Val d’Isere stages downhill and Alpine combined races next weekend.

Still, Shiffrin retaineda biglead in the overall standings with almost twice as many World Cup points as her nearest competitor after nine of 41 scheduled events.

With a sixth-place finish Sunday, Federica Brignone rose to second in the standings. She was also runner-up in a super-G on Saturday when Shiffrin was third.

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