Dec 2, 2017; Lake Louise, Alberta, CAN; Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States during women’s downhill race in the 2017 FIS alpine skiing World Cup at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
December 2, 2017
By Rory Carroll
(Reuters) – American Mikaela Shiffrin notched up her first career World Cup win in downhill at Canada’s Lake Louise on Saturday, one day after reaching her first ever podium in the discipline.
The 22-year-old skiing prodigy completed the course in one minute 27.55 seconds in just her fourth career downhill race.
Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg, in 1:27.68, finished second and Michelle Gisin (1:27.72) of Switzerland was third.
Shiffrin now leads the women’s overall World Cup standings as well as the downhill standings with just over two months to go until the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
The win comes less than a week after Shiffrin won the World Cup slalom for the second year in a row at Killington in Vermont. She now has 33 career World Cup wins.
A day after suffering a nasty crash toward the end of her run, fellow American Lindsey Vonn (1:28.48) took a conservative approach to the course, where she is an 18-time champion.
The veteran Vonn, who skied with a brace on her right knee, finished tied in 12th with Italy’s Verena Stuffer and was almost a second behind Shiffrin.
While Vonn completed the course without incident, her team mate Breezy Johnson was not so lucky.
The 21-year-old American slid out after hitting a bump during a turn but skied off the course under her own power.
The start of Saturday’s race was delayed by an hour and 15 minutes due to a power outage at the resort caused by a fire at a substation.
The outage meant the skiers had to ride in snowcats or get towed to the top of the hill for the start.
Speed events continue at Lake Louise on Sunday with the first women’s super-G of the season.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)