Suddenly the overall title is not looking so certain for Mikaela Shiffrin after Ilka Stuhec won a super-G race on Saturday.
There was also a worrying crash for Lindsey Vonn on a disappointing day for American skiers.
Entering this weekend’s races in Crans Montana, Shiffrin held more than a 400-point lead in the standings over her next active challenger, Sofia Goggia of Italy. Defending overall champion Lara Gut, in second place, is out for the rest of the season after injuring her knee while training between runs of the combined event at the world championships in St. Moritz two weeks ago.
However, Stuhec was second in Friday’s Alpine combined race to leapfrog Goggia into third place overall. The Slovenian went one better on Saturday to cut Shiffrin’s lead to 258 points with nine races remaining — including another combined on Sunday.
“I try not to think about the globe — any of them,” Stuhec said. “I just try to focus on every race, do my best and then we will see what comes in the end. I’m just having a lot of fun and I don’t want it to end.”
Stuhec, the recently crowned downhill world champion, leads the downhill standings and moved to within 16 points of Tina Weirather in the super-G.
Stuhec, who was fastest in the super-G part of the combined on Friday, finished 0.5 seconds ahead of Elena Curtoni as the Italian achieved a best ever finish in a World Cup race. Stephanie Venier of Austria was third.
Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon finsished 12th, just ahead of Shiffrin, who finished 13th, more than two seconds behind Stuhec.
There was more misery for Lindsey Vonn as she was one of a number of skiers who crashed as the snow began to soften. Goggia also didn’t finish, for the second successive day.
Vonn had pulled out of Friday’s race, along with Shiffrin and their American teammate Laurenne Ross, because of dangerous conditions on…