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Shiffrin caps incredible season with fitting finals win

In a fitting end to an incredible season that saw her become the most successful skier of all time, Mikaela Shiffrin duly won the season-ending giant slalom at the World Cup finals in Andorra on Sunday.

After romping the first run by a wide margin Shiffrin eventually beat Norway’s Thea Louise Stjernesund by a wafer thin 0.06sec with Canadian Valerie Grenier rounding out the podium.

In bright sunshine with temperatures at 3C the skiing conditions were perfect for the 330m vertical drop on hard snow from a 2,167m altitude starters gate, high enough to retain some natural snow.

“I feel okay, this is amazing. I feel great. All these women were fighting in the second run. I barely squeezed past Thea, big congrats. A big congrats to Val and all the women this season,” Shiffrin said in a post-race interview.

It was Shiffrin’s 14th victory on the World Cup circuit this season and took her overall tally to 88 wins. The 28-year-old said she would now take a short seaside break in the United States.

“I will get a little bit of time on the beach just for a few days and then back here in Europe for a few ski tests and then a little bit of a longer break,” said Shiffrin, who wrapped up her fifth overall crystal globe two weeks ago. 

“We will be back in Europe for the start of next season before we know it. I am excited to come back and do it again next season.”

Shiffrin broke the record of 86 World Cup wins, held by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark, earlier this month.

Three of the pre-race favourites bombed out in the first run as Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, Sweden’s Olympic champion Sara Hector and Italy’s Federica Brignone all plunged through gates.

France’s Tessa Worley, a two-time former world giant slalom champion (2013, 2017), took to the slope for her 255th and final World Cup outing before hanging up her skis.

“A queen is bowing out, thanks for everything Tessa Worley,” the French ski federation tweeted.

The 33-year-old’s career spanned 17 years. She won her first World Cup victory in Aspen, Colorado in 2008.

The final men’s slalom race of the season was won by Switzerland’s Ramon Zenhaeusern, a result which saw Norwegian Lucas Braathen win the discipline’s globe on the back of six slalom wins including two victories this season.

Zenhaeusern finished 0.06sec ahead of Braathen, with another Norwegian, Henrik Kristoffersen, in third at 0.63sec.

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