Brignone wins Courchevel GS, Shiffrin 17th after career low

Courchevel (France) (AFP) –


American star Mikaela Shiffrin skied the "most heart-breaking" run of her sparkling career on her way to finishing a lowly 17th in Tuesday's World Cup giant slalom in Courchevel won by Italian Federica Brignone.

Brignone produced two solid legs down the Emile Allais piste, third fastest in the first leg and fifth quickest in the second, for a combined time of 2min 12.59sec.

Unheralded Norwegian Mina Fuerst Holtmann, leader after the first leg, was second (+0.04sec), with Swiss Wendy Holdener rounding out the podium (+0.44).

Slovakia's reigning giant slalom world champion Petra Vlhova, winner of Sunday's Val d'Isere parallel slalom which Shiffrin elected not to race, was fourth equal with German Viktoria Rebensberg, at 0.48sec.

Shiffrin had left herself with too much to do after fluffing her lines in the first leg, a performance she described as the most "heart-breaking" of her career.

The discipline's reigning Olympic champion, aiming for a 63rd World Cup victory to move into second place for individual race wins behind retired compatriot Lindsey Vonn (82), could only finish 19th, 1.33sec off the pace. Despite a better second leg, it left her 1.65sec off Brignone's pace.

"I really don't have an excuse, it's just me," said Shiffrin.

"Today, the reason (I didn't do better) is that I didn't ski fast."

Shiffrin added: "For my first run I was skiing too far, not aggressive enough, not enough risk.

"But in the past even when I wasn't taking enough risks I was still in an OK zone. This first run was the most heartbreaking I felt in my career.

-'There's no excuse'-

"I thought 'OK it's an easy fix, I just have to be more aggressive'. My second run felt like I was doing a better job but I think everybody else was doing a better job."

While Shiffrin remained atop the overall World Cup standings, she admitted to massive frustration at a disappointing outing in the French Alps.

"It's not that often where I'm making a plan, trying something, and I'm not able to execute it at all," she said.

"I have a lot of questions, but it's on me, there's no excuse."

The result broke Shiffrin's streaks of not only having won the last four races in Courchevel including two giant slaloms, but also of having finished on the podium in each of the last six World Cup giant slalom races.

There was also disappointment for France's two-time world champion Tessa Worley, who came in 11th at 1.21sec.