Shiffrin fourth as Curtoni leads Italian sweep of second Bansko downhill
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Bansko (Bulgaria) (AFP)
Late starter Elena Curtoni led an Italian podium sweep of the second women's World Cup downhill in Bansko on Saturday, with American Mikaela Shiffrin in fourth.
Shiffrin had won Friday's first downhill, but had to settle with coming behind Curtoni, who started with bib number 28 for her maiden World Cup win, Marta Bassino and Federica Brignone.
Curtoni clocked 1min 29.31sec, with Bassino at 0.10sec and Brignone -- who finished second on Friday -- a further four-hundredths of a second adrift.
The Italian sweep ensured no podium spot for Shiffrin, 0.35sec off Curtoni, who hit speeds of 112km/h (70mph).
The victory was 28-year-old Curtoni's first of her career, having previously made the podium just three times.
A fourth place on the back of her downhill win, just the second of her storied career, saw Shiffrin again consolidate her spot on top of the overall World Cup standings.
Shiffrin, a technical specialist who has proven increasingly adept at the speed events, said the 2.4km-long course in the Bulgarian resort had differed slightly from 24 hours earlier.
"I felt like in some parts the speed was a bit higher than yesterday," said Shiffrin.
"I wasn't taking any crazy risk.
"My skiing felt good. I'm proud of how I have skied over the last couple of days."
Shiffrin's rival in the technical events, Petra Vlhova, threatened from start number 31, the Slovak leading the early interim timings before falling away on the bottom section to finish in 11th.
Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami made a costly mistake towards the bottom of the course that cost her a podium spot.
She eventually finished 10th, behind American Breezy Johnson, Germany's Kira Weidle, the Austrian duo of Elisabeth Reisinger and Nina Ortlieb, and Swiss teammate Corinne Suter, the current world silver medallist.
World champion Ilha Stuhec could only manage 18th spot, the Slovenian more than 2sec off Bassino's pace, while Olympic super-G gold medallist Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic was well down the field at more than 3sec.
Swiss Joana Haehlen, who claimed her first podium finish in third on Friday, slid out in a dramatic crash.
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