LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland — Mikaela Shiffrin took a clear lead in the World Cup overall standings on Saturday by placing second in a tricky super-G won by the unheralded Romane Miradoli.
It was an impressive return to form on a steep, twisting course for the American star in her first race after surprisingly poor results at the Beijing Olympics. Shiffrin was congratulated course-side by tennis great Roger Federer, who has a home close to the Lenzerheide course.
Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova, the defending overall champion, started the race tied on points after 29 World Cup events this season and eight left this month.
Vlhova finished 18th, a massive 3.31 seconds back, skiing immediately before Shiffrin, who took advantage with a clean run to be just 0.38 behind the French leader.
Vlhova dropped 67 points behind Shiffrin in the overall standings. Their duel will resume Sunday in a giant slalom.
Five of the first 10 top-ranked starters failed to complete the course on a bright, cold day and Miradoli, in the No. 8 bib, found a near-perfect fast line.
Lara Gut-Behrami, the new Olympic champion in super-G, was third, trailing 0.88 back of Miradoli who got her first career podium finish.
The result was unofficial while lower-ranked skiers were yet to start though Federica Brignone was sure to win the season-long super-G title.
Brignone, the 2020 overall champion, was more than two seconds back in ninth but earned enough points to extend her lead to more than 100 points in the discipline standings over Elena Curtoni, her Italian teammate. Curtoni skied out as one of the early starters.
The final super-G of the season is on March 17 at Courchevel, France, during the World Cup finals meeting.
Miradoli, who turns 28 next week, had a best result of fifth in more than 120 previous World Cup starts, and not since more than three years ago.
This is a developing story, stay tuned for more.
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