SR Staff Report
Shiffrin Zagreb night slalom: Photo Credit GEPA
Who is racing, when and how to watch the January 5th Zagreb night slalom
The snow surface in today’s Zagreb was as good as it could have been. It was a product of hard work and expertise. However, the surface was tough. The challenge is that snow warmer than 32 degrees Fahrenheit is no longer a solid; it is a liquid. The colder the ice that makes up the snow, the harder it is. That is simple physics. Unfortunately, the temperatures at race time on Sljeme will be warm again tomorrow. That, however, will not stop Mikaela Shiffrin from competing for her 82nd career World Cup Victory.
The ideal start number on a warm day is undoubtedly number one. The least lucky draw for someone in the first group is seven. Today Shiffrin won with bib seven, and she drew seven again for tomorrow. Perhaps it is lucky number seven.
However, there is no reason to point out the possible challenges Shiffrin may face. All evidence points to her overcoming any obstacles. The women’s field is as good as ever, yet Shiffrin is better.
Although Shiffrin doesn’t appear to ski for records, Sports fans love records and they love to witness them being broken. So, the big story going into tomorrow’s night slalom is it being Shiffrin’s first opportunity to tie the legendary Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup win total. As of today, Shiffrin has 81 victories and Vonn’s total is 82. Realize there have been 163 World Cup wins shared between the two US women, an incomprehensible total. Their combined victories represent 16,300 World Cup points. Consequently, tomorrow will be the first chance to see Shiffrin attempt to tie the women’s all-time win record.
No matter what the outcome, it will be an exciting race. The women are skiing hard, and the best continue to show great grit in challenging conditions.
It will be a battle again for the higher start numbers
However, don’t expect a lot of big moves from the back. It would be great to be proven wrong, but the higher bibs don’t have the same skill level as the best, and today they faced near-impossible course conditions. It was nearly impossible, but not for the truly elite.
In the first edition of Zagreb, two of North America’s elite women did not finish. Undoubtedly, Paula Moltzan and Ali Nullmeyer can achieve podiums in any snow condition. Expect both to exact revenge tomorrow.
Many North American women are good at slalom. Eight different North American racers have scored slalom points this season, and a talented group of women is ready to give it all they can to join the group. The Stifel US Alpine Team has entered seven women, and Alpine Canada Alpin will start three.
North Americans entered in the Zagreb January 5th night slalom
- Bib 7, Mikaela Shiffrin, USST, Burke Mountain Academy, Atomic, Oakley
- Bib 11, Ali Nullmeyer, ACA, GMVS, Middlebury College, Atomic
- Bib 12, Paula Moltzan, USST, Buck Hill Ski Team, UVM, Ski and Snowboard Club
- Bib 21, Laurence St-Germain, ACA, Mont Sainte-Anne, UMV, Rossignol, LOOK
- Bib 22, Amelia Smart, ACA, Windermere, University of Denver, Atomic
- Bib 37, Zoe Zimmermann, USST, Burke Mountain Academy, Rossignol, LOOK
- Bib 41, Lila Lapanja, USA, Independent,
- Bib 44, Nina O’Brien, USST, Burke Mountain Academy, Rossignol, LOOK
- Bib 46, Ava Sunshine, USST, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Atomic, SWIX, ASP
- Bib 48, Katie Hensien, USST, Rowmark Ski Academy, University of Denver, Rossignol, LOOK
The first run of the slalom will begin at 9:00 am Eastern Time and 6:00 am on the West Coast. The second run will begin at noon Eastern Time and at 9:00 am on the West Coast.