Swiss skier Holdener leads Vlhova, Shiffrin in WCup slalom

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Swiss skier Wendy Holdener posted the fastest time in the opening run of a women’s World Cup slalom to lead standouts Petra Vlhova and Mikaela Shiffrin

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia — Swiss skier Wendy Holdener posted the fastest time in the opening run of a women’s World Cup slalom Sunday to lead standouts Petra Vlhova and Mikaela Shiffrin.

Racing in her 100th career slalom, Holdener was eight-hundredths of a second quicker than defending overall champion Vlhova on a course set by the Slovakian’s coach, Mauro Pini.

Vlhova leads the discipline standings after winning four of the previous five slaloms this season.

Shiffrin, the only other slalom winner this season, trailed by 0.25 seconds in third. The American was more than half a second behind Holdener at the second split but made up time with a strong final section.

The rest of the field, led by Lena Dürr of Germany in fourth, was more than half a second off the lead. Slalom world champion Katharina Liensberger of Austria finished 0.85 behind.

Holdener has racked up 28 slalom podiums without winning a race. No other skier in World Cup history, female or male, had more top three results in a single discipline without a win.

Her Swiss teammate Michelle Gisin skied out early in her run when she straddled the third gate.

Last season, Gisin became the first Swiss skier to win a women’s slalom in nearly 19 years. Gisin and Liensberger are the only skiers other than Shiffrin and Vlhova to have won a slalom since January 2017.

Sunday’s race marked the penultimate women’s slalom before the Beijing Olympics. No spectators were allowed at the event, which had been moved from another Slovenian resort, Maribor, because of a lack snow.

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