Swedish skier Sara Hector beats Mikaela Shiffrin for 1st win in 7 years

COURCHEVEL, France — Swedish skier Sara Hector held on to her first-run lead and beat Mikaela Shiffrin on Wednesday in a women’s World Cup giant slalom.

It was Hector’s second career victory, and first in nearly seven years.

Hector won by .35 seconds a day after finishing runner-up to Shiffrin in another GS on the same hill for her first podium result in a year.

“It’s amazing. It’s incredible, and I’m so surprised, too,” Hector said. “It was such a big fight and I didn’t think I was so fast. I feel so awesome. It’s crazy. I’m so proud.”

World Cup giant slalom champion Marta Bassino trailed by six-tenths in third place after failing to score points in the first two GS races of the season. Tessa Worley of France, who was second after the opening run, dropped to fourth, followed by defending overall champion Petra Vlhova in fifth.

Shiffrin’s main challenger in the overall standings, Sofia Goggia, failed to score World Cup points for a second straight day. The American now leads her by 115 points.

Goggia slid off the course after she lost her balance in a left turn halfway through her opening run. The Italian skied out in the second leg of Tuesday’s race.

Federica Brignone, the 2020 overall champion, also failed to finish her second run.

Paula Moltzan of the United States finished 13th after gaining 15 spots with a strong second run, having only just made the flip in 28th after the opening run.

World champion Lara Gut-Behrami, slalom World Cup winner Katharina Liensberger, and Alice Robinson sat out the event following positive COVID-19 tests.

The race replaced the GS that was canceled in Killington, Vermont, in November because of strong winds.

The women’s World Cup continues with another GS and a slalom in Lienz, Austria, next week.

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