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Moltzan Top American Again in Lienz Slalom

By Courtney Harkins
December, 29 2021
Paula Moltzan
Paula Moltzan (pictured here at the Killington World Cup slalom) inspects the course before racing. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alexis Boichard)

Paula Moltzan was the top American for the second day in a row in Lienz, Austria, taking 20th in the FIS World Cup slalom to close out the series. Mikaela Shiffrin, who has won the Lienz slalom twice in the past, did not race again after announcing she had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.

It was the first slalom race since the Killington World Cup over Thanksgiving weekend—a long break between events—and the weather warmed up to above freezing, making the course rough with ruts and bumps throughout the day. Petra Vlhova of Slovakia dominated the second run of the race to take the win by more than half a second over 2021 slalom World Champion Katharina Liensberger of Austria, who had just returned to the World Cup tour after recovering from COVID. Michelle Gisin of Switzerland was third, .68 seconds behind Vlhova.

Moltzan had hurt her wrist before the races in Courchevel and found out that it was fractured before the races in Lienz. But the injury didn’t stop her from racing—she taped her pole to her hand and threw down two runs of gutsy skiing to take 20th place. Her second run was the ninth fastest, showing that she has the speed, even with a wrist injury.  

"Today was definitely challenging physically and mentally," said Moltzan. "I am happy to have crossed the finish line twice all things considered. I didn’t think I would even be able to race today. The conditions here were awesome and we are definitely missing all the people who are not here."

Vlhova still leads the World Cup slalom standings, with her win boosting her to a 120-point advantage over Shiffrin. She also accumulated more points toward the overall standings, given Shiffrin’s absence and Italian Sofia Goggia sitting out the slalom. Shiffrin still maintains the overall lead in the standings by 93 points over Goggia. Vlhova sits in third, behind by 135 points.

The rest of the Americans did not make second run, battling a rough and rutty first run course. Lila Lapanja and AJ Hurt straddled, while Katie Hensien skied out. Nina O’Brien, who was having a fast run that would have given her a second run, got tossed out of the course going over the breakover and did not finish.

The women next head to Zagreb, Croatia for another slalom after the new year.  

Women’s slalom


*All times EST.

Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021
5:30 a.m. FIS Alpine World Cup Men's Super-G - LIVE, Bormio, ITA, Streaming Peacock

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