Mikaela Shiffrin leads after the fitst Flachau slalom run

Flachau (Austria) (AFP) - Three-time overall World Cup winner Mikaela Shiffrin holds a razor-thin advantage over two key slalom rivals after the first floodlit run at Flachau on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old US skier is seeking a 68th World Cup victory which would move her ahead of Austria’s Marcel Hirscher into stand-alone third on the all-time winners’ list.

She timed 0.08sec faster than Wendy Holdener of Switzerland and 0.14sec faster than Petra Vlohava in freezing and snowy conditions.

Shiffrin had a difficult 2020 which was marked by the sudden death of her father last February and she finished the year without a single slalom win.

Vlhova went into the race as leader in the slalom standings with 350 points ahead of Michelle Gisin on 285. Gisin was fifth on the first run over a second off the pace.