SPINDLERUV MLYN (CZECH REPUBLIC): Mikaela Shiffrin is on target for her 85th World Cup win after forging into the lead in the first leg of the slalom at Spindleruv Mlyn today.
The US ski star is in irrepressible form and her time of 48.19s left her clear by 0.29s from German Lena Duerr.
Petra Vlhova is in third at 0.46s with the chasing pack over one second adrift.
Aside from Shiffrin and Vlhova the only other two skiers to post slalom wins this season – Wendy Holdener and Anna Swenn Larsson – are already trailing by 1.13 and 1.64 ahead of the second run scheduled to start at 1115 GMT.
Shiffrin, 27, arrived at the Czech Republic resort on the back of two giant slalom wins in the space of 24 hours this week in Kronplatz.
That quick-fire double in Italy pushed the ski phenomenon from Colorado to within two of the overall wins record of 86 held by Ingemar Stenmark.
Tuesday’s 83rd success gave her the women’s record for most wins on the elite circuit and she took her tally to 84 the following day after winning the giant slalom in the Italian resort.
The slalom is her favoured discipline with 51 career victories.
With another slalom scheduled at Spindleruv Mlyn on Sunday she could well draw level with Swedish icon Stenmark before the weekend is out.
Stenmark dominated the men’s slalom and giant slalom disciplines for a decade from 1975 before retiring in 1989.
Shiffrin has bounced back in emphatic style after a nightmare Beijing Olympics last year where she failed to win a single medal.
And she is heavy favourite to add to her haul of golds at next month’s World Championships in Courchevel and Meribel.