Slovakian skier Vlhova leads 1st run of slalom; Shiffrin 4th

SOLDEU, Andorra (AP): Olympic champion Petra Vlhova posted the fastest time in the opening run of the last women’s World Cup slalom of the season Saturday, while Mikaela Shiffrin was in fourth position.

Shiffrin was 0.16 seconds faster than the Slovakian at the final split but lost three-quarters of a second after making a mistake entering the flat finish sector.

The American had 0.59 to make up on Vlhova in the second leg later Saturday.

Shiffrin has won six of the previous 10 slaloms this season and locked up the discipline title in January. She has also secured her fifth overall and second giant slalom globe.

On Saturday, the American was after her 14th win of the season and 88th in total, a week after setting the record for most career victories with 87.

Vlhova won the season title in slalom last year but has won one race in the current campaign — a night event in Austria in January.

Vlhova led Croatian prodigy Leona Popovic by 0.32 seconds. Third-place Anna Swenn Larsson of Sweden was 0.56 behind.

Canadian skier Laurence St-Germain, who beat Shiffrin to the world slalom title last month, trailed by 1.77 in 10th position.