Shiffrin bags first downhill win

Lake Louise (Canada) (AFP) –


Mikaela Shiffrin bagged the first downhill win of her career here Saturday, blistering to victory at Lake Louise to lay down an ominous marker to her rivals.

The 22-year-old American star -- the undisputed queen of slalom and reigning champion in the overall World Cup rankings -- won after clocking 1min 27.55sec.

Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg was second with a time of 1:27.68, while Switzerland's Michelle Gisin was third in 1:27.72.

Shiffrin's compatriot Lindsey Vonn, who had suffered a heavy fall in Friday's first race, finished 11th in 1:28.48.

The day belonged to Shiffrin, who was competing in only the fourth World Cup downhill race of a career which until now has focused on the technical disciplines of slalom and giant slalom.

Shiffrin had signalled she was ready to make a strong challenge in the downhill this weekend after clinching her first podium with a third place on Friday.

Saturday's victory was the 33rd World Cup win of her career and the second of the season following her triumph at the Killington slalom last weekend.

Shiffrin, the three-time world champion and 2014 Olympic slalom champion now leads the overall World Cup standings with 465 points following her fifth podium in six races.

She leads Rebensburg by 149 points in the standings.

Saturday's racing was delayed twice by power outages that knocked out the resort's ski-lifts, forcing competitors to be hauled to the top of the run via a snow tractor.