LEVI, Finland (AP) Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin set the pace in the opening run of a women’s World Cup slalom on Saturday.
The American timed 55.66 seconds to lead Petra Vlhova of Slovakia by 0.21 and Frida Hansdotter of Sweden by 0.73. Fourth-place Wendy Holdener of Switzerland had more than 1.20 to make up on the overall World Cup champion in the second run.
Shiffrin won the traditional first slalom of the season in Finnish Lapland twice before, in 2013 and again last year.
The American has won 16 of the last 20 slaloms she competed in, and took the season title in the discipline for a fourth time last year.
Her closest challenger in slalom last season, Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia, is out with a knee injury.