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Mikaela Shiffrin continues march to season title with giant slalom win in France

Mikaela Shiffrin continues march to season title with giant slalom win in France
Mikaela Shiffrin competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on Dec. 21 in Courchevel France. (Alain Grosclaude / Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin appears unstoppable.

The 23-year-old American won a giant slalom Friday for her 49th career World Cup victory as she continued her march to a third straight season-long overall title.

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It was a fourth successive win for Shiffrin, who sat out the races in Val Gardena to rest up for a big block of technical events — her specialty.

Shiffrin became the youngest female skier to reach 49 World Cup wins, and she could reach 50 in Saturday's slalom. She is undefeated in her trademark event since finishing a surprising fourth at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

“It was a big fight, and I knew it was going to be really tricky,” Shiffrin said of her giant slalom win. “Try to take this energy into tomorrow.”

Shiffrin, the reigning Olympic GS champion from Colorado, has won six out of her 10 races this season to soar ahead in the standings as she looks to emulate compatriot Lindsey Vonn's feat of winning three successive overall World Cup titles.

Shiffrin has more than double the points of her nearest rival. Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway is second in the overall standings but has only 367 points, compared with Shiffrin's 789.

Nicole Schmidhofer of Austria is third, with 359 points.

Under heavy snow on Friday, Shiffrin had a fantastic second run to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 49.81 seconds and beat first-run leader Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany by 0.14 seconds.

Shiffrin had trailed Rebensburg by 0.08 after the first run but was more aggressive on the second, which was moved down because of weather. She let out a yell of celebration after she crossed the line and saw her time.

France's Tessa Worley recovered from injury to take third place, 0.33 behind Shiffrin, who won a giant slalom as well as a parallel slalom last year in Courchevel.

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