Mikaela Shiffrin ended Petra Vlhova's World Cup winning run with a stunning victory at the final women's slalom before the Winter Olympics.
In a significant statement before Beijing 2022, the American trailed by a significant margin after the first run but produced a storming second to shock Vlhova.
The women were afforded a rare opportunity to take on the Schladming slopes usually reserved for their male technical counterparts after the relocation of this event 30km east from Flachau after surging coronavirus cases forced the postponement of the traditional female night slalom event.
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Second place and the accompanying 80 points were enough to secure the Slovakian season victory and her third World Cup crystal ball, but represented a significant blow struck by Shiffrin ahead of the Games.
Shiffrin celebrates after Vlhova run falls short
"I'm just crying a lot lately!" said an emotional Shiffrin, who broke Ingemar Stenmark's record with her 47th World Cup victory in a single discipline.
"It's such a privilege to race on this slope and all I wanted to do today was earn that, deserve it. It's iconic, it's Schladming - I was geeking out this morning because I can't believe we can be here.
"It's special to be here."
Shiffrin had taken gold as a teenager on this Schladming slope at the 2013 World Championship, her first major medal - as a mark of the American's prodigious talent, every other top ten finisher nine years ago has since retired from the sport.
That meant it was a field with fresh eyes that took to the Planai piste, a first chance for many of the world's best technical skiers to carve the Schladming snow.
Vlhova was afforded first look under the iconic glare of the beaming floodlights, and produced a confident opening gambit, skiing with purpose and drive and setting what would prove to be the fastest time of the first run, completing the course in 45.28 seconds.
She was followed by Shiffrin, who began well, but struggled to attack the back half of her opening run, perhaps fearing a repeat of Sunday's second run error at Kranjska Gora.
The 26-year-old came home nearly half-a-second down on her rival, in fifth (45.70).
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Michelle Gisin had been another to come-a-cropper in Slovenia and befell similar fate again after her ski ran the wrong side of the pole after a misjudged turn, while Anna Swenn-Larson (third last time out) also failed to finish,
Another early starter, Germany's Lena Duerr showed better, earning a place as the penultimate starter with a fine 45.55.
Wendy Holdener and Ali Nullmeyer (45.63) were also well-placed for a charge, tied for third, while former junior world champion Camille Rast lurked in seventh.
There were signs the course was beginning to become tougher as consecutive skiers failed to finish the second run, first Marie-Therese Sporer and then Emma Aicher bashing their poles in frustration having slid out of top ten contention, soon after Chiara Mair had taken the overall lead with a blistering second run.
Katharina Liensberger was also bumped off course and appeared destined for a heavy fall, but remarkable core strength and limb contortion enabled her to keep her feet and record a result.
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Rising star Rast then powered into a tie of the lead with Mair, but Paula Moltzan, continuing to nurse a fractured left wrist, was another who failed to finish.
That left only the top five to ski, and Shiffrin laid down a marker. Showing far greater intensity than in her opening run, the American produced the fastest run of the second round to snatch the lead.
Holdener could not match it, turned ragged in the opening turns and recording a DNF, while fast-developing Nullmeyer straddled and was forced to glissade.
Duerr was also unable to challenge Shiffrin's surge, the best part of a second down come the close but securing a podium place, meaning only Vlhova could deny Shiffrin a second win of the season.
And for the first time since Shiffrin's home race in Killington in November, the Slovakian did not have enough, heavy-edged and oddly sloppy on the steepest slope of the women's slalom season to eventually come home 0.15 of a second behind.
Having overcome Covid, which caused her to miss the event in Leinz, this was a significant return to top form for Shiffrin, setting up a mouth-watering duel at the Xiaohaituo Alpine Skiing Field on February 9.
The result leaves Vlhova an unassailable 220 points ahead of Shiffrin (660 to 440) in the season standings.
Durr's third lifts her right into podium contention, just nine points behind Holdener.
The women's World Cup slalom now pauses until the conclusion of rather important affairs in Beijing, resuming on 12 March in Are.
It concludes one week later in Meribel.
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