After two months of rehab, Shiffrin came back for a win. PHOTO: Courtesy of Mikaela Shiffrin

After two months of rehab, Shiffrin came back for a win. PHOTO: Courtesy of Mikaela Shiffrin

After two months out of competition following a knee injury, Mikaela Shiffrin re-entered the World Cup circuit and immediately landed at the top of the podium in the ladies’ slalom race at Crans Montana, Switzerland. The Alpine Combined event, scheduled for February 14 was cancelled due to a heavy storm, but the Slalom race went on as planned the following day. Shiffrin won the race by .45 seconds after two aggressive runs on a rutted-out course. Nastasia Noens, of France, took second, and Marie-Michele Gagnon, of Canada, took third just .05 seconds behind.

Meanwhile, in Yuzawa Naeba, Japan, the men faced warm weather and soft courses—the season’s reigning trend. The venue, however, kept the courses suitable for racing despite fresh snow early in the week and warm weather on race day—a proud comeback for Japan,, which hasn’t hosted a World Cup event in 10 years. The French dominated the GS, with Alexis Pinturault taking first and Mathieu Faivre taking second. Italy’s Massimiliano Blardone took third.

Ski racers celebrate

Alexis Pinturault celebrates his win in Japan. PHOTO: Courtesy of Alexis Pinturault

The slalom race saw a few upsets, with Marcel Hirscher, overall leader, straddling four gates into his Slalom run and skiing out, and Kristoffersen—currently leading the field in Slalom—coming in eighth. Felix Neurether took his first win of the season in that Slalom race, winning in the same place his father took first 41 years ago. He was followed by Andre Myrher of Sweden and Marco Schwarz of Austria.

Full Results:

Crans Montana, Switzerland
Ladies' Alpine combined-Cancelled-February, 14 2016

Ladies' Slalom, February, 15 2016

1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA): 1:29.20
2. Nastasia Noens (FRA): 1:29.65
3. Marie-Michele Gagnon (CAN): 1:29.70

Yuzawa Naeba, Japan
Men's Giant Slalom, February 13 2016

1. Alexis Pinturault (FRA): 2:34.23
2. Mathieu Faivre (FRA): 2:34.74
3. Massimiliano Blardone (ITA): 2:34.90

Men's Slalom, February 14 2016

1. Felix Neurether (GER): 1:50.93
2. Andre Myrher (SWE): 1:50.98
3. Marco Schwarz (AUT): 1:51.17