Updated: Saturday, 08 March 2014 18:54 | By Agence France-Presse

No stopping US slalom star Shiffrin in Sweden

World and Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States set the pace in the first leg of Saturday's slalom World Cup race in Are, Sweden.

No stopping US slalom star Shiffrin in Sweden

Mikaela Shiffrin of the US competes during the first run of the Alpine Ski World Cup women's giant slalom in Are, Sweden, on March 7, 2014 - by Jonathan Nackstrand

The American teenager clocked 52.99sec to lead from Swedish pair Frida Hansdotter and Maria Pietilae-Holmner, who were respectively 0.66 and 0.80sec off the pace.

Hansdotter is Shiffrin's main rival for the World Cup title, but if the girl from Colorado wins in  Are, she will be assured or retaining her crown.

Germany's Maria-Hölf-Riesch, who was knocked off the top of the overall World Cup standings on Friday by Austria's Anna Fenninger, set the sixth fastest time, 1.23sec behind Shiffrin, but will regain her lead with a good finish as Fenninger is not racing in the slalom.

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