'Spectacular' Shiffrin equals Stenmark's all-time ski record

American skier Mikaela Shiffrin equalled Ingemar Stenmark's ski record of 86 World Cup wins on Friday with a resounding victory in the giant slalom at Are.

Shiffrin finished 0.64 seconds ahead of the Italian Federica Brignone to match the milestone that has stood for 34 years.

"This is a spectacular day. I just wanted to fight for it. It’s amazing, incredible,” said the Colorado-born skier.

A few days shy of her 28th birthday her exceptional run continued with her 12th World Cup win after securing a fifth overall crystal globe last weekend.

Shiffrin also won gold in the giant at the recent world championships.

She has a shot at claiming the record outright in Saturday's slalom.

The US ski superstar had set herself up for this record-levelling performance after dominating the first leg of Friday's race on Stenmark's own home turf of Are no less.

She went into the second run holding a 0.58sec advantage over Canada's Valerie Grenier. Franziska Gritsch was placed third at 0.93 with the rest of her rivals over one second adrift.

And she duly cemented the deal with a combined time of 1min 54.64sec to beat Brignone with Swede Sara Hector in third at 0.92s.

One of the dangers between Shiffrin and history was Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami, who failed to finish the first run. Gritsch crashed out in the second run.

This was her third shot at drawing level with Stenmark, after moving to just one away from the benchmark set in 1989 with her 85th win in the slalom at Spindleruv Mlyn last month.

Like Shiffrin, Stenmark relished the slalom and giant slalom with the Swede dominating the two disciplines from 1975 before retiring in 1989.

Shiffrin arrived at Are on the back of what she termed a "spectacular" world championships in France where she won gold in both the giant slalom and super-G and silver in the slalom.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist was assured of winning a fifth overall World Cup title last weekend at Kvitfjell.