Swiss Corinne Suter was third, 0.05 slower than Shiffrin. Vonn, winner of 82 World Cup races, was next down after Shiffrin but lost control as she came off a jump and clattered into the red stop netting at high speed to gasps from the crowd watching in the finish.
The 34-year-old, who is retiring after the championships following a career spent battling knee injuries, was attended to by course stewards before getting back to her feet and skied down slowly to warm applause. Despite the course being slightly shortened, it still proved a formidable piste with several skiers struggling to stay on course. Another American, Laurenne Ross, also crashed heavily as the cloud cover came down to create tricky light conditions. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar.