Anja Paerson wins Maribor slalom; five Americans in top 20
Oh, what a treat. The top three women on the World Cup went head-to-head-to-head in the Maribor slalom, Jan. 23, producing a remarkable display of slalom prowess well appreciated by the staunch army of Slovene race fans.
The outcome of the day went to Anja Paerson of Sweden. She won her seventh race of the last eight at Maribor, a streak stretching back four seasons. "This place has been special for me," she said.
The outcome of the season went to Finn Tanja Poutiainen as she claimed the World Cup slalom title, the first to be decided this season. She finished third. "I'm even more relaxed now," she said in anticipation of the upcoming World Championships. "No matter what happens, I've had a
very special season."
Understatement was big at Maribor. Paerson's win total at Maribor is
two off the record for wins at one site, and Poutiainen's season has been
outstandings, and well above any standard she had previously set. "It's
the little things this year," she said by way of explanation. "I had a good summer of training and I've been healthy."
Poutiainen said she was "delighted" with her first World Cup title. "It
has been my dream," she said, "and now it has really happened.
Left out of the big-outcome mix was two time overall champion, Olympic
and World Champion Janica Kostelic who finished second for her sixth podium of the season in three different disciplines and her fourth slalom
podium of the season.
The Americans also had a huge day with Sarah Schleper notching her
fourth best result ever in fourth and Kristina Koznick in fifth. U.S.
overall leader Lindsey Kildow got her career best slalom result in 11th,
Resi Stiegler was 16th and Julia Mancuso 17th. The U.S. hasn't had five
top 20 finishers in a slalom since Shiga Kogen, Japan in March of 1989
with Tamara McKinney, Eva Twardokens, Diann Roffe, Heidi Voelker and
Heidi Bowes doing the honors.
U.S. women's coach Patrick Riml was well pleased with his forces. "They
know they're fast and pretty consistent," he said. "And, going into
Worlds, they're right on track. They are attacking on the second run, the
way we wanted, and everyone held or improved on her position. "Confidence," he said, "just brings more confidence." The World Championships begin next weekend in Bormio, Italy.
The multitude of Slovene race fans which inundation Maribor every
season were rewarded with the very best the World Cup can offer; a classic three-way battle for two titles played out over the Radvanje race hill of the Drava river valley. World Cup
Jan. 23, 2005
1. Anja Paerson, SWE 1:32.38
2. Janica Kostelic, CRO 1:32.66
3. Tanja Poutiainen, FIN 1:32.73
4. Sarah Schleper, USA 1:33.13
5. Kristina Koznick, USA 1:33.15
6. Kathrin Zettel, AUT 1:33.64
7. Marlies Schild, AUT 1:33.68
8. Sarka Zahrobska, CZE 1:33.74
9. Laure Pequegnot, FRA 1:33.75
10. Sonja Nef, SUI 1:33.88
11. Lindsey Kildow, USA 1:33.99
12. Sabine Egger, AUT 1:34.05
13. Veronika Zuzulova, SVK 1:34.19
14. Nika Fleiss, CRO 1:34.23
15. Monika Bergmann, GER 1:34.29
16. Resi Stiegler, USA 1:34.33
17. Julia Mancuso, USA 1:34.55
18. Ana Jelusic, CRO 1:34.81
19. Tina Maze, SLO 1:34.74
20. Florine DeLeymarie, FRA 1:34.86
21. Christine Sponring, AUT 1:34.87
22. Henna Raita, FIN 1:34.94
23. Marie Pietilae-Holmner, SWE 1:35.09
24. Christel Pascal, FRA 1:35.20
25. Manuela Moelgg, ITA 1:35.27
26. Karin Truppe, AUT 1:35.29
27. Janette Hargin, SWE 1:35.34
28. Anna Ottosson, SWE 1:35.63
29. Nicole Gius, ITA 1:36.34
Other North Americans:
DNQ 2nd: Lauren Ross, Katharine Hitchcock, Jessica Kelley, USA.
DNF 1st: Britt Janyk, Brigitte Acton, CAN; Kaylin Richardson, USA.THE SCOOP
By Hank McKee
Women's slalom, Maribor, Jan. 23, 2005Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Paerson, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
2 Kostelic, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Poutiainen, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
4 Schleper, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
5 Koznick, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
6 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Schild, Atomic/Lange/Atomic
8 Zahrobska, Head/Head/Tyrolia
9 Pequegnot, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Nef, Volkl/Lange/Marker
Women's Slalom at Maribor, Slovenia, Jan. 23, 2005. ... It is the 24th
race of the women's 32 race, 1 combined World Cup schedule. ... It is
the seventh of eight scheduled slaloms. ... The winning margin is .28 of a second. ... The top five skiers are within the same second.
It is the 24th career win for Anja Paerson. ... Her second win of the
season. ... It is her 15th career slalom win. ... Her first of the
season. ... It is her seventh win at Maribor in the last eight World Cup
races held at the site.
It is the 35th career podium for Janica Kostelic. ... Her sixth of the
season and fourth of the season in slalom. ... It is the second time
she has been second in Maribor to Paerson in slalom (also 2003).
It is the 15th career podium for Tanja Poutiainen. ... Her ninth of the season. ... She has been on the podium in six of seven slaloms this
It is the fourth best career result for Sarah Schleper. ... and matches
her best of the season from Semmering GS. ... It is a career best finish at Maribor, by one placing. ... It is the 31st career top five for Kristina Koznick. ... Her fifth this season and fourth in slalom. ... The last time the U.S. had two top five finishers in a slalom was at Berchtesgaden 1/20/02 with these same two finishers (Koz 1st and Schleper 5th). ... It is the best slalom finish of Lindsey Kildow's World Cup career. ... eclipsing her personal best of 13th at Levi from 2/29/04. ... It is her first slalom score of the season. ... Resi Stiegler matches her career best 10 results. ... and fourth of the season... all in slalom. ... It is also a strong result for Julia Mancuso, matching her 21st career best. ... But she has placed as well or better in 16 of her 18 scoring results this season.
It is the first scoring result for Austria's Christine Sponring since a
December 2003 knee surgery.
With eight races remaining, Tanja Poutiainen leads the overall standings 902-879 over Janica Kostelic. ... Anja Paerson is third at 856. ... Lindsey Kildow, in sixth, is the top American with 691. ... Poutiainen win the World Cup slalom title. ... She leads the slalom standings 520-376 over Marlies Schild with one race remaining. ... Kristina Koznick is third ay 355 and Sarah Schleper sixth with 237 to lead the Americans.