Aspen: Maze gets second GS win of season, Shiffrin her first top 10

Two continents, two GS races, two trips to the top of the podium this season for Slovenia’s Tina Maze.

Maze skied a near-perfect second run at the women’s World Cup giant slalom in Aspen Saturday. A first-run leader by just more than a tenth of a second, Maze had a commanding lead of more than a second halfway through her second effort, but lost some time on the bottom part of the course — not enough time to lose the lead. She finished with a combined time of 1 minute, 59.39 seconds.

“My key was just to ski like I’m skiing on the trainings and just attack the course,” said Maze after the win. “First run was more of a warmup … because we had no warmup course in the morning. It’s always good information to have warmup course in the morning, to feel the gates on you shoulder. … Second run was more relaxing.

“The course was perfect,” added Maze. “But it was difficult the second run because the course was dark; there was no sun. We were training in Loveland (Colorado) in these kind of conditions. … It’s my first podium in the U.S., and I’m very proud of this. I’ve never skied that well here.”

Austria’s Katherine Zettel (+.90) and Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg (+1.54) rounded out the podium.

The story of the day for the Americans was Mikaela Shiffrin, who showed the international field she’s a force to be reckoned with in the GS, as well. For Shiffrin on the second run, it was a super clean top section with a few small mistakes toward the bottom, but definitely more aggressive her second time through the course.

“That’s very exciting, especially for me. In GS, that’s a big breakthrough,” said Shiffrin. “I think I may have approached the second run even a little bit better. The first run I overskied some sections, but I felt awesome, like I was training. So I accomplished my goal for the first run, and second run, it was just like, ‘Take it down the hill. See if you can go any faster.’ And I think I did.”

The 17-year-old threw down the second fastest second run of the day with a time of 1:01.27, bested only by France’s Taina Barioz. Shiffrin finished with a combined time of 2:01.73, good enough for ninth place overall and her first career top 10 in GS. 

Lindsey Vonn had a dramatic day. Battling a well-publicized stomach illness, the reigning World Cup champ flopped to the ground after a arduous day on the difficult Aspen course, one that she admits hasn’t suited her style of skiing over these many years. Vonn finished with a combined time of 2:02:84, nearly three-and-half seconds behind the winner Maze.

“I feel like I’ve run a 100-mile marathon. And I’ve never run more than five miles in my life,” said Vonn. “It was a struggle. I tried so hard to get energy back up for the second run, but I just didn’t have it. … I didn’t have the power to arc the turns.”

Vonn said she’s disappointed because she feel like she’s skiing well enough to “be there,” but physically it’s not  happening for her. She finished with a combined time of 2:02.84, good enough for 21st place.

Julia Mancuso didn’t get the result she was hoping for. She finished 15th with a combined time of 2:02.59.

“I’ve skied a lot and, sometimes I’ve really prepared coming into this race, I think the speed was there,” said Mancuso. “It was also a little bit of an unknown because I was more preparing for the rest of the season. I skied a lot this summer and my sights are really set on World Championships and being really healthy so it’s just another one of those slow starts but I think it’s going to be really good.”

by Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Aspen, USA, Nov. 24, 2012
Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
2 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
4 Gut, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Curtoni, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
6 Worley, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Barioz, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
9 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Poutianen, Fischer/Fischerr/Fischer

Women’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Aspen, USA, Nov. 24, 2012. … It is the sixth race of 74 on the 2012-13 World Cup calendar. … The third of 38 women’s races and the second women’s GS. … It is the 69th Cup race held at Aspen. … the 21st GS. … and the 14th women’s GS.

It is the 13th career World Cup victory for Tina Maze. … her tenth in GS and her second of the season in GS. … It is her first win at Aspen, her previous best having been a sixth in GS Nov. 28, 2009.

It is the 39th career World Cup podium placing for Kathrin Zettel. … her 18th in GS. … It is her seventh podium result scored at Aspen. … her first since 2009. … She previously won the GS at the site Nov. 25, 2006.

It is the 14th career Cup podium for Viktoria Rebensburg. … her 13th in GS. … It is her third straight GS podium scored at Aspen having won last season and placing second in 2010. … She won her last two races last season, the SG and GS at Schladming.

It is the ninth career scoring result for Mikaela Shiffrin. … her second and best in GS. … It is her second best result at Aspen having placed eighth in last seaon’s slalom. … It is the second best career result for Marie-Pier Prefontaine, her only better coming in GS Feb 6, 2011 at Zwiesel. … It is the 36th best GS result for Julia Mancuso. … Her eighth best result at Aspen. … It is the 29th best GS result for Lindsey Vonn. … Marie-Michele Gagnon matches her ninth best GS result.

Maze leads the World Cup overall standings 250-160 over Zettel. … Maria Hoefl-Riesch (DNF in race) is third with 124. … Shiffrin is the top American in fifth with 89pts. … Gagnon is top Canadian in seventh with 74pts. … Maze leads the GS standings 200-160 over Zettel. … Irene Curtoni is third with 77pts. … Gagnon is top Canadian in 10th with 48pts and Shiffrin the top American in 18th with 29pts.



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