Canadian Mielzynski wins first World Cup in Ofterschwang slalom, Stiegler second


Erin MielzynskiAt the tail end of a season that has been dominated by one woman (Marlies Schild) World Cup women’s slalom racing was shaken up today (March 4) as two North American racers who had never been on a podium claimed the top two spots.

Canadian 21-year-old Erin Mielzynsky had the race of her life to not only claim the first World Cup top-10 finish of her career but win by five hundredths of a second over American Resi Stiegler, who had never been on a World Cup podium and hadn’t recorded a top-10 finish since December of 2007.  Schild, winner of all but one of this season’s previous slalom races, finished third to clinch her fourth World Cup slalom with an untouchable 299-point lead.
 
The day’s two runs told two very different stories as none of the top four finishers in the first run finished better than sixth. Mielzynsky, whose previous career best finishes were a pair of 13th-place results over the last two seasons, stood fifth after the first run with 0.60 seconds to make up. She navigated the 66-gate course masterfully to just bump Stiegler out of the leader’s box but couldn’t have imagined that she had done enough to win.

“I’ve worked really hard this year and past years. I’ve battled with my confidence and so many things but I just needed to put two together and today I did that,” said Mielzynski, who became the first Canadian woman to win a World Cup slalom since Betsy Clifford did it in 1971. “I didn’t do anything different, my goal for today was to try to race like I train every single day and I think that is what I figured out today.”   

Just a day after scoring her first World Cup GS points in more than four years (22nd in yesterday’s GS) Stiegler came all the way from the 35th start today to finish the first run in ninth place, 0.82 seconds behind the leader. She held an aggressive, tight line in the second run and crossed the line with the leading time and burst into joyous screaming and fist pumping then settled in to watch her time beat both Schild and defending overall champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch. Stielger, the the hadn’t recorded a top-10 finish in any World Cup discipline since December of 2007, when she was struck with a chain of injuries that kept her away from skiing for most of the next three seasons. “Thank you to all of you who have supported me all these years,” Stiegler shouted into the TV cameras after being hoisted to her teammates shoulders in the finish area.

“Today was huge, obviously I’m ecstatic about it,” said Stiegler. “I’ve worked really hard for this, results are difficult to get even if you are skiing really fast. I’ve had a really hard year mentally and I don’t know why it came together today but I think it could have come together all year and it was just waiting for this one day.”

Resi StieglerFor the third day in a row, conditions in the Bavarian Mountains were sunny, warm and slushy. More that 400 course workers were brought in to spread chemicals and do everything else possible to maintain a skiable surface.

The faltering of the first run leaders began with American 16-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin, who arrived in Ofterschwang from her appearance at the FIS Alpine World Junior Championships. Shiffrin was tied for third after the first run and skied three quarters of the second run extremely well before making a costly mistake at the bottom of the course. The error knocked of her rhythm and Shiffrin one of the last few gates and had to hike for a 27th-place scoring result. 
 
With a 0.35-second advantage, first run leader Slovenian Tina Maze looked poised to take her first win of the season after finishing runner-up six times this year but the soft second run course tripped her up early and she skied off line at the top if the course.

The Canadian team got even more good news from fifth-place finisher Marie-Michele Gagnon, who nearly fell twice in her second run but held on to tie her best World Cup finish ever. Anna Goodman got the energy going early for her team as the first woman out of the second run gate in 30th after the first run. She worked her way up to finish 17th.
 
The first run course claimed 12 DNFs including Austrian Michaela Kirchgasser and overall World Cup leader, American Lindsey Vonn who crashed after straddling a gate in the middle of the course.

Americans Julia Mancuso and Hailey Duke did not qualify for the second run in 45th and 46th, respectively.

The women’s World Cup tour now heads to Are, Sweden for the final giant slalom and slalom races of the regular season next weekend before World Cup finals in Schladming, Austria.

MORE TO COME

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup slalom, Ofterschwang, Germany, March 4, 2012
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Mielzynski, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
2 Stiegler, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
3 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Poutiainen, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
5 Gagnon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Duerr, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Hansdotter, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Borssen, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
10 Hosp, Fischer/Fischer/Marker

Women’s World Cup slalom, Ofterschwang, Germany, March 4, 2012
. … It is the 31st of 38 races on the women’s 2012 World Cup schedule. … It is the eighth of 10 scheduled slaloms. … It is the third and final event at Ofterschwang this season. … It is the 14 Cup race scheduled at Ofterschwang, the sixth slalom.

It is the first career World Cup win for Erin Mielzynski. … her first podium. … her first top 10. … and just her ninth score, all in slalom. … Her previous best had been 13th scored at Arber-Zwiesel Feb. 4, 2011 and at Courchevel Dec. 17, 2011. … It is the first Canadian slalom win since Betsy Clifford at Schruns Jan. 21, 1971 and is the sixth Canadian Cup slalom win in World Cup history.

It is the first career World Cup podium result for Resi Stiegler. … her previous best finish is fourth accomplished three times, in slalom at Are March 17, 2006 and Reiteralm Nov 10, 2007 and in combined at Zauchensee Jan. 14, 2007. … Her best previous result this season had been 22nd the previous day in GS.

It is the 62nd career World Cup podium result for Marlies Schild. … the 50th in slalom. … It is her third career podium at Ofterschwang and second third place finish. … It is her seventh podium result of the season (all in slalom) and the first that is not a win.

North Americans: Marie-Michele Gagnon matches her career best World Cup result, the previous 5th scored in GS at St Moritz Dec. 12, 2010. … Her previous best at Ofterschwang had been 8th in slalom March 7, 2009. … The last time Canadian women had two top five finishers in a World Cup slalom was Nancy Greene (1) and Gerrie Mathieson (5) at Jackson Hole March 26, 1967. … It is the sixth best career Cup result for Anna Goodman. … her second best of the season after an 11th at Courchevel Dec. 17. … It is the fifth career top 30 Cup finish for Mikaela Shiffrin. … She did not gain points after hiking.

Standings: Lindsey Vonn (DNF 1st) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 1708-1214 over Tina Maze (DNF 2nd). … Maria Hoefl-Riesch (ninth in race) is third overall with 1075pts. … Julia Mancuso (DNQ) holds fifth wi
th 833pts. … Gagnon is top Canadian overall in 23rd with 267pts. … Schild wins the 2012 slalom title. … She leads the standings 660-361 over Maze with two races remaining and cannot be overtaken. … Michaela Kirchgasser (DNF 1st) is third with 334pts. … Mielzynski moves up to 13th in the slalom rankings to lead Canada with 173pts. … Shiffrin leads the US in 17th with 118pts. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 4978-3317 over the US. … Italy is third with 2465. … Canada is tenth at 537pts.

Images by Gepa

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  24  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin  1990  CAN   56.47  57.12  1:53.59  0.00
 2  35  537772 STIEGLER Resi  1985  USA   56.69  56.95  1:53.64  0.27
 3  3  55590 SCHILD Marlies  1981  AUT   56.64  57.02  1:53.66  0.38
 4  5  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja  1980  FIN   56.68  57.04  1:53.72  0.70
 5  12  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele  1989  CAN   56.88  56.92  1:53.80  1.13
 6  11  206355 DUERR Lena  1991  GER   56.22  57.62  1:53.84  1.34
 7  9  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida  1985  SWE   56.44  57.41  1:53.85  1.40
 8  10  505610 BORSSEN Therese  1984  SWE   57.02  56.98  1:54.00  2.20
 9  2  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   56.56  57.51  1:54.07  2.58
 10  22  55690 HOSP Nicole  1983  AUT   58.43  55.80  1:54.23  3.44
 11  34  55807 DAUM Alexandra  1986  AUT   58.36  55.89  1:54.25  3.54
 12  21  296509 CURTONI Irene  1985  ITA   57.62  56.65  1:54.27  3.65
 13  15  196806 NOENS Nastasia  1988  FRA   58.04  56.43  1:54.47  4.73
 13  4  705287 ZUZULOVA Veronika  1984  SVK   57.50  56.97  1:54.47  4.73
 15  29  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna  1991  SWE   57.82  56.87  1:54.69  5.91
 16  8  206279 GEIGER Christina  1990  GER   57.38  57.33  1:54.71  6.01
 17  40  106633 GOODMAN Anna  1986  CAN   58.86  55.89  1:54.75  6.23
 18  27  195972 AUBERT Sandrine  1982  FRA   58.28  56.56  1:54.84  6.71
 19  14  296259 MOELGG Manuela  1983  ITA   58.58  56.50  1:55.08  8.00
 20  39  196803 MOUGEL Laurie  1988  FRA   58.27  56.85  1:55.12  8.22
 21  17  155415 ZAHROBSKA Sarka  1985  CZE   57.59  57.59  1:55.18  8.54
 22  16  196928 WORLEY Tessa  1989  FRA   57.93  57.29  1:55.22  8.75
 23  26  206035 CHMELAR Fanny  1985  GER   58.41  56.82  1:55.23  8.81
 24  32  56059 DEPAULI Jessica  1991  AUT   58.51  57.02  1:55.53  10.42
 25  50  206290 HUEBNER Monica  1990  GER   58.69  57.70  1:56.39  15.04
 26  19  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie  1988  FRA   57.47  1:04.75  2:02.22  46.34
 27  18  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela  1995  USA   56.44  1:09.77  2:06.21  67.77
Did not start 1st run
   41  55898 BREM Eva-Maria  1988  AUT         
Did not qualify for 2nd run
   65  35089 SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena  1984  ARG         
   63  185271 LEINONEN Sanni  1989  FIN         
   62  565331 LAVTAR Katarina  1988  SLO         
   61  185317 SOPPELA Merle  1991  FIN         
   60  155479 SMUTNA Michaela  1987  CZE         
   58  65038 PERSYN Karen  1983  BEL         
   57  295435 GIUS Nicole  1980  ITA         
   56  537792 DUKE Hailey  1985  USA         
   52  196179 BERTRAND Marion  1984  FRA         
   51  297601 BRIGNONE Federica  1990  ITA         
   49  705363 LUKACOVA Barbora  1990  SVK         
   48  196793 MARMOTTAN Anemone  1988  FRA         
   47  205239 WIRTH Barbara  1989  GER         
   45  107068 PHELAN Brittany  1991  CAN         
   43  107044 IRWIN Madison  1991  CAN         
   42  425771 LOESETH Nina  1989  NOR         
   38  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara  1984  ITA         
   36  355040 NIGG Marina  1984  LIE         
   33  196016 DAUTHERIVES Claire  1982  FRA         
   31  537545 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA         
   30  205168 DUERR Katharina  1989  GER         
   23  56032 SCHILD Bernadette  1990  AUT         
Did not finish 2nd run
   46  206174 STABER Veronika  1987  GER         
   7  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin  1986  AUT         
   6  565243 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO         
Did not finish 1st run
   64  35079 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen  1982  ARG         
   59  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena  1990  SRB         
   55  505908 SMEDH Veronica  1988  SWE         
   54  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR         
   53  535585 STAPLES Kiley  1989  USA         
   44  435189 KLUS Aleksandra  1986  POL         
   37  196725 BARIOZ Taina  1988  FRA         
   28  516280 HOLDENER Wendy  1993  SUI         
   25  55977 THALMANN Carmen  1989  AUT         
   20  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie  1992  SWE         
   13  537544 VONN Lindsey  1984  USA         
   1  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela  1985  AUT         

Comments

comments



skiracingmag's Latest Youtube Favorite


See more Ski Racing Videos in our Video Vault


Ski Racing Magazine LB1