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Maze comfortable in Meribel super combined win

Suspense was at a minimum as Tina Maze kicked out of the second leg of the super combined start in Meribel, France on Sunday.

After winning the downhill in the morning and with a 1.25-second advantage over then-leader Nicole Hosp, Maze skied a quick upper part of the course and a conservative lower half to go two-for-two in World Cup super combines this season.

Maze’s best competition was probably SC World Champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch, who was third in the morning’s downhill and on pace for a good slalom performance, but got chucked into the back seat and wound up out of the course and on her backside for a DNF on the day.

Julia Mancuso was very much in the hunt for a podium. With the second best downhill run of the morning, Mancuso made a significant mistake on the upper part of the slalom run, which evaporated her time advantage. But she was able to charge the lower part of the course to take fourth on the day.

Nicole Hosp managed to put two good runs together to take second, while her teammate, World Championships slalom silver medalist Michaela Kirchgasser, demonstrated the biggest improvement from one run to the next, skiing from 24th in the downhill to the third fastest combined time. Kirchgasser had by far the fastest slalom run of the day.

The morning’s downhill competition was delayed several times due to passing clouds and fog, and light was quite flat in the afternoon, but by most accounts the course workers did a great job preparing a slick and fast slope, despite snowfall overnight.

For the North Americans, Marie Michele Gagnon earned her best World Cup result of the season, fifth, with a strong slalom performance to close out the day.

It was a relatively straightforward slalom course, set by the Americans. Leanne Smith, far from a tech specialist, looked clumsy out of the slalom start in the afternoon to slip back to 26th. Meanwhile, fellow speed teamer Laurenne Ross, not expected to make much of an impact in the slalom after finishing 12th in the downhill, put together a relatively strong performance to finish 15th on the day.

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup Super Combined, Meribel, France, Feb. 24, 2013
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
2 Hosp, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
3 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
5 Gagnon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Curtoni, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Hronek, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
8 Gut, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
9 Sejersted, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Stuhec, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

Women’s World Cup Super Combined, Meribel, France, Feb. 24, 2013
. … It is the 55th race of the 2013 World Cup schedule. … The 34th for women and the second of two combineds. … It is the eighth Cup race hosted by Meribel and the first combined. … five races remain on the schedule.

It is the 19th career World Cup win for Tina Maze. … her third in combined. … It is her ninth victory of the season including one gold medal at World Championships, and her 21st podium of the season, including three at World Championships.

It is the 52nd career Cup podium placing for Nicole Hosp. … her seventh in combined. … It is her third podium result of the season, all in combined, including the bronze medal at Worlds.

It is the 13th career Cup podium result for Michaela Kirchgasser. … her third in combined. … It is her third podium result of the season, including a silver medal in slalom at World Championships. … All three of her podium results this season have come in different disciplines.

It is the 43rd time Julia Mancuso has placed among the top four of a World Cup event. … The fourth time in combined in her career. … It is her fourth top four of the season including the bronze medal in super G at World Champs. … Marie-Michele Gagnon matches her second best career World Cup result and records a personal best in combined. … It is her best finish of the season. … Laurenne Ross matches her ninth best career Cup score and records her personal best in combined. … It is her sixth best finish of the season. … It is the 11 score of the season for Leanne Smith.

Maze pads her World Cup overall standings lead to 1844-886 over Maria Hoefl-Riesch (DNF race). … with five races remaining she cannot be beaten for the World Cup overall title. … Lindsey Vonn (did not race) is third overall with 740pts. … Mikaela Shiffrin (did not race) is sixth overall with 638pts and Julia Mancuso (fourth in race) is seventh with 623pts. … Maze leads the combined standings 200-160 for Hosp. … Gagnon is fourth with 77pts, Mancuso sixth with 74pts. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 3853-2918 over the US. … Germany is third with 2162 and Canada ninth with 639pts.

Results
Meribel (FRA)
FIS World Cup
Ladies’ Super Combined
Feb. 24, 2013

Rank    Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time
 1 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   1:15.28  44.26  1:59.54
 2 HOSP Nicole  1983  AUT   1:16.53  43.83  2:00.36
 3 KIRCHGASSER Michaela  1985  AUT   1:17.78  42.66  2:00.44
 4 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA   1:15.69  45.31  2:01.00
 5 GAGNON Marie-Michele  1989  CAN   1:17.89  43.47  2:01.36
 6 CURTONI Elena  1991  ITA   1:16.42  45.00  2:01.42
 6 HRONEK Veronique  1991  GER   1:16.85  44.57  2:01.42
 8 GUT Lara  1991  SUI   1:17.29  44.43  2:01.72
 9 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR   1:17.65  44.67  2:02.32
 10 STUHEC Ilka  1990  SLO   1:16.96  45.53  2:02.49
 11 KAUFMANN-ABDERHALDEN Marianne  1986  SUI   1:16.81  45.69  2:02.50
 12 BORSOTTI Camilla  1988  ITA   1:17.43  45.09  2:02.52
 13 MARCHAND-ARVIER Marie  1985  FRA   1:16.57  46.06  2:02.63
 14 MARSAGLIA Francesca  1990  ITA   1:17.76  44.98  2:02.74
 15 ROSS Laurenne  1988  USA   1:16.93  45.93  2:02.86
 16 GANTNEROVA Jana  1989  SVK   1:18.38  44.55  2:02.93
 17 BAILET Margot  1990  FRA   1:17.73  45.34  2:03.07
 18 BRODNIK Vanja  1989  SLO   1:17.86  45.41  2:03.27
 19 MOSER Stefanie  1988  AUT   1:17.29  46.39  2:03.68
 20 ALTACHER Margret  1986  AUT   1:18.75  44.95  2:03.70
 21 GOERGL Elisabeth  1981  AUT   1:17.91  45.80  2:03.71
 22 GAUTHIER Marine  1990  FRA   1:17.35  46.63  2:03.98
 23 AGERER Lisa Magdalena  1991  ITA   1:16.45  47.65  2:04.10
 24 DETTLING Andrea  1987  SUI   1:16.60  47.71  2:04.31
 25 TIPPLER Tamara  1991  AUT   1:17.63  46.83  2:04.46
 26 SMITH Leanne  1987  USA   1:17.70  47.66  2:05.36
 27 KLING Kajsa  1988  SWE   1:20.45  47.58  2:08.03
 28 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen  1982  ARG   1:21.37  49.22  2:10.59
Did not finish 2nd run
  STUFFER Verena  1984  ITA       
  HOEFL-RIESCH Maria  1984  GER       
  MERIGHETTI Daniela  1981  ITA       
  BARTHET Anne-Sophie  1988  FRA       
Did not finish 1st run
  MIKLOS Edit  1988  HUN       
  COOK Stacey  1984  USA       
  KRIZOVA Klara  1989  CZE       
  YURKIW Larisa  1988  CAN       
  STERZ Regina  1985  AUT       

Geoff Mintz

Associate Editor

Geoff Mintz is a former alpine ski racer who cut his teeth at Ragged Mountain and Waterville Valley, N.H. After graduating from Holderness and UVM, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked as an instructor at Beaver Creek prior to pursuing a career in journalism. He currently lives in the woods above Vail with his wife, Colleen.

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