Maze gets first win of the season in Soelden


A big first run lead proved to be enough of a margin for Tina Maze to collect her third win on Soelden’s glacier, and her first in seven years.

The World Cup season got off to a studdered start as the fog threatened first run was followed by a more foggy second with a pelting wet snow added on. Visibility proved difficult for most competitors with more than 28percent of the 64 starters failing to finish.

Earning second and helping to dis-spell the notion all would be business as usual was Kathrin Zettel with third going to fellow Austrian Stephanie Koehle. Not one of the top three won a GS race a season ago. Koehle had never seen a podium before and Zettel had not won since sweeping Maribor’s GS and slalom in 2010.

Lindsey Vonn caught her left hand on the base of a gate and ended her day prematurely. She remained philosophical and tried to stay up beat, but was clearly hurting.

Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon opened her season well in sixth and said she had actually trained for racing in poor light.

The day was won by Maze in relatively easy fashion, though her first run margin of .74 of a second was cut in half to .42 in the difficult second run.

“I have to say it is a very special day for me and for my team,” the Slovene veteran said. “My first run was incredible. My second was a big fight for me, like for everybody I guess. We had trained in the same conditions.”

Maze added he was honored to matched one of the all time great racers with her third Soelden win. “Only Hermann Maier has won three times here.”

A frustrating 2012 season made this victory, her 12th, all the more satisfying. “GS was always my best discipline and last year I was trying and trying and trying and I was having problems with my material. I was all year a fight, no fun you know, like come on.”

Koehle wore a huge smile as she sat on the interview stand and said the podium was like a dream come true. “To be on the podium after such a difficult run is more than I can dream,” she said. “It’s a nice step, but only the first step toward the World Championships… it will help me to ski relaxed. I will try to not think too far ahead and go step by step.”

For Zettel the placing was a reprieve and perhaps a step back to 2009 and 2010 when she finished fourth and fifth overall respectively.

“It was an emotional day for me,” said Zettel. “How much I had to fight the last few years with my back. This result is so special. It has ended a very long and difficult time in my life.”

The start was not what Lindsey Vonn had anticipated. She was 12th after the first run and that cut down on her choices for the second. “I was going for broke. I had no other option but to risk everything,” she said of her ill-fated second heat. “I was going pretty straight and unfortunately caught my arm on the base of the gate.” She said bad weather was something she has encountered any number of times racing downhill saying, “You have to man up and charge if you can see the ground or not.”

Gagnon said poor visibility has been problem for her in the past, but indicated she may have worked through that issue. “Visually I’ve had trouble in the past with bad light, because I was injured in bad light, and we really worked on that this summer. It was hard to see and everything but you just have to trust that the snow is good underneath you and from the first run it was the most amazing feeling the snow was perfect. It was hard. It was grippy. I made mistakes like everyone did, but I got some positive feeling out of today.”

Just missing the cut for the second run, by a hundredth of a second, was the youngest in the field, 17 year old Mikaela Shiffrin. She was in the hunt up until the final flat where she lost ground quickly. “I kept telling myself I was going too round, too round. I thought, maybe I can correct it here… maybe here. … and then I was under the finish banner.”

Julia Mancuso exited the first course when she lost a ski between the gates. She said there were no real ruts present and couldn’t really explain what happened. “Snow snake,” she said. “I guess they’re real.”

Gepa photos

The SCOOP

by Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Soelden, Austria, Oct. 27, 2012.
Equipment
skier, skis/boots/bindings

1 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
2 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Koehle, Voelkl/Fischer/Marker
4 Gisin, Dynastar/Lange/Marker
5 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
6 Gagnon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Karbon, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
8 Curtoni, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
9 Lindell-Vikarby, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Barioz, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Women’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Soelden, Austria, Oct. 27, 2012. … It is the first race of the 2012-2013 World Cup season. … The first of 74 races, the first of 38 women’s races and the first of nine women’s GS’s. … It is the 28th race, all GS’s, held at Soelden.

It is the 12th World Cup victory for Tina Maze. … her third at Soelden, matching Hermann Maier for the site record. … It is her ninth GS win and first in GS in a year.

It is the 38th career World Cup podium result for Kathrin Zettel. … her 17th in GS and her fourth at Soelden.

It is the first career World Cup podium for Stefanie Koehle. … Her previous best Cup finish had been sixth scored last season at Lienz. … Her top top 11 Cup finishes have all come in GS.

Marie-Michele Gagnon matches her fourth best career finish and her second best ever in GS after a fifth scored at St Moritz Dec. 12, 2010. … It is the fourth best career Cup finish for Marie-Pier Prefontaine. … her third best in GS. … Her top finish is ninth in GS scored at Arber-Zwiesel Feb. 6. 2011.

No US racers completed both runs.

Maze takes the early lead in the World Cup standings 100-80 over Zettel. … There were just 21 finishers. … just one skier was within a second of the winning time. … Just three within two seconds.

Susanne Weinbuchner scored her first World Cup points from the 58th starting position.

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  4  565243 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   1:11.95  1:19.46  2:31.41  0.00
 2  16  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin  1986  AUT   1:13.54  1:18.29  2:31.83  2.47
 3  12  55818 KOEHLE Stefanie  1986  AUT   1:14.26  1:18.86  2:33.12  10.05
 4  28  515747 GISIN Dominique  1985  SUI   1:14.16  1:19.16  2:33.32  11.23
 5  7  55947 FENNINGER Anna  1989  AUT   1:13.61  1:20.21  2:33.82  14.17
 6  24  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele  1989  CAN   1:14.12  1:19.97  2:34.09  15.75
 7  9  295445 KARBON Denise  1980  ITA   1:13.57  1:20.57  2:34.14  16.05
 8  10  296509 CURTONI Irene  1985  ITA   1:14.57  1:19.66  2:34.23  16.58
 9  13  505632 LINDELL-VIKARBY Jessica  1984  SWE   1:14.82  1:19.69  2:34.51  18.22
 10  14  196725 BARIOZ Taina  1988  FRA   1:14.53  1:20.49  2:35.02  21.22
 11  8  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   1:13.79  1:21.27  2:35.06  21.45
 12  58  206408 WEINBUCHNER Susanne  1991  GER   1:16.53  1:19.13  2:35.66  24.98
 13  30  565268 DREV Ana  1985  SLO   1:15.47  1:20.33  2:35.80  25.80
 14  1  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth  1981  AUT   1:14.84  1:21.75  2:36.59  30.45
 15  34  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR   1:16.42  1:20.22  2:36.64  30.74
 16  48  495318 RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina  1981  SPA   1:16.41  1:20.35  2:36.76  31.45
 17  52  516280 HOLDENER Wendy  1993  SUI   1:16.23  1:20.57  2:36.80  31.68
 18  46  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida  1985  SWE   1:16.72  1:20.24  2:36.96  32.62
 19  31  106825 PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier  1988  CAN   1:15.30  1:21.82  2:37.12  33.56
 20  15  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja  1980  FIN   1:16.09  1:21.12  2:37.21  34.09
 21  22  298084 AGERER Lisa Magdalena  1991  ITA   1:16.31  1:21.31  2:37.62  36.50
 22  25  196179 BERTRAND Marion  1984  FRA   1:15.85  1:22.03  2:37.88  38.03
 22  20  55898 BREM Eva-Maria  1988  AUT   1:15.34  1:22.54  2:37.88  38.03
Did not start 1st run
   23  296379 GIANESINI Giulia  1984  ITA         
Did not qualify for 2nd run
   66  565401 BUCIK Ana  1993  SLO         
   65  435334 GASIENICA DANIEL Maryna  1994  POL         
   62  485731 ROMANOVA Anastasia  1993  RUS         
   61  705394 KANTOROVA Barbara  1992  SVK         
   60  155699 PAULATHOVA Katerina  1993  CZE         
   59  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin  1990  CAN         
   56  307126 KAWAURA Asuka  1993  JPN         
   55  506350 EKLUND Nathalie  1992  SWE         
   54  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna  1991  SWE         
   53  506664 FJAELLSTROEM Magdalena  1995  SWE         
   51  538284 MCJAMES Megan  1987  USA         
   50  306096 HOSHI Mizue  1985  JPN         
   49  297851 AZZOLA Michela  1991  ITA         
   44  297910 CURTONI Elena  1991  ITA         
   43  197319 BAUD Adeline  1992  FRA         
   42  306249 HASEGAWA Emi  1986  JPN         
   41  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela  1995  USA         
   39  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie  1988  FRA         
   37  705287 VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika  1984  SVK         
   36  205239 WIRTH Barbara  1989  GER         
   33  516319 SUTER Corinne  1994  SUI         
   32  56032 SCHILD Bernadette  1990  AUT         
   27  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria  1986  SWE         
   19  196793 MARMOTTAN Anemone  1988  FRA         
Did not finish 2nd run
   35  206444 HOESL Simona  1992  GER         
   26  296729 FANCHINI Nadia  1986  ITA         
   17  355050 WEIRATHER Tina  1989  LIE         
   6  297601 BRIGNONE Federica  1990  ITA         
   5  196928 WORLEY Tessa  1989  FRA         
   3  537544 VONN Lindsey  1984  USA         
   2  205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria  1989  GER         
Did not finish 1st run
   64  35079 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen  1982  ARG         
   63  185317 SOPPELA Merle  1991  FIN         
   57  56087 SIEBENHOFER Ramona  1991  AUT         
   47  56059 DEPAULI Jessica  1991  AUT         
   45  197124 FRASSE SOMBET Coralie  1991  FRA         
   40  297195 HOFER Anna  1988  ITA         
   38  55979 WOPFNER Stefanie  1989  AUT         
   29  297171 FANCHINI Sabrina  1988  ITA         
   21  206355 DUERR Lena  1991  GER         
   18  516138 GUT Lara  1991  SUI         
   11  537545 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA         

Next step taken toward a Vonn match against menMaze crushes field in first run of Soelden opener

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