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Podium for Shiffrin as Fenninger wins Lienz GS


Shiffrin in Lienz (GEPA/Felix Roittner)

Shiffrin in Lienz (GEPA/Felix Roittner)

LIENZ, Austria — Traditional European World Cup conditions returned for racing on Saturday (Dec. 28) in Lienz,, but only a few of the world’s best giant slalom skiers were prepared for the injection they encountered. Technically sound skiing was rewarded, and the crowd roared for the home favorite as Anna Fenninger overtook Sweden’s Jessica Lindell-Vikarby in the second run to claim victory. American Mikaela Shiffrin produced the second GS podium in her youthful career, advancing from fourth after first run to finish third.

“I’m normally pretty comfortable within half a second on a first run,” said Shiffrin. “It’s always better to come down and feel like you separated yourself from everybody, but I’m not quite there in GS. As long as I am in this position where I can really attack I’m psyched with that.”

With Fenninger’s win, she becomes the first skier in history to claim two victories on the challenging course in Lienz after also winning in 2011.

“Of course I love Lienz,” said Fenninger. “I don’t feel like anything special on this day, the 28th of December, but I had good memories from two years ago and last year in Semmering. It was just a good feeling, and I tried to see positives in all the people cheering on.”

“We had not that much (GS) training with all the speed races, but now I had two training days before the race. I didn’t know how good I am or that I could win, I just tried to have really good memories,” she added.

The slope in Liez was prepared well in advance of the race weekend, but significant snowfall on Thursday required organizers to re-inject the hill on Friday afternoon, delaying the free ski until Saturday morning after the course was set. Some athletes had a tricky time adjusting to the conditions that were noticeably different from Colorado, St. Moritz, and Val d’Isere.

The second run proved problematic for the other North American skiers who qualified. Top Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon was able to move from 30th after first run to finish 20th, but that’s well shy of her other performances so far this season, including finishing 10th in Soelden.

“It’s pretty rough injection, for sure, especially if you’re skiing under the gate which is pretty much what I did the whole way down. You get the worst of it. I think the girls who were just a little above it were able to go down the fall line and not have as hard of a time. … I just couldn’t get the right timing or the right flow. I think it’s partly because we haven’t had ice and not having the best mindset and plan of attack,” said Gagnon. “I was pretty confident (after the free ski), but once I got on the course I just couldn’t move like I wanted to.”

The U.S. Ski Team’s Julia Mancuso also struggled with the conditions, never really finding her flow, and finished 29th. She will now take a planned break back in the U.S. before returning to compete in the speed series Jan. 11-12 in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria. Mancusco was followed by Canadian Marie-Pier Prefontaine in 30th.

“I watched the top 8, and I noticed that if you were moving well everything was fine. The whole way down I thought move, move, and I think I even screamed it out loud,” noted Prefontaine. “I know the girl in front of me went out, so I knew it was going to be bumpy but I just had to keep moving.”

Others didn’t mind the slope as much.

“It’s probably the most injected course so far this season. It turned out really well, especially since it snowed. It’s a little bit bumpy which kind of gets in your head, but if you get your skis on edge you’ll arc through it,” remarked Shiffrin before adding, “I think it’s awesome.”

American skier Megan McJames straddled three gates from the finish line in the first run and crashed hard, but she got up on her own and was able to walk around in the finish area. Canadian slalom specialist Erin Mielzynski hooked her arm in a panel and crashed as well, failing to finish the first run, but she, too, was uninjured.

Austria had a solid day with Kathrin Zettel finishing fourth, and the Italians turned heads by placing six skiers in the top 15 including Francesca Marsaglia who finished 12th from bib 50.

The women’s World Cup races are held on alternating years in Liez, as last season’s post-Christmas technical events were hosted in Semmering. The women’s slalom follows tomorrow in the Austrian town which has plenty of snow, but another slalom scheduled for Jan. 4 in Zagreb, Croatia was cancelled due to insufficient snow and warming temperatures. The organizing committee is now seeking an alternate venue.

“Last time I was in Lienz, I didn’t have a great GS race but I had a pretty good slalom race, so I’m really excited for tomorrow. … I’m just thinking day-by-day and trying to put my best skiing out there. I feel like I always leave something on the hill, and I don’t want to do that anymore,” concluded Shiffrin.

See more photos from the race in our gallery

 

The Scoop

By Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup giant slalom, Lienz, Austria, Dec. 28, 2013

Equipment - Skier, skis/boots/bindings

1 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head

2 Lindell-Vikarby, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

3 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

4 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

5 Fanchini, Dynastar/Lange/Look

6 Brignone, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol

7 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

8 Marmottan, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

9 Loeseth, Volkl/Fischer/Marker

10 Karbon, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Women’s World Cup giant slalom, Lienz, Austria, Dec. 28, 2013. …

It is the 14th of 32 races on the women’s World Cup schedule. …The fifth of eight scheduled GS’s. It is the 22nd World Cup race hosted at Lienz… the tenth GS and the eighth women’s GS. … The only U.S. winner of a women’s GS at Lienz remains Judy Nagel from 1969.

It is the fifth career World Cup win for Anna Fenninger… her fourth in GS and her second in GS at Lienz where she celebrated her first World Cup victory Dec. 28, 2011. … It  her fifth podium result of the season. … In 11 races she has missed the top 10 only once.

It is the sixth career World Cup podium for Jessica Lindell-Vikarby… her third in GS. … It is her third podium of the season, all in GS.

It is the 11th career World Cup podium for Mikaela Shiffrin… her second in GS. … It is her third podiuim of the season in six races completed.

It is the eighth scoring finish of the season for Marie-Michele Gagnon, her fourth best in GS. … The tenth scoring finish of the season for Julia Mancuso and the fourth for Marie-Pier Prefrontaine, all in GS.

Tina Weirather (17th in race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 609-597 over Fenninger. … Lara Gut (DNF in race) is third with 568pts. … Shiffrin leads the U.S. in seventh with 334pts. … Gagnon leads the Canadians in 13th with 230pts.

Jessica Lindell-Vikarby maintains the lead of the GS standings 332-222 over Maria Pietilae-Holmner (seventh in race) . … Weirather is third with 219pts. … Shiffrin is sixth with 216pts and Gagnon 16th with 79pts.

To view photos from this race click here.

 

Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  6  55947 FENNINGER Anna 1989 AUT  1:08.65  1:08.35  2:17.00  0.00
 2  5  505632 LINDELL-VIKARBY Jessica 1984 SWE  1:08.63  1:08.87  2:17.50  3.25
 3  7  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  1:08.98  1:08.53  2:17.51  3.31
 4  2  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin 1986 AUT  1:08.67  1:09.29  2:17.96  6.24
 5  8  296729 FANCHINI Nadia 1986 ITA  1:09.55  1:08.64  2:18.19  7.73
 6  14  297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA  1:09.24  1:09.06  2:18.30  8.45
 7  15  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria 1986 SWE  1:09.87  1:09.34  2:19.21  14.36
 8  11  196793 MARMOTTAN Anemone 1988 FRA  1:09.90  1:09.43  2:19.33  15.14
 9  27  425771 LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR  1:10.31  1:09.17  2:19.48  16.11
 10  20  295445 KARBON Denise 1980 ITA  1:11.21  1:08.33  2:19.54  16.50
 11  39  297910 CURTONI Elena 1991 ITA  1:11.40  1:08.51  2:19.91  18.90
 12  50  297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca 1990 ITA  1:10.54  1:09.40  2:19.94  19.10
 13  30  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA  1:11.24  1:08.76  2:20.00  19.49
 14  1  565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO  1:10.67  1:09.58  2:20.25  21.11
 15  10  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria 1984 GER  1:10.82  1:09.57  2:20.39  22.02
 16  40  297171 FANCHINI Sabrina 1988 ITA  1:10.79  1:09.67  2:20.46  22.48
 17  12  355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE  1:10.43  1:10.06  2:20.49  22.67
 18  38  425929 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild 1992 NOR  1:11.03  1:09.54  2:20.57  23.19
 19  13  515747 GISIN Dominique 1985 SUI  1:10.95  1:09.78  2:20.73  24.23
 20  16  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN  1:11.47  1:09.32  2:20.79  24.62
 21  36  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE  1:11.02  1:09.96  2:20.98  25.86
 22  22  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja 1980 FIN  1:11.29  1:09.80  2:21.09  26.57
 23  9  55898 BREM Eva-Maria 1988 AUT  1:11.39  1:09.71  2:21.10  26.64
 24  4  205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria 1989 GER  1:10.73  1:10.42  2:21.15  26.96
 25  26  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA  1:10.77  1:10.40  2:21.17  27.09
 26  37  196179 BERTRAND Marion 1984 FRA  1:11.24  1:09.97  2:21.21  27.35
 27  32  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN  1:10.93  1:10.35  2:21.28  27.80
 28  42  425887 LOESETH Mona 1991 NOR  1:11.29  1:10.01  2:21.30  27.93
 29  18  537545 MANCUSO Julia 1984 USA  1:11.43  1:10.08  2:21.51  29.30
 30  24  106825 PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier 1988 CAN  1:10.70  1:11.36  2:22.06  32.87
Disqualified 1st run
 66  565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO
 48  55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea 1985 AUT
Did not start 1st run
 56  298124 AGNELLI Nicole 1992 ITA
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 67  175041 LEMGART Charlotte Techen 1993 DAN
 65  715123 NOVAKOVIC Zana 1985 BIH
 64  107044 IRWIN Madison 1991 CAN
 62  185317 SOPPELA Merle 1991 FIN
 61  225525 TILLEY Alexandra 1993 GBR
 60  565373 ROBNIK Tina 1991 SLO
 59  516283 ELLENBERGER Andrea 1993 SUI
 57  297851 AZZOLA Michela 1991 ITA
 55  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna 1991 SWE
 54  56241 SCHNEEBERGER Rosina 1994 AUT
 53  107532 TOMMY Mikaela 1995 CAN
 44  565331 LAVTAR Katarina 1988 SLO
 43  55977 THALMANN Carmen 1989 AUT
 41  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI
 35  206408 WEINBUCHNER Susanne 1991 GER
 34  305962 HANAOKA Moe 1984 JPN
 33  197319 BAUD Adeline 1992 FRA
 31  56087 SIEBENHOFER Ramona 1991 AUT
 29  196725 BARIOZ Taina 1988 FRA
 25  565268 DREV Ana 1985 SLO
 21  55818 KOEHLE Stefanie 1986 AUT
 19  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth 1981 AUT
Did not finish 1st run
 68  665009 SHKANOVA Maria 1989 BLR
 63  705349 GANTNEROVA Jana 1989 SVK
 58  435334 GASIENICA-DANIEL Maryna 1994 POL
 52  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN
 51  206444 HOESL Simona 1992 GER
 49  516394 SUTER Jasmina 1995 SUI
 47  155699 PAULATHOVA Katerina 1993 CZE
 46  306977 MUKOGAWA Sakurako 1992 JPN
 45  538284 MCJAMES Megan 1987 USA
 28  505886 KLING Kajsa 1988 SWE
 23  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT
 17  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE
 3  516138 GUT Lara 1991 SUI
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