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Schild takes third straight slalom in Flachau, Vonn eighth

Marlies SchildAustrian Marlies Schild owns the slalom.

The 30-year-old, reigning slalom world champion grabbed her third consecutive World Cup slalom victory today (Dec. 20) under the lights on home snow in Flachau, Austria. The win marks Schild’s 30th career Cup slalom victory. 

Schild took a 0.29-second lead from the first run, then kept the foot on the gas in the second run to win with a 0.46-second advantage (the smallest of her three wins this season) ahead of German Maria Hoefl-Riesch in second place. It was defending overall champion Hoefl-Riesch’s best result so far this season. Slovenian Tina Maze earned her first podium of the season in third, 0.82 seconds off the leading pace.

“I don’t know how I’ve had so many wins in a row,” said Schild, whose fiance and fellow Austrian Ski Team teammate Benni Raich was in attendance ahead of a men’s slalom here tomorrow. “I hope Benni does good tomorrow, then it’s perfect.”
  
Today’s race took the place of what was originally scheduled to be the slalom season opener in Levi, Finland but was canceled due to lack of snow. Austrian ski racing fans took advantage of the pleasant surprise, lining the sides of the course and packing the bottom of the hill as they rang sirens and honked horns with delight of their home win.

“I’m from Salzburg so this is a special race for me and I was perhaps a little more tense than usual, especially after winning here two years ago and losing last year,” Schild told Eurosport.com. “It’s a great relief and a great joy to win in Austria, especially in front of such a crowd.”

Schild, a winner in Aspen in late November and Courchevel, France two days ago, led a strong group of seven Austrian women into the second run. Kathrin Zettel and Michaela Kirchgasser also hit the top ten in fourth and sixth, respectively.

Lindsey VonnLindsey Vonn was the only American woman to reach the 30-woman second run and earn World Cup points. Vonn, who stood tenth after the first run, looked more comfortable during the second run, taking an aggressive line down the 66-gate course to finish eighth and record her first slalom top-ten finish in a year.

“I didn’t ski as aggressive as I wanted to on the first run, but it was a solid run without any big mistakes. I was happy to be in there for a second run,” said Vonn. “Slalom is easier now, I feel really comfortable. I felt like I was skiing really well in the first run from Courchevel before I went out. I know I can be there, it’s just a matter of skiing more aggressively.”

Other U.S. starters Resi Stiegler and Sarah Schleper failed to crack the top 30 for a chance at a second run. Neither Mikaela Shiffrin nor Hailey Duke finished the first run. Julia Mancuso did not race, as she is on a planned break back home in the states.

The Canadian Team had a great day, especially on the second run course set by their coach. Marie-Michele Gagnon, who looked ready for a top result on Sunday in Courchevel, France but skied off course, brought it all together today to finish ninth for her best result of the season and her third-best slalom result ever. Teammate Erin Mielzynski also grabbed a top-15 result in 14th.

The World Cup men will have their turn under the lights on the same course tomorrow.

Images by Gepa

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee

Women’s World Cup Slalom, Flachau, Austria, Dec. 20, 2011
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
3 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
4 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Noens, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Borssen, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
8 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
9 Gagnon, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Moelgg, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol

Women’s World Cup Slalom, Flachau, Austria, Dec. 20, 2011. … It is the ninth race of the women’s 40 race 2011-12 World Cup season. … It is the third of 10 scheduled slaloms. … It is a make up race from the first slalom originally set for Levi Nov. 12. … It is the 17th Cup race hosted by Flachau, the eighth slalom. … the third night slalom.

It is the 32nd career Cup win for Marlies Schild. … her 30th in slalom. … She is three behind Vreni Schneider for the all time lead in slalom victories. … It is her third win in three slaloms held this season. … the .46 of a second margin is her smallest of the season. … It is her second win at Flachau.

It is the 60th career Cup podium result for Maria Hoefl-Riesch. … her 21st in slalom. … It is her second podium of the season, the other coming at Aspen in slalom Nov. 27.

It is the 29th career Cup podium result for Tina Maze. … her sixth in slalom. … Her lone slalom win came at last season’s World Cup finals at Lenzerheide March 18.

Lindsey Vonn matches her 12th best Cup slalom result. … It is her best slalom finish in more than a year. … Marie-Michele Gagnon matches her fourth best career Cup scoring result. … It is her best of the season. … It is the second best career result for Erin Mielzynski. … She finished 13th twice previously.

Vonn maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 554-324 for Schild. … Viktoria Rebensburg  (did not race) is third with 286. … Julia Mancuso (did not race) makes the top 10 in eighth with 201pts. … Gagnon is top Canadian overall in 30th with 64pts. … Schild leads the slalom standings 300-155 for Kathrin Zettel (fourth in race). … Hoefl-Riesch is third with 140pts. … Gagnon is the top North American in 12th with 53pts. … Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin (DNF 1st run) are tied to lead the US in 21st place with 32pts each. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 1591-917 over the US. … Germany is third with 768pts. … Canada is tenth with 152pts.

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  1  55590 SCHILD Marlies  1981  AUT   55.48  56.05  1:51.53  0.00
 2  6  206001 HOEFL-RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   56.01  55.98  1:51.99  2.52
 3  5  565243 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   55.77  56.58  1:52.35  4.48
 4  4  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin  1986  AUT   56.54  56.29  1:52.83  7.11
 5  9  196806 NOENS Nastasia  1988  FRA   56.90  56.06  1:52.96  7.82
 6  15  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela  1985  AUT   57.44  55.98  1:53.42  10.34
 7  8  505610 BORSSEN Therese  1984  SWE   57.19  56.32  1:53.51  10.83
 8  16  537544 VONN Lindsey  1984  USA   57.29  56.25  1:53.54  10.99
 9  21  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele  1989  CAN   57.44  56.25  1:53.69  11.81
 10  14  296259 MOELGG Manuela  1983  ITA   56.89  56.93  1:53.82  12.52
 11  19  206279 GEIGER Christina  1990  GER   57.84  56.10  1:53.94  13.18
 12  37  55977 THALMANN Carmen  1989  AUT   57.82  56.17  1:53.99  13.45
 13  10  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida  1985  SWE   56.94  57.12  1:54.06  13.84
 14  34  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin  1990  CAN   57.65  56.54  1:54.19  14.55
 15  46  206355 DUERR Lena  1991  GER   58.34  55.86  1:54.20  14.60
 16  7  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria  1986  SWE   57.65  56.57  1:54.22  14.71
 17  20  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie  1988  FRA   58.04  56.37  1:54.41  15.75
 18  51  506146 SWENN-LARSSON Anna  1991  SWE   57.97  56.68  1:54.65  17.06
 19  31  506341 WIKSTROEM Emelie  1992  SWE   57.96  56.88  1:54.84  18.10
 20  24  195972 AUBERT Sandrine  1982  FRA   57.85  57.04  1:54.89  18.38
 21  55  425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR   57.72  57.29  1:55.01  19.03
 22  25  515997 FEIERABEND Denise  1989  SUI   58.59  56.67  1:55.26  20.40
 23  26  295435 GIUS Nicole  1980  ITA   58.13  57.21  1:55.34  20.84
 24  41  196725 BARIOZ Taina  1988  FRA   57.87  57.57  1:55.44  21.39
 25  17  196928 WORLEY Tessa  1989  FRA   58.06  57.54  1:55.60  22.26
 26  32  55947 FENNINGER Anna  1989  AUT   58.37  57.38  1:55.75  23.08
 27  48  55898 BREM Eva-Maria  1988  AUT   58.51  57.25  1:55.76  23.14
 28  52  297601 BRIGNONE Federica  1990  ITA   58.51  57.45  1:55.96  24.23
 29  13  55690 HOSP Nicole  1983  AUT   57.78  1:00.54  1:58.32  37.14
Disqualified 1st run
   62  155479 SMUTNA Michaela  1987  CZE         
   18  206035 CHMELAR Fanny  1985  GER         
   2  705287 ZUZULOVA Veronika  1984  SVK         
Did not qualify 1st run
   68  185271 LEINONEN Sanni  1989  FIN         
   66  315187 IGNJATOVIC Nevena  1990  SRB         
   65  506399 HECTOR Sara  1992  SWE         
   64  516153 OBERSON Marine  1991  SUI         
   63  565331 LAVTAR Katarina  1988  SLO         
   61  506350 EKLUND Nathalie  1992  SWE         
   60  485570 SOROKINA Anna  1990  RUS         
   58  65038 PERSYN Karen  1983  BEL         
   57  505908 SMEDH Veronica  1988  SWE         
   56  705349 GANTNEROVA Jana  1989  SVK         
   53  565320 FERK Marusa  1988  SLO         
   50  205239 WIRTH Barbara  1989  GER         
   49  206174 STABER Veronika  1987  GER         
   45  537772 STIEGLER Resi  1985  USA         
   44  196803 MOUGEL Laurie  1988  FRA         
   42  305944 KIYOSAWA Emiko  1983  JPN         
   40  306096 HOSHI Mizue  1985  JPN         
   36  196016 DAUTHERIVES Claire  1982  FRA         
   35  536481 SCHLEPER Sarah  1979  USA         
   33  516138 GUT Lara  1991  SUI         
   30  516280 HOLDENER Wendy  1993  SUI         
   29  106633 GOODMAN Anna  1986  CAN         
   28  206099 PERNER Nina  1986  GER         
   23  56032 SCHILD Bernadette  1990  AUT         
   22  296509 CURTONI Irene  1985  ITA         
   12  205168 DUERR Katharina  1989  GER         
Did not finish 2nd run
   3  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja  1980  FIN         
Did not finish 1st run
   70  405092 HERWERDEN VAN Michelle  1990  NED         
   69  106825 PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier  1988  CAN         
   67  537792 DUKE Hailey  1985  USA         
   59  297171 FANCHINI Sabrina  1988  ITA         
   54  196179 BERTRAND Marion  1984  FRA         
   47  106183 TERWIEL Elli  1989  CAN         
   43  296354 COSTAZZA Chiara  1984  ITA         
   39  55807 DAUM Alexandra  1986  AUT         
   38  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela  1995  USA         
   27  355040 NIGG Marina  1984  LIE         
   11  155415 ZAHROBSKA Sarka  1985  CZE         

Eric Williams

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