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Schild wins Flachau World Cup slalom; Vonn out


FLACHAU, Austria – Marlies Schild made everyone’s day in the first World Cup night slalom in Flachau … at least stirred up a lot of noise from the thousands of Austrians in attendance when she blazed through her second run to victory on Tuesday.

The night race on the home hill of ski racing icon Hermann Maier throbbed with the energy of about 10,000 spectators, frantically waving their Austrian flags as Schild, who also won on home turf in Lienz last month and finished second in Aspen, landed her 22nd World Cup victory. The night ended with a massive display of fireworks as the 28-year-old was named Snow Space Princess 2010. Her success comes just over a year after breaking her leg training in Soelden in 2008. After five operations and a lot of rehab and training, Schild is burning it up anew on the World Cup, focusing exclusively on slalom this season.

“I didn’t believe i could do it after the first run. I was very far back behind the German racers,” Schild said. “But I tried to ski fast and I had a good run. I tried to do my best in the second and it worked out really well.”

Schild came into the second run in fifth place, more than a second behind then-leader Susanne Riesch. Maria Riesch, who was trailing her sister by just .12 seconds after the first run, had a bobble in the second run that cost her several tenths but she still came through for second place, finishing .34 seconds behind Schild. She now leads the Cup slalom standings again, taking the red bib away from French racer Sandrine Aubert, who missed a gate in the first run in Flachau.  Riesch leads slalom with 373 points, while Marlies is now in second with 320 and Aubert third with 316. Another local favorite and forever a face on the podium, Kathrin Zettel was third Tuesday, .42 seconds back for her seventh podium this season.

Susanne Riesch, the last racer on course, was leading throughout her second run, just a few gates away from her first World Cup victory, but missed a gate near the bottom.

The course, which racers described as fun, fast and in perfect condition as far as snow consistency, eliminated several racers, including Lindsey Vonn, who hooked a tip about a third of the way down the first run and crashed.

Sarah Schleper was once again the top American finisher in another Austrian tech race, taking 17th after starting 38th. She came into the second run in 18th place and described the first course set as “a highway” – open and welcoming for speed.

“I was supporting the whole team on the second run and I didn’t execute as well as I could have, a couple mistakes here and there,” Schleper said. “It was set like a highway again, so you had to go full-risk and I think I probably risked it 80 percent when I should have been going 120. But I’m psyched to get points.”

Vonn was not injured in her crash … just disappointed, though she still has a healthy lead in the overall Cup standings with 894 points to Riesch’s 782.

“It’s just a bummer,” Vonn said. “I don’t often hook tips. Normally if you hook a tip it will go one way or the other, but it kind of just stopped me. I felt like I was going, going, going and then … I wasn’t going. Then I was on the ground. Thankfully my binding released and I didn’t have too bad of a crash.”

Vonn landed on her right side and said the crash didn’t affect her injured left arm. The fall happened right before the first split but she said she felt fast and the hooked tip took her by surprise.

“The snow was perfect today and the course was really fun … some quick combinations. I felt like I was skiing better than I have been since my hand injury, but … things like this happen,” she said. “It can’t always go well. I’m just going to stay positive and train some more before Maribor and keep working hard.”

About a dozen racers straddled gates in the first run, including Anja Paerson, who didn’t crash but came close to it and sat on the side of the course for several minutes holding her leg.

Canadian Brigitte Acton was the only other North American to finish the race. She was 24th.

“The hill is awesome,” Acton said. “The conditions are amazing. My first run I held too much, that was really costing me. The second run, I just tried to release it more but it didn’t work to my advantage. I think the course was a little bit too straight for me. The girls who can ski a straighter line can really rip it.”

The FIS Audi women’s World Cup continues Saturday and Sunday with giant slalom and slalom in Maribor, Slovenia.

- by Shauna Farnell

Photos by GEPA

The SCOOP
By Hank McKee

Equipment
Women’s night slalom, Flachau, Austria, Jan. 17, 2010

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
3 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Poutiainen, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
5 Duerr, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Chmelar, Head/Lange/Head
7 Zahrobska, Head/Head/Head
8 Noens, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9 Geiger, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Moelgg, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol

Women’s night slalom, Flachau, Austria, Jan. 12, 2010. … It is the 18th race of the women’s 32race 2010 World Cup schedule. … The sixth of eight scheduled slaloms. … It is the 15th World Cup held at Flachau. … the seventh slalom and third women’s slalom at the site. … It will be the first women’s slalom at Flachau not won my Janica Kostelic. … It is the first race at the site since 2004.

It is the 22nd career World Cup win for Marlies Schild and 20th in slalom. … It is her second win of the season having previously won at Lienz Dec. 29.

It is the 35th career World Cup podium for Maria Riesch. … Her 12th in slalom. … It is her seventh podium of the season and fourth in slalom. … Her lone win this season came in slalom at Levi Nov. 11.

It is the 30th career World Cup podium for Kathrin Zettel. … her 13th in slalom. … It is her seventh podium of the season and fourth in slalom. … She has been in the top five of every slalom and GS she has completed so far this season.

It is the 64th time Sarah Schleper has placed 17th or better in a World Cup race. … the 37th time in a slalom. … It is her third best result of the six tallied this season and her second completed slalom.  … It is her career best slalom result at Flachau. … It is the 19th best of 28 Cup scoring results for Brigitte Acton. … Her 11th best in slalom. … It is her fifth score of the season, all coming in slalom.

Lindsey Vonn (1st run DNF) maintains her lead in the World Cup overall standings 894-782 over Riesch. … Zettel is third at 629. … Emily Brydon (did not race) is the top Canadian ranked 15th with 231pts. … Riesch holds on to the lead in the slalom standings 373-320 over Schild. … Sandrine Aubert (DSQ 1st) is third with 316pts, Zettel fourth at 310. … Vonn is the top U.S. skier on the slalom list in 13th with 125pts. … Anna Goodman (did not race) the top Canadian 21st with 64pts. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup 2149-1998 over Germany with France third at 1537 and the U.S. fourth at 1436. … Canada is eighth with 637pts.

 1  6  55590 SCHILD Marlies  1981  AUT   48.13  49.76  1:37.89
 2  1  206001 RIESCH Maria  1984  GER   47.21  51.02  1:38.23
 3  4  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin  1986  AUT   48.02  50.29  1:38.31
 4  5  185140 POUTIAINEN Tanja  1980  FIN   48.27  50.43  1:38.70
 5  22  205168 DUERR Katharina  1989  GER   48.49  50.74  1:39.23
 6  18  206035 CHMELAR Fanny  1985  GER   48.81  50.56  1:39.37
 7  3  155415 ZAHROBSKA Sarka  1985  CZE   48.07  51.35  1:39.42
 8  24  196806 NOENS Nastasia  1988  FRA   48.74  51.06  1:39.80
 9  20  206279 GEIGER Christina  1990  GER   49.41  50.68  1:40.09
 10  19  296259 MOELGG Manuela  1983  ITA   49.44  50.81  1:40.25
 11  15  385032 JELUSIC Ana  1986  CRO   48.94  51.47  1:40.41
 12  48  196016 DAUTHERIVES Claire  1982  FRA   50.55  50.03  1:40.58
 13  63  196928 WORLEY Tessa  1989  FRA   50.52  50.19  1:40.71
 14  12  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida  1985  SWE   49.11  51.63  1:40.74
 15  11  505610 BORSSEN Therese  1984  SWE   48.69  52.08  1:40.77
 16  66  196793 MARMOTTAN Anemone  1988  FRA   50.59  50.47  1:41.06
 17  38  536481 SCHLEPER Sarah  1979  USA   49.68  51.40  1:41.08
 18  25  565320 FERK Marusa  1988  SLO   49.60  51.87  1:41.47
 19  26  185271 LEINONEN Sanni  1989  FIN   50.43  51.09  1:41.52
 20  59  425771 LOESETH Nina  1989  NOR   50.47  51.20  1:41.67
 21  44  206099 PERNER Nina  1986  GER   50.27  51.44  1:41.71
 22  52  425887 LOESETH Mona  1991  NOR   50.30  51.54  1:41.84
 23  31  515692 GRAND Rabea  1984  SUI   50.26  51.59  1:41.85
 24  28  106527 ACTON Brigitte  1985  CAN   50.44  51.67  1:42.11
 25  16  205993 HOELZL Kathrin  1984  GER   50.10  52.03  1:42.13
 26  27  385027 FLEISS Nika  1984  CRO   50.46  51.72  1:42.18
 27  54  425629 LOESETH Lene  1986  NOR   50.31  51.92  1:42.23
 28  8  565243 MAZE Tina  1983  SLO   50.35  51.89  1:42.24
Disqualified 2nd run
     505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria  1986  SWE       
Disqualified 1st run
     195972 AUBERT Sandrine  1982  FRA       
     55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela  1985  AUT       
Did not start 1st run
     206355 DUERR Lena  1991  GER       
     515639 CAMASTRAL Aita  1983  SUI       
Did not qualify 1st run
     196803 MOUGEL Laurie  1988  FRA       
     296509 CURTONI Irene  1985  ITA       
     196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie  1988  FRA       
     55914 NOESIG Michaela  1988  AUT       
     55898 BREM Eva-Maria  1988  AUT       
     537792 DUKE Hailey  1985  USA       
     425880 SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth  1991  NOR       
     205202 MAIR Marianne  1989  GER       
     56032 SCHILD Bernadette  1990  AUT       
     106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin  1990  CAN       
     196179 BERTRAND Marion  1984  FRA       
     205806 BLIENINGER Anja  1981  GER       
     515733 BONJOUR Aline  1985  SUI       
     516005 HANGL Celina  1989  SUI       
     515997 FEIERABEND Denise  1989  SUI       
     105615 ROUTHIER Eve  1988  CAN       
     205239 WIRTH Barbara  1989  GER       
     538256 GRANT Sterling  1987  USA       
     35079 SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen  1982  ARG       
     306096 HOSHI Mizue  1985  JPN       
     537626 RICHARDSON Kaylin  1984  USA       
     305694 YUMOTO Hiromi  1981  JPN       
     305962 HANAOKA Moe  1984  JPN       
     65038 PERSYN Karen  1983  BEL       
     35089 SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena  1984  ARG       
     355040 NIGG Marina  1984  LIE       
     435142 KARASINSKA Katarzyna  1982  POL       
     515797 GMUER Miriam  1986  SUI       
     106666 RUBENS Shona  1986  CAN       
     537545 MANCUSO Julia  1984  USA       
Did not finish 2nd run
     206160 RIESCH Susanne  1987  GER       
Did not finish 1st run
     55977 THALMANN Carmen  1989  AUT       
     515587 PUENCHERA Jessica  1982  SUI       
     385041 NOVOSELIC Sofija  1990  CRO       
     505483 PAERSON Anja  1981  SWE       
     315149 LOLOVIC Jelena  1981  SRB       
     705287 ZUZULOVA Veronika  1984  SVK       
     537544 VONN Lindsey  1984  USA       
     295445 KARBON Denise  1980  ITA       
     185229 ROMAR Tii-Maria  1986  FIN       
     515782 ABDERHALDEN Marianne  1986  SUI       
     297233 PARDELLER Sarah  1988  ITA       
     196725 BARIOZ Taina  1988  FRA       
     295435 GIUS Nicole  1980  ITA       
     155047 ZAKOURILOVA Petra  1978  CZE       
     296354 COSTAZZA Chiara  1984  ITA       
     565331 LAVTAR Katarina  1988  SLO       
     105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele  1989  CAN       
     55947 FENNINGER Anna  1989  AUT     

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