Slalom queen Schild opens season with Aspen crown, Shiffrin 8th
Austrian slalom ace Marlies Schild is once again friends with the Aspen World Cup course.
A year after missing the first gate in the Aspen slalom, Schild returned this season with revenge in mind. The reigning slalom World Cup titleholder and world champion wasted no time on the sunny Aspen course today (Nov. 27), taking a .78-second lead in the morning first run, then building a 1.19-second advantage in the shady, afternoon run to handily take her 31st career World Cup victory.
"That's a thing that happens once and never again," said Schild of last year's mistake on the hill. “I've had good times here and bad times, I only remember the good. I always like the slope, it's really difficult, you have to push from start to the finish and that's fun.”
Last year’s winner on this hill, Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner, finished second.77 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany.
American 16-year-old and 2011 Ski Racing Junior of the Year, Mikaela Shiffrin lived up to the hype that has surrounded her for the last two years with an eighth-place result from the 37th starting position in only her fourth World Cup start. It was the first time she made it to a World Cup second run.
“I feel good, I'm really excited, all I can say is it's unreal,” said Shiffrin, who gained a U.S. Team nomination after claiming last season's national slalom title. “That first run was hard to handle but the second run was a lot better. From the flush down, I was really trying to let it go and ski loosely again, maybe a little above where I did [first] run.”
“I'll have more confidence coming into Corcheval and the Europa cups we're going to do pretty soon,” continued Shiffrin. “I'll for sure be excited for the next five months but it's also going to take me probably five years to realize I'm here.”
Shiffrin was the only American to make the 30-woman second run after Julia Mancuso, who finished third in yesterday’s GS, just missed the cut off in 31st place in the first run. Both Resi Stiegler and Sarah Schleper skied off course.
“Slalom's been a tough race for me and I just got a little out of rhythm halfway down, it's just tough to recover so jI ust gotta always keep fighting,” said Mancuso. “I don't put a lot of pressure on myself, I just want to go out and do the best I can and see what happens and it just didn't happen for me today.”
Lindsey Vonn, who after yesterday’s GS told reporters that she hadn’t felt like herself since tweaking her back while training on the same hill last Friday, decided to rest the tender back in preparations for the opening of the World Cup speed season next weekend.
Hoefl-Riesch, Vonn's friend and rival, was relieved to get on the podium for the first time as a defending overall World Cup champion. "I'm really happy with my result today after two bad raced in GS, I'll try to build on that going into the speed races in Lake Louise," said Hoefl-Riesch. "It was really important to trust in myself which was not so easy after my fall in the GS yesterday."
Fellow German, Viktoria Rebensburg currently holds the lead in the overall World Cup points race with 180 points, ahead of Austrian Elisabeth Goergl in second with 140 points. Vonn is currently in fifth place with 122 points.
Schild led five Austrian women into scoring results as Michaela Kirchgasser also made the top-10 in ninth place.
It was a solid day for the Canadian team, who put two racers into the second run lead by Marie-Michele Gangnon, who finished 11th after standing 21st in the first run. Anna Goodman, who had the eight-fastest first run time despite starting 44th, finished 20th.
“I like the slope, it's technical. The conditions are always pretty good and hard and I think I did especially second run good skiing,” said Pietilae-Holmner. “It was nice to see so many high numbers qualifying to the second run. I think that's a good sign of well prepared snow.”
The women’s World Cup tour now moves to Lake Louise, AB for the kick off of the speed season next weekend. - By Eric Williams with reporting from Susan Theis
Images of Shiffrin by Zoom, image of Schild by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup Slalom
Nov. 27, 2011
1 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
4 Poutiainen, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
5 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Zuzulova, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Moelgg, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
8 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Hansdotter, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Women's World Cup slalom, Aspen, USA, Nov. 27, 2011. ... It is the third race of the women's 40 race 2011-12 World Cup schedule. ... The first of 10 scheduled slaloms to be held (the first slalom at Levi was bumped to Dec. 20). ... It is the 68th Cup race hosted at Aspen. ... the 19th slalom.
It is the 30th career World Cup victory for Marlies Schild. ... 28th in slalom. ... That ranks her second all time among women behind only Vreni Schneider's 33. ... It is her second win at Aspen, the first since November of 2006.
It is the fourth career World Cup podium for Maria Pietilae-Holmner. ... her second at Aspen having won last season's slalom.
It is the 59th career World Cup podium for Maria Hoefl-Riesch. ... her 20th in slalom. ... It is her second podium at Aspen, the only other a second in this race last season.
It is the first career World Cup scoring result for Mikaela Shiffrin. ... It is the fifth best career Cup result for Marie-Michele Gagnon. ... her third best in slalom. ... It is the eighth best career result for Anna Goodman.
Viktoria Rebensburg leads the World Cup overall standings 180-140 over Elisabeth Goergl. ... Pietilae-Holmner is third with 125pts. ... Lindsey Vonn is the top US racer on the list in fifth with 122pts. ... Gagnon the top Canadian in 26th with 30pts. ... Austria leads the women's Nations Cup 584-350 over Germany. ... USA is third with 240, Canada ranks 10th with 48pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not start 1st run|
|56||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR|
|Did not qualify 1st run|
|69||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|