Rebensburg wins Final GS and discipline title in Schladming, Vonn misses points record
The 2012 Alpine World Cup Women’s Tour came to an exciting end today (March 18) as German Viktoria Rebensburg won a giant slalom along with her second consecutive GS season title at the World Cup Finals in Schladming, Austria.
Rebensburg showed why she is on top early with a first run that was 0.43 seconds faster than any other racer. With softening conditions and mounting pressure from several top racers, Rebensburg remained unshaken in the second run, charging down the 51-gate course to win by 0.64 seconds. It was her fifth win of the season and fourth victory in a GS.
“I’m a ski racer and I always want to be on the top or win,” said Rebensburg who could have backed off the intensity today and still taken the GS title. “Today everything worked out pretty well, I’m so happy now. Things looked pretty good after the first run but you never know. I just focused and tried to push.”
Just more than an hour after Marcel Hirscher clinched the men’s overall title, the 30,000 Austrian racing fans in the stands kept the party going as their own Anna Fenninger took second place as the only woman within a second of Rebensburg. Italian Federica Brignone secured her fourth podium of the season in third, 1.24 seconds off the winning time.
As it has all week here for the World Cup finals, the sun was bright and warm today at the home of next season’s world championships. The women were assigned the Planai men’s slalom hill today, which held up to the warm temperatures quite well.
With three previous wins and three other podium finishes in the giant slalom this season, Rebensburg had a convincing 95-point advantage on runner-up, American overall champ Lindsey Vonn coming into today’s race. Rebensburg ended the season with 650 GS points to Vonn's 455. France's Tessa Worley (fourth today) landed third with 446 points.
Vonn had 1,980 overall points (a World Cup women’s record) coming into today’s race. She needed to finish 12th or better to eclipse Austrian great Hermann Maier’s record of 2000 points earned in a single World Cup season. The pressure was ramped up when she finished the second run in 16th.
Vonn’s second run was hampered by bad luck, right out of the gate - literally. The basket of Vonn’s right pole sunk below a layer of snow and got caught behind a rubber-covered metal pad and the pole was ripped from her grip. She skied the entire course valiantly with one pole but finished 24th, missing the top-15 World Cup Finals points cut off and was forced to settle 20 points shy of the Hermannator’s record.
“I’m pretty focused on goals. No doubt, I am extremely happy with my season. I’m very satisfied, but I always feel I can do better,” Vonn told Fisalpine.com. “Today was pretty frustrating. I’ve never lost a pole in my entire life – not even when I was 2 years old. The points are not my main goal. But 2,000 is a very, very large amount of points, as I realized this season. Now I have new motivation for next season.”
To provide some comparison: Maier’s record 2000-point season, earned in the year 2000, featured 30 World Cup starts, 22 podiums and 10 wins. Vonn’s 2012 season was made up of 35 starts, 17 podiums and 12 wins .
Vonn had long considered the giant slalom her weakest discipline. She earned the first GS podium of her career last season and notched the first two wins of her career in the discipline at the first and penultimate GS races of this season.
Julia Mancuso, the only other American woman in the field of 25 top-ranked women, was in a three-way knot in seventh after the first run today, 1.90 seconds behind the leader. She skied a brilliant second run to climb to fifth and notch her third-best result in a GS this season. With 1020 points, Mancuso finished the season ranked fourth overall, her second-best overall ranking.
“I needed that good result for my last giant slalom of the season,” said Mancuso, who had her best season since 2008 with two wins and four other podiums. “I have had a lot of moments where I was really right there and I just couldn’t get back into that top five. It's also feels pretty special to have won a few races, been right there in Super G and had a strong downhill year. I know that I can be back on the overall podium and that gives me a lot of motivation for next season.”
Vonn sealed her fourth overall championship last week. She raised her career total to 16 World Cup titles with this season’s downhill, super G and super combined titles. Slovenian Tina Maze finished the season second in the overall standings with 1402 points ahead of last season’s overall champion, German Maria Hoefl-Riesch in third with 1227 points. Hoefl-Riesch was the only woman to not finish the first run today. She recorded four DNFs in slalom races this season.
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup giant slalom, Schladming, Austria, March 18, 2012
1 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
2 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
3 Brignone, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
4 Worley, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Mancuso, Voelkl/Lange/Marker
6 Curtoni, Fischer/Lange/Fischer
7 Marmottan, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Koehle, Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
10 Brem, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Women's World Cup giant slalom, Schladming, Austria, March 18, 2012. ... It is the 37th and final competition of the women's 40 race 2012 schedule with three cancellations (Munich city event, Sochi combined and Bansko DH). ... It is the ninth and final GS.
It is the eighth career World Cup victory for Viktoria Rebensburg. ... seventh in GS. ... It is her fifth win of the season (fourth in GS). ... and second at World Cup Finals having also won the super G March 15. ... four of her five wins this season came in March, two at Ofterschwang and two at Schladming.
It is the ninth career World Cup podium placing for Anna Fenninger. ... and second in GS. ... It is her sixth podium placing of the season.
It is the sixth career World Cup podium placing for Federica Brignone. ... all in GS. ... It is her fourth podium of the season and the first that was not a second place finish.
North Americans: It is the 13th top five World Cup GS finish for Julia Mancuso. ... and second of the season. ... her only better GS result this year was third at Aspen Nov. 26. ... It is the worst World Cup race placing for Lindsey Vonn since Dec. 29, 2007.
Final Standings: Vonn wins the 2012 World Cup overall championship 1980-1402 over Tina Maze (17th in race). ... Maria Hoefl-Riesch (DNF 1st) is third with 1227pts. ... Mancuso finishes fourth with 1020. ... Marie-Michele Gagnon is top Canadian in 21st with 373pts. ... Rebensburg wins the giant slalom title 650-455 over Vonn. ... Tessa Worley (fourth in race) is third in the GS standings with 446pts. ... Mancuso finishes ninth with 233pts. ... Gagnon finishes 26th with 75pts. ... Austria wins the women's Nations Cup 5909-4057 over the US. ... Italy is third with 3046. ... Canada finishes tenth with 643pts.
Images by Gepa
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|20||23||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:18.03||1:12.73||2:30.76||20.80|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|