Zettel holds on to lead in Aspen
It was a battle of hundredths for most of the women in the top 15, but it wasn't all too close when the top tier of ladies began making their way down Ruthie's Run in Aspen Sunday afternoon.
Austrian Kathrin Zettel was able to nearly triple her first-run lead, beating out last year's overall slalom champ Marlies Schild by 0.67 seconds. Meanwhile, Slovenia's Tina Maze finished quite a bit further back (+1.81), but was able to make her second trip to the podium in as many days. Maria Hoefl-Riesch wasn't far behind (+1.93), just off the podium in fourth position.
"Second run was better rhythm, nicer, but quite dark, and so not easy," said Zettel, who got her first win of the season. "So I tried to focus on myself and so I was so surprised after the finish line, I never had that big expectations for today."
Most racers were happier with the second-run set, which wasn't quite as turny.
"I had no results until today and so I was pretty nervous," said Schild. "The first run was OK. I skied it safe, and it was good to be in some position, but not too far away from the first. In second run, I tried to attack, and it worked out really well. I had just a little mistake. But all in all, it’s a good result and I’m very happy with it."
Mikaela Shiffrin was much happier with her second run, moving up from 10th to 7th. Overall, the 17-year-old American was pleased with how she skied in her home state this weekend after being able to find "that good feeling" in the second run.
"You’re going down the course, and every turn feels great and you want to do another. And you want to just keep going until you can’t feel your legs anymore," said Shiffrin. "That’s what I had the second run, and that's what I was missing the first run. I was just missing my rhythm a little bit the first run. It was OK, it wasn’t my worst skiing by any means. … I was throwing my skis sideways, and I lost a lot of time that way."
Shiffrin had the fifth fastest second run and currently sits in fifth in the overall World Cup standings.
American Resi Stiegler, racing for her first time since major knee surgery, had plenty to celebrate as she crossed the finish, although probably not with the time for which she had hoped. She sits 4.72 seconds back going into the afternoon.
"It's really nice (to be back out there)," said Stiegler. "Of course, I want to do really well. But I have to be realistic. I haven't trained the amount that I want to be able to go into a race with more confidence. I haven't skied a course that long yet, but my body feels great. I just wanted to go into it and get the first race out of the way. I always hope to do better than I did today, but that's OK."
Americans Hailey Duke and Paula Moltzan, who was making her first World Cup start, did not finish.
"I’m pretty happy even though I didn’t finish, but it was just really good to get out on the course and get a feel for my first World Cup," said Moltzan. "I was pretty nervous, but I was pretty excited, I knew what I had to go and do. ... I just treated like a day of training, because that’s the easiest thing to do for me, just keep the mindset of training or else I overthink the course too much and get after it sometimes too much."
Julia Mancuso was sluggish, finishing second to last on the day. She is still tweaking her new Head equipment, esspecially in slalom, sources said.
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup slalom, Aspen, USA, Nov. 25, 2012
1 Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Schild, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
4 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Lange/Head
5 Pietilae-Holmner, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Duerr, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Poutiainen, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
8 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Gieger, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Women's World Cup slalom, Aspen, USA, Nov. 25, 2012. ... It is the eighth race of the 83 race 2012-13 World Cup schedule. ... the fourth of the 43 race women's schedule and the second of the 11 race women's slalom schedule (including two city event parallels). ... It is the 70th World Cup race held at Aspen. ... the second and final of this season's schedule at the event. ... It is the 20th Cup slalom held at Aspen.
It is the ninth career World Cup win for Kathrin Zettel. ... her second in slalom the others all in GS. ... It is her second win at Aspen, the other her first career win Nov. 25, 2006. ... It is her first win since Jan. 17, 2010 in Maribor. ... It is her third podium of the season and second in two days.
It is the 63rd career World Cup podium result for Marlies Schild. ... her 52nd in slalom. ... And her fifth at Aspen. ... It is her first score of the season.
It is the 41st career World Cup podium result for Tina Maze. ... Her third of the season (she has also placed fourth once). ... It is her ninth slalom podium. ... It is her second podium scored at Aspen, the previous coming the day previous.
It is the third best career World Cup result for Mikaela Shiffrin, the two better both podium finishes. ... It is one placing better than her previous best at Aspen. ... It is her third score of the season, all of them top 10 finishes. ... Marie-Michele Gagnon matches her 24th best career result. ... It is her fourth score of the season. ... and her fourth score at Aspen (2nd this season). ... It is the second score, and career best score for Brittany Phelan, the previous also coming this season at Levi Nov. 11.
Maria Hoefl-Riesch (fourth in race) takes the lead in the slalom standings 150-112 over Tanja Poutiainen (8th in race). ... Maze is third with 110pts. ... Shiffrin leads the US in fifth with 100pts and Gagnon the Canadians in 13th with 39pts. ... Maze leads the overall standings 310-260 over Zettel with Hoefl-Riesch third at 174pts. ... Shiffrin leads the Americans in fifth with 125pts and Gagnon the Canadians in seventh with 87pts. ... Austria leads the women's Nations Cup 674-392 over Germany with Slovenia third with 348. ... The US is eighth with 151pts and Canada ninth with 150pts.
Results - Slalom Aspen, Colo.
||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|11||VELEZ ZUZULOVA Veronika||1984||SVK||55.77||50.27||1:46.04||21.66|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG|
|SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|GASIENICA DANIEL Agnieszka||1987||POL|