Fenninger on a roll in Germany
After a somewhat shaky performance in the World Championships, during which she had to leave town to escape the pressure, Anna Fenninger is stepping it up and closing out the season in dominant fashion.
Fastest after the first run, fastest after the second, the 23-year-old Austrian won her second race in a row — she stormed to a win in the Garmisch super G last weekend — clocking the fastest combined time of 2:29.39 in Saturday's GS in Ofterschwang, Germany.
Fenninger was able to harness some of her speed skills to take the lead after the first run, which was fast and wide-open with jumps and other terrain features. The second leg, held under gloomy, flat-light conditions, was quite a bit more technical. The Austrian kicked out of the start with a mere three-hundredths of a second advantage over this season's soon-to-be giant slalom titlist, Tina Maze, but the young challenger was immediately able to increase that margin and carry it through the finish, where she collapsed upon securing the win.
With host-nation favorite, Maria Hoefl-Riesch skiing a too-conservative second run and falling well out of podium contention, all eyes turned to Viktoria Rebensburg, who did not disappoint. After losing some time on the leader's pace at the top, the German charged the lower part of the second run and was comfortably able to retain her podium position by more than a second.
The omnipresent Maze — who is coming off an historic weekend in which she not only became just the third athlete to win all five disciplines in a single season, but also surpassed the 2000-point record set by Hermann Maier — skied an aggressive run to set a high standard for Fenninger. The Slovenian started the season with four-straight GS wins, but she's now finished runner-up in the event (behind several different winners) in the last four competitions, including the World Championships in Schladming.
Julia Mancuso celebrated her 29th birthday, doing the thing she does best. The American was fourth after the first run and charged out of the gate in the second, but gradually lost time on the leader's pace throughout the run. She finished eighth on the day.
"It was a really good start, a step in the right direction for GS for me," said Mancuso, who has been playing with her ski all season. "I still need to make two good runs, but I'm happy. They did a good job of keeping the course OK. It was actually one of the better surfaces we had this year. Second run was a lot turnier, so it deteriorated more. It was difficult starting in the back."
Mikaela Shiffrin, the leader in the slalom standings, had difficulties in the first run and went out.
Story by Geoff Mintz
Photos by GEPA
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup GS, Ofterschwang, Germany, March 9, 2013
1 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
2 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
3 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
4 Brem, Voelkl/Fischer/Marker
5 Marmottan, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
6 Barthet, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Fanchini, Dynastar/Lange/Look
8 Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
9 Kirchgasser, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Hronek, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
Women's World Cup GS, Ofterschwang, Germany, March 9, 2013. ... It is the final weekend of the regular season and the 32nd race of the women's 37 race schedule. ... the eighth of nine GS's. ... It is the 15th Cup race hosted by Ofterschwang, 13th for women all since 2001.
It is the fourth career World Cup win for Anna Fenninger and third in GS. ... It is her third win of the season and second in March.
It is the 59th career World Cup podium placing for Tina Maze. ... her 24th in GS. ... It is her third podium scored at Ofterschwang. ... It is her 24th podium result of the season (including three at World Championships) and bumps her record point total to 2074 with five races remaining.
It is the 18th career World Cup podium for Viktoria Rebensburg, 16th in GS. ... It is her third podium scored at Ofterschwang, the other two wins on consecutive days last season. ... It is her fifth podium of the season and fourth this season in GS.
It is the 126th career top 10 for Julia Mancuso and her ninth of the season including three from World Championships. ... It is her second best finish ever at Ofterschwang. ... It is the third best result of Marie-Pier Prefontaine's career. ... Her second best of the season. ... It is the 50th career scoring result for Marie-Michele Gagnon. ... 18th in GS.
Tina Maze extends her record setting point total in the World Cup Overall rankings and leads 2154-1065 over Maria Hoefl-Riesch (16th in race). ... Fenninger is third with 984pts. ... Maze cannot be beaten for the overall title. ... Maze leads the GS standings 700-435 with one race remaining over Fenninger and cannot be beaten for the title. ... Kathrin Zettel (DNF 1st in race) is third in the GS standings with 382pts. ... Mancuso tops the US in 11th with 154pts. ... Gagnon tops Canada in 22nd with 104pts. ... Austria leads the women's Nations Cup 4517-3321 over the US. ... Germany is third with 2568pts and Canada ninth with 658pts.
FIS World Cup
Ladies' Giant Slalom
|Rank||Bib||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|65||SIMARI BIRKNER Macarena||1984||ARG|
|62||SIMARI BIRKNER Maria Belen||1982||ARG|
|58||GASIENICA DANIEL Agnieszka||1987||POL|
|46||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA|
|39||FRASSE SOMBET Coralie||1991||FRA|
|30||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA|
|29||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR|
|Did not finish 1st run|