Maze closes season with a win and record 24 podiums
A bit less dramatic than Saturday's slalom finale, which required every single turn of the season to determine the title winner, the GS globe was clinched back in January.
It was a fitting end to a magnificent winter for Tina Maze, who had one of the most dominant single-season performances in the history of ski racing. The Slovenian extended her blowout in the overall rankings and collected her 11th win of the season in the Lenzerheide giant slalom Sunday, the final World Cup race of the season.
"They were lucky the downhill and super G were cancelled," Maze said ambiguously after being awarded the GS globe, pointing out the fact that as many as 200 points were left on the table due to cancelled events at these finals. "It was an amazing season for me. I'm skiing so good. I started with win; I finished with win. That's the way the sport should be when you're so strong, so I'm really proud of me and my team."
Opening the season with four straight GS victories, the Slovenian officially captured the discipline title back on Jan. 26 at her home race of Maribor. For Maze, Sunday's win marked the end of a five-race winless streak in GS (a slump only by her own standards). She had finished runner-up in her last four outings, including the World Championships.
Maze, who completed the first run in second place behind GS World Champion Tessa Worley, skied a close-to-perfect second run to close out the race season, increasing her advantage over then-leader Lara Gut at every split to become the first racer in history to claim 24 podiums in a single season, surpassing Hermann Maier's record mark of 22.
For Worley, her 0.42-second advantage was lost by the first intermediate of the second run. The Schladming winner was able to hang on in the course's midsection, registering slight 0.04 and 0.02 deficits, but she was unable to keep pace with Maze on the final turns, ultimately slipping 0.35 seconds back and into second position on the day.
Gut smoked her second run and might have won the race if it weren't for a devastating mistake three or four turns from the finish in which she nearly straddled the gate and lost her pole. With the error, she still managed to finish third, just more than a second behind Maze.
For the Americans, Julia Mancuso led the way in eighth position. The season's runner-up in the super G standings had a solid second run, leading at every split prior to the finish, but she appeared briefly frustrated after a season of equipment struggles and no World Cup wins.
"I had some good results at the end. It's been up and down," said Mancuso. "With the new ski regulations, it's been hard for me to really find the groove. But it's looking good. I'm happy to have two good GS finishes at the end of the year (a pair of eighths). … I hope to win some races next year. I'm going to work hard this summer and hope everything goes well. In ski racing, you need a little bit of luck, too."
Yesterday's slalom globe winner Mikaela Shiffrin had significantly less pressure on herself heading into Sunday's GS finale. She put together two solid runs to finish 11th on the day.
"I think there are definitely some things I could have done better today," said Shiffrin. "I'm definitely really tired. I skied a lot of days on before yesterday and really put a lot of my energy into that second [slalom] run, so I just tried to get a good night sleep. Not full energy today, but you have to be able to work with that."
For Shiffrin, her results in GS this season were encouraging, a huge improvement over last year, but not surprisingly, she's aiming for podiums and wins.
"I think I need a little bit more training," said Shiffrin. "There are a couple things that I'm working on that I just need to move forward with."
Story by Geoff Mintz
Photos by GEPA
by Hank McKee
Women's World Cup Giant Slalom, Finals, Lenzerheide, Switzerland, March 17, 2013
1 Maze, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
2 Worley, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
3 Gut, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
5 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
6 Fanchini, Dynastar/Lange/Look
7 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
8 Mancuso, Head/Head/Head
9 Lindell-Vikarby, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Marmottan, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Women's World Cup Giant Slalom, Finals, Lenzerheide, Switzerland, March 17, 2013. ... it is the 35th of 37 races on the women's scheduled with two cancellations. ... the ninth and final GS. ... It is the 34th Cup race hosted by Lenzerheide. ... the sixth GS and third for women.
It is the 22nd career World Cup win for Tina Maze. ... her 13th in GS. ... It is her 11th win of the season, not including the super G gold medal from the World Championships. ... It is her second Cup victory at Lenzerheide having won the slalom March 18, 2011. ... The win also represents her record 24th Cup podium in a single season. ... Her percentage of podiums is 68% ranking second all time behind Jean-Claude Killy's 82% in the first year of the World Cup.
It is the 12th career World Cup podium (all in GS) for Tessa Worley and the first time she has finished second in a Cup race. ... It is her fifth podium of the season. ... It is her first scoring finish at Lenzerheide.
It is the ninth career World Cup podium for Lara Gut. ... her second in GS. ... It is her second Cup podium of the season. ... She also won the silver medal in super G in the World Championships. ... It is her second podium scored at Lenzerheide having placed second in downhill March 16, 2011.
It is the 20th top 10 of the season for Julia Mancuso including World Championships. ... It is the sixth GS scoring result for Mikaela Shiffrin. ... fifth of the season.
Final World Cup Overall Standings: Tina Maze wins the overall title with a record 2414 pts (the previous mark from Hermann Maier 2000 in 2000. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (DNF in race) places second with 1101pts. ... Anna Fenninger (fifth in race) finishes third with 1029pts. ... Julia Mancuso is fourth with 867pts, Mikaela Shiffrin is fifth with 822pts, Lindsey Vonn is eighth with 74pts, Marie-Michele Gagnon is 21st with 349pts, Leanne Smith is 25th with 310pts, Laurenne Ross is 26th with 292pts, Stacey Cook is 31st with 264pts, Erin Mielzynski is 40th with 203pts, Alice McKennis is 41st with 198pts, Brittany Phelan is 67th with 80pts, Marie-Pier Prefontaine is 73rd with 60pts, Resi Stiegler is 77th with 44pts, Elli Terwiel is 81st with 36pts, Anna Goodman is 97th with 16pts and Larisa Yurkiw 111th with 6pts.
Final Giant Slalom Standings: Maze takes the title 800-480 over Fenninger. ... It is her first GS crown. ... Viktoria Rebenburg (fourth in race) finishes third in the GS rankings with 411pts. ... Mancuso finishes 11th with 186pts, Shiffrin finishes 19th with 134pts, Vonn finishes 20th with 114pts, Marie-Michele Gagnon finishes 23rd with 104pts, Marie-Pier Prefontaine finishes 28th with 60pts.
Final Women's Nations Cup: Austria wins 5014-3537 over the US. ... Germany is third with 2895pts. ... Canada finishes ninth with 750pts. ... The US wins the DH standings 1303-873 over Switzerland.
FIS World Cup
Ladies' Giant Slalom
|Rank||Bib||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|