After yesterday’s super G was canceled due to steady snow and winds, the skies cleared and women’s World Cup racing finally got under way today (Dec. 12) in St. Moritz, Switzerland with a giant slalom.
Pulling in her second consecutive World Cup GS win was French skier Tessa Worley with a two-run time of two minutes 10.70 seconds. Just a hundredth of a second behind was World Cup veteran Finn Tanja Poutiainen in second place while Slovenia’s Tina Maze rounded out the podium in third, 0.31 seconds off the winning pace.
“It was a good run, I made a lot of mistakes but not as many as my other racer friends,” said Worley of her second run. “It was a big battle but it ended nice for me.”
It was Worley’s second win of the young season after taking the top spot two weeks ago in Aspen in another GS.
Poutiaine, a 41-time World Cup podium finisher, was tied for third place following the first run, while Worley was 0.16 seconds back in fifth position. A gutsy second run and some mistakes made by first run leaders, Germans Kathrin Hoelzl and Viktoria Rebensburg (the Olympic and world champions) gave Worley the advantage for 21-year-old’s fourth World Cup win.
France’s Anemone Marmottan (2:11.22) had her best World Cup race ever in fourth.
It was a great race for Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon, who stood in 14th position after the first run, then found a tight line that was good enough for fifth place – her career high in a World Cup race. The result marked the first time a Canadian women has cracked the top ten in a World Cup gate race in a year (Anna Goodman ninth in Are slalom, Dec. 2009). Teammate Marie-Pier Prefontaine also made the points in 24th.
“I was really surprised. I was asking myself this morning if I was going to be in the top 30 because in the GS in Aspen I just missed qualifying,” said Gagnon about today’s result. “I am still disappointed about that, but I’m skiing well and I have been in GS since Sölden so I feel good about it.”
After taking turns on the podium’s top two spots last week in Lake Louise, the World Cup’s top women, American Lindsey Vonn and German Maria Riesch, were temporarily out of the limelight today in both of their weakest discipline.
Vonn led the U.S. team in seventh, her best result in a giant slalom in close to two years (seventh in Maribor, 2009) and the first time she has topped Riesch (19th today) in a technical event this season. Vonn stood 16th after the first run, then put down the fourth-fasted second run as she nodded her head in satisfaction in the finish area. Vonn now stands 145 points behind Riesch in the overall World Cup standings.
“The first run, I felt like I was a little bit too relaxed, I skied too conservatively, too round,” said Vonn. “The second, run I wanted to ski more aggressively and I was really happy with it. It was nice to get a race in that was more like my training.”
Julia Mancuso finished eighth after standing sixth in the first run. Teammate Sarah Schelper just missed her shot at a second run, landing 32nd after the first run.
At the head of a pack of seven Austrian women in the second run, Marlies Schild was the first woman out of the gate and put down the fastest run of the day (1:04.05), climbing from 30th in the first run to finish 12th. She held the lead through 14 racers until getting bumped by Vonn.
The Germans, this season’s gate skiing power team, had four women in the second run, including the first run’s 1-2 in Rebensburg and Hoelzl. Things turned for the worse for them in round two as Hoelzl skied off course at the top of the run and a string of mistakes pushed Rebensburg to 10th place. Rebensburg won the season opening World Cup race, a GS in Soelden and finished second in the same discipline in Aspen two weeks ago.
The Women’s World Cup tour now shifts to Val d’Isere, France, where the men raced this weekend, for a super G Dec. 17, a downhill Dec. 18 and the season’s first super combined Dec. 19.
By Hank McKee
Women’s World Cup Giant Slalom, St Moritz, Switzerland, Dec. 12, 2010. … It is the ninth race of 37 on the women’s 2010-2011 World Cup schedule. … the eighth to be held. … It is the third of eight scheduled GS’s. … It is the 36th World Cup to be held at St Moritz. … the third GS and first since 2004.
It is the fourth career World Cup victory for Tessa Worley. … all in GS and all scored on or before Dec. 12. … It is her second win this season.
It is the 41st career World Cup podium for Tanja Poutiainen. … The 20th in GS. … Her first podium at St Moritz. … She is the all-time Finnish leader in alpine Cup podiums.
It is the 21st career World Cup podium for Tina Maze. … 13th in GS. … It is her fourth Cup podium at St Moritz and second in GS having won Dec. 22, 2004.
It is a career best World Cup result for Marie-Michele Gagnon. … Her previious best had been eighth in slalom at Ofterschwang March 7, 2009. … It is her first score at St Moritz. … It is the 102nd career top seven in World Cup for Lindsey Vonn and matches her third best Cup GS result. … She has never been on a GS Cup podium. … It is the 62nd career top eight in World Cup for Julia Mancuso. … 18th top eight in GS. … It is her second best result in World Cup at St Moritz having placed sixth in GS Dec. 22, 2004. … It is the second (and best) World Cup scoring result for Marie-Pier Prefontaine.
Marie Riesch (19th in race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 526-381 over Vonn. … Poutainien moves to third at 276. … Worley leads the GS standings 232-206 over Viktoria Rebensburg (10th in race) with Poutiainen third with 156. … Mancuso is the top American in ninth with 86pts. … Gagnon the top Canadian with 65. … Germany leads the women’s Nations Cup 1190-995 over Austria. … The U.S. is third at 808 and Canada 10th with 127pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify 1st run|
|47||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA|
|39||495065||RIENDA Maria Jose||1975||SPA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|