Not much has changed since the women’s giant slalom last week at the Vail/Beaver Creek FIS Alpine World Championships. Anna Fenninger again bested the field, finishing 0.04 seconds ahead of Viktoria Rebensburg, to finish in the same order as a week ago. Tina Weirather had her best GS showing of the season to round out the podium in third.

Fenninger skied a clean and flawless first run, but had to use every ounce of speed and strength to pull out the win after a mistake early in run two left her with a 0.47-second deficit at the final interval.

“Yeah I feel good about that (finding speed on the bottom) because on the top I had a little mistake on the flat. I was outside the line so I tried to push, but in the middle section I felt not so good,” said Fenninger. “So I thought ‘all or nothing’ and I did, it’s so cool.”

The moderate hill and relatively easy course sets left tight times, with less than a second separating the top 10 after run one. Fenninger only had a slim margin of 0.03 seconds over Rebensburg and after falling behind by almost half a second it appeared as if the German would win her first GS race since 2012. But Fenninger was not about to let it get away that easily. She somehow found an extra gear and risked it all down the final pitch into the finish to make up the time and squeak out her second GS World Cup win of the season and third win in the event after taking the World Championship title last week.

“Yeah it’s fantastic again. I’m proud of it because today it was very difficult to hold the speed and show what I can (do),” admitted Fenninger. “So I’m really happy that I can show it here because the crowd is so big and so cool. Thanks for a great race.”

The warm conditions in the second run were reminiscent of the spring-like weather athletes saw over their two weeks spent in Colorado. Rebensburg, who was somewhat of a surprise silver medalist in GS despite winning eight races in the discipline between 2010-12, appears to have found her GS groove again with her second consecutive second-place finish. She skied a precise and solid run to take the lead away from Weirather at the time, but left a little too much on the hill on the bottom pitch and Fenninger took advantage.

“Being on the podium is for sure always nice,” said Rebensburg. “Four hundredths of a second, this isn’t much and it hurt a little bit in the first place, but I am happy about this second place. I am skiing good in giant slalom again. I was struggling a bit at the start of the season. It is very positive for me to know I can be up there in giant slalom again. It gives me confidence for the rest of the season.” 

Because of the tight times after run one, there was a lot of movement in placing on run two. Mikaela Shiffrin and Federica Brignone were tied for third, but both were unable to match the clean and aggressive skiing of Fenninger, Rebensburg and Weirather. Shiffrin ultimately ended up fifth and Brignone moved back to eighth. Weirather, sitting in seventh after run one, was able to overtake Kathrin Zettel (sixth overall) and Nadia Fanchini (fourth overall), in addition to Shiffrin and Brignone, with the fastest second run to finish third. It is her first podium in GS since winning in Val d’Isere last December.

“I wasn’t expecting it, but I knew it was possible,” said Weirather. “I missed the bronze medal by 0.06 in giant slalom at the World Championships and I have been skiing well in training in the last couple of days. But then you have to do it on race day and that’s the tough part. I am very happy it worked out today.”

Shiffrin was hoping to earn her third GS podium of the season, but did not have the same aggressive, clean skiing as the top three. Regardless, it was still a strong result for the two-time defending slalom world champion after a busy and emotional two weeks at her home World Championships.

“It’s nice that these races here in Maribor are right after the World Championships,” said Shiffrin. “I feel like I keep that adrenaline going. Now I am in the World Cup mode again, and it will just continue for the rest of the season. 

“You know, I don’t think I let it go quite soon enough, I thought I was going to have trouble down there (on the bottom) and I didn’t,” admitted Shiffrin. “For the rest of the course it felt really good, so you know, just take what I can from the day.” 

Lindsey Vonn was the only other American competing in the GS. Julia Mancuso took the weekend off to rest and prepare for the remainder of the season and the younger athletes are competing north of the border in the Canadian NorAm series. The Canadians had a solid showing from their only participant in the second run, Marie-Pier Prefontaine. She finished 12th overall after posting the ninth fastest second run, to move up from 22nd.

Vonn was having a fast first run through the initial interval and held a slight advantage over Fenninger by 0.09 seconds. But she lost her outside ski coming over the first breakover, causing her skis to hook up and she tumbled into the fencing on the side of the hill. She appeared to be fine and skied down to the finish. It was another promising GS section for Vonn after she finished with the fifth fastest second run at World Championships. Her last World Cup win in GS was in Maribor in 2013.

 

Hometown hero Tina Maze was also having a strong first run in front of thousands of cheering fans, but she entered a bit too direct on a turn with a roll three gates before the finish and crashed out. After finishing with two golds and a silver in Vail/Beaver Creek, Maze was excited to return to racing in front of her local fans and was disappointed with the way her day ended.

“I saw myself already through the finish line and I misjudge the last wave,” said Maze. “I came too straight and there was no way I could make it to the next gate. I heard and felt the fans around me. I am disappointed and sorry that I didn’t finish today.”

Fenninger was able to make up significant ground on Maze in the overall standings with her win. The lead, which once looked insurmountable, has dwindle down to an 84-point advantage for Maze after Fenninger strung together four straight World Cup podiums dating back to Jan. 19 in Cortina D’Ampezzo. Fenninger took the lead in the GS standings away from her teammate Eva-Maria Brem and now leads 342-296. Brem had her worst GS result of the season finishing 10th.

The women continue tomorrow in Maribor with a slalom, where Maze is the defending champion from 2013.

 

The Scoop

By Hank McKee

  1. Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
  2. Rebensburg, Stoeckli/Lange/Atomic
  3. Weirather, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  4. Fanchini, Dynastar/Lange/Look
  5. Shiffrin, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  6. Zettel, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  7. Mowinckel, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  8. Brignone, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
  9. Curtoni, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
  10. Brem, Volkl/Fischer/Marker

Women’s World Cup giant slalom, Maribor, Slovenia, Feb. 21, 2015:

  • It is the 23rd of 34 races on the women’s World Cup schedule … the fifth of seven GS’s. … It is the 64th World Cup hosted by Maribor … the 27th GS. … Lindsey Vonn won the last GS at the site Jan. 26, 2013. … Two Americans have won slaloms at Maribor, Barbara Cochran Jan. 18, 1970 and Tamara McKinney Jan. 5, 1985.
  • It is the tenth career World Cup win for Anna Fenninger and ninth in GS. … It is her fourth win of the season including two gold medals at World Championships. … The winning margin is .04 of a second. … Top eight racers are within the same second. … Top ten within two seconds.
  • It is the 23rd career World Cup podium placing for Viktoria Rebensburg. … Her third of the season including a silver medal at World Championships.
  • It is the 19th career World Cup podium for Tina Weirather. … Her third of the season in three different disciplines.
  • It is the fifth best World Cup GS result for Mikaela Shiffrin … her best in 2015. … It is the fourth best career World Cup placing for Marie-Pier Prefontaine.
  • Tina Maze (DNF in race) leads the World Cup overall standings 985-901 over Fenninger. … Mikaela Shiffrin is third with 650pts.
  • Fenninger leads the GS standings 342-296 over Eva-Maria Brem (tenth in race). … Shiffrin is third in the GS standings with 271pts.

 

Results 

 1  1  55947 FENNINGER Anna 1989 AUT  1:11.62  1:12.88  2:24.50  0.00
 2  6  205218 REBENSBURG Viktoria 1989 GER  1:11.65  1:12.89  2:24.54  +0.04  0.27
 3  13  355050 WEIRATHER Tina 1989 LIE  1:12.36  1:12.44  2:24.80  +0.30  2.03
 4  10  296729 FANCHINI Nadia 1986 ITA  1:12.33  1:12.64  2:24.97  +0.47  3.19
 5  3  6535237 SHIFFRIN Mikaela 1995 USA  1:11.86  1:13.18  2:25.04  +0.54  3.66
 6  4  55838 ZETTEL Kathrin 1986 AUT  1:12.34  1:12.95  2:25.29  +0.79  5.36
 7  22  425929 MOWINCKEL Ragnhild 1992 NOR  1:12.42  1:12.88  2:25.30  +0.80  5.43
 8  14  297601 BRIGNONE Federica 1990 ITA  1:11.86  1:13.53  2:25.39  +0.89  6.04
 9  21  296509 CURTONI Irene 1985 ITA  1:12.60  1:13.10  2:25.70  +1.20  8.14
 10  2  55898 BREM Eva-Maria 1988 AUT  1:13.02  1:13.46  2:26.48  +1.98  13.43
 11  8  506399 HECTOR Sara 1992 SWE  1:13.02  1:13.49  2:26.51  +2.01  13.63
 12  25  106825 PREFONTAINE Marie-Pier 1988 CAN  1:13.33  1:13.27  2:26.60  +2.10  14.24
 13  19  425771 LOESETH Nina 1989 NOR  1:13.18  1:13.50  2:26.68  +2.18  14.78
 14  16  505679 HANSDOTTER Frida 1985 SWE  1:12.96  1:13.75  2:26.71  +2.21  14.99
 15  28  297702 MARSAGLIA Francesca 1990 ITA  1:12.72  1:14.18  2:26.90  +2.40  16.28
 16  24  296259 MOELGG Manuela 1983 ITA  1:12.82  1:14.17  2:26.99  +2.49  16.89
 17  11  196928 WORLEY Tessa 1989 FRA  1:13.20  1:13.85  2:27.05  +2.55  17.29
 18  17  55576 GOERGL Elisabeth 1981 AUT  1:13.55  1:13.60  2:27.15  +2.65  17.97
 19  15  516138 GUT Lara 1991 SUI  1:12.92  1:14.27  2:27.19  +2.69  18.24
 20  36  298124 AGNELLI Nicole 1992 ITA  1:13.50  1:13.70  2:27.20  +2.70  18.31
 20  31  196179 BERTRAND Marion 1984 FRA  1:13.44  1:13.76  2:27.20  +2.70  18.31
 22  7  505632 LINDELL-VIKARBY Jessica 1984 SWE  1:13.50  1:14.12  2:27.62  +3.12  21.16
 23  33  196726 BARTHET Anne-Sophie 1988 FRA  1:13.62  1:14.01  2:27.63  +3.13  21.23
 24  9  505760 PIETILAE-HOLMNER Maria 1986 SWE  1:13.09  1:14.74  2:27.83  +3.33  22.58
 25  55  506350 EKLUND Nathalie 1992 SWE  1:13.66  1:14.32  2:27.98  +3.48  23.60
 26  41  155699 PAULATHOVA Katerina 1993 CZE  1:13.22  1:15.34  2:28.56  +4.06  27.53
Did not start 1st run
 50  206548 MAGG Ann Katrin 1994 GER
 37  55977 THALMANN Carmen 1989 AUT
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 59  415205 HUDSON Piera 1996 NZL
 57  298904 CILLARA ROSSI Valentina 1994 ITA
 56  565360 STUHEC Ilka 1990 SLO
 54  565373 ROBNIK Tina 1991 SLO
 53  56087 SIEBENHOFER Ramona 1991 AUT
 52  197651 DIREZ Clara 1995 FRA
 51  185317 SOPPELA Merle 1991 FIN
 49  106961 MIELZYNSKI Erin 1990 CAN
 48  297910 CURTONI Elena 1991 ITA
 47  516268 WILD Simone 1993 SUI
 45  485731 ROMANOVA Anastasia 1993 RUS
 44  196725 BARIOZ Taina 1988 FRA
 43  206444 HOESL Simona 1992 GER
 42  56217 BRUNNER Stephanie 1994 AUT
 40  197124 FRASSE SOMBET Coralie 1991 FRA
 39  516280 HOLDENER Wendy 1993 SUI
 38  306249 HASEGAWA Emi 1986 JPN
 35  225525 TILLEY Alexandra 1993 GBR
 34  506348 STAALNACKE Ylva 1992 SWE
 32  565331 LAVTAR Katarina 1988 SLO
 27  55750 FISCHBACHER Andrea 1985 AUT
 20  515747 GISIN Dominique 1985 SUI
Did not finish 2nd run
 46  297171 FANCHINI Sabrina 1988 ITA
 30  299276 BASSINO Marta 1996 ITA
 29  565268 DREV Ana 1985 SLO
 23  197319 BAUD Adeline 1992 FRA
Did not finish 1st run
 60  555018 GASUNA Lelde 1990 LAT
 58  565417 PLUT Eli 1994 SLO
 26  105269 GAGNON Marie-Michele 1989 CAN
 18  537544 VONN Lindsey 1984 USA
 12  55759 KIRCHGASSER Michaela 1985 AUT
 5  565243 MAZE Tina 1983 SLO
Article Tags: Alpine, Top Rotator, Top Story

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Jessica Kelley
Contributor
- A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Ski Team, Kelley collected three NorAm titles, won GS silver at the 2002 World Junior Championships, and was a member of the 2007 World Championships team during her professional career. She resides in Park City, Utah, with her husband, Adam Cole.
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