Fans of Austrian women’s ski racing are having a very happy holiday season.
Austrian Anna Fenninger notched the first World Cup victory of her career today (Dec. 28) with a giant slalom win in Linez, Austria.
Fenninger became the second Austrian woman to win on home snow in as many races. The Austrian streak began not far away in Flachau a week ago, when Marlies Schild won a slalom.
“I can’t believe it myself,” Fenninger told the Associated Press. “It’s my first win ever. I always used to be good at speed events and now I win in GS. I hoped to compete for the top five and never thought of winning. To be on the podium in front of a cheering home crowd, that’s the best feeling you can get as an athlete.”
Italian Federica Brignone, who has shown flashes of brilliance this season, finally put two solid runs together to finish second, 0.20 seconds behind Fenninger. French racer Tessa Worley rounded out the podium, 0.39 seconds back in third.
Fenninger, the 2011 super combined world champion, had never finished better than 14th in a World Cup GS prior to this season. She has been setting new personal records at each of this season’s three GS races with a sixth-place result at the opener in Soelden and fourth-place finish in Aspen. Today’s win marks her sixth career World Cup podium.
First run leader, German World Cup GS champ Viktoria Rebensburg, took just a hundredth of a second advantage into the second run but had nearly a quarter of a second to work with by the time she was the last woman down the track. Like so many of the competitors ahead of her, she looked tired toward the bottom of the course and struggled to maintain speed through the technical last section of the course set by her coach. She finished fourth.
Lindsey Vonn, who was the first woman on the course for the first time in her career, led the U.S. in fifth after standing eighth in the first run. Julia Mancuso was looking strong with the fifth fastest first run but struggled from the start of the second run and finished 17th.
“I was a bit nervous because it was the first time ever I started No. 1. Especially in GS” said Vonn, who complimented the course crew for working with limited snow in the dry area. “The course is awesome, the snow is perfect, they’ve done a really good job. It’s not easy. You see there is no snow in the area, but they made the race hill perfect.”
Sarah Schleper grabbed her first World Cup finish of the season in 23rd, after standing 19th in the first run. Mikaela Shiffrin, who didn’t qualify for the second run, was the only American starter not to reach the second run.
Vonn currently holds a 231-point lead in the overall standings with 599 points through 10 races. Fenninger stands second with 368.
Italian Sabrina Fanchini had a great day in the No. 42 bib. She stood 23rd after the first run then performed a stunning second run to hold the lead through the next 14 racers, until being bumped by Worley. She finished eighth.
The women will continue racing in Lienz tomorrow with a slalom. — Eric Williams
Images by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Women’s Giant Slalom, Lienz, Austria, Dec. 28, 2011
1 Fenninger, Head/Head/Head
2 Brignone, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
3 Worley, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
4 Rebensburg, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
5 Vonn, Head/Head/Head
6 Koehle, Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
7 Goergl, Head/Head/Head
8 Fanchini, Dynastar//
9 Lindell-Vikarby, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
10 Hoefl-Riesch, Head/Head/Head
Women’s Giant Slalom, Lienz, Austria, Dec. 28, 2011. … It is the tenth race of the women’s 40 race 2011-12 World Cup schedule. … The fourth of nine scheduled giant slaloms, the third to be held. … It is the 20th Cup race hosted by Lienz. … The ninth GS.
It is the first career World Cup win for Anna Fenninger. … She has five other podium results but all in downhill or super G. … Her best previous in GS is fourth at Aspen earlier this season.
It is the third career Cup podium result for Federica Brignone, all in GS. … She is without a Cup win. … It is her second scoring result of the season after a 28th in Flachau Dec. 20.
It is the sixth career Cup podium result for Tessa Worley, and it is the first podium placing that is not a win. … All coming in GS.
It is the fourth best career Cup GS result for Lindsey Vonn. … Two of those four results have come this season, the win at Soelden and here. … Julia Mancuso matches her 35th best GS result. … It is her sixth best of seven finishes this season. … It is the 44th career GS score for Sarah Schleper. … It is her first score of the season.
Vonn maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 599-368 over Fenninger. … Marlies Schild (15th in race) is third with 340pts. … Mancuso is eighth with 215. … Marie-Michele Gagnon (did not qualify) is top Canadian overall in 33rd with 64pts. … Viktoria Rebensburg (fourth in race) leads the GS standings 230-190 over Fenninger. … Elisabeth Goergl (seventh in race) is third at 176pts. … Vonn leads the U.S. in fourth with 167 and Mancuso is sixth with 100pts. … Marie-Pier Prefontaine (did not qualify) is top Canadian in 36th with 7pts. … Austria leads the women’s Nations Cup standings 1814-984 over the US. … Germany is third at 846. … Canada is 11th with 152pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|24||34||298084||AGERER Lisa Magdalena||1991||ITA||1:08.62||1:09.58||2:18.20||13.55|
|Did not qualify 1st run|
|64||435334||GASIENICA DANIEL Maryna||1994||POL|
|57||495318||RUIZ CASTILLO Carolina||1981||SPA|
|48||425880||SEJERSTED Lotte Smiseth||1991||NOR|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|