Sunday, January 27, 2013
Tina Maze wins slalom before home fans in Slovenia
MARIBOR, Slovenia -- Overall World Cup leader Tina Maze rebounded from a close loss with an emphatic slalom victory before her home fans Sunday. The Slovenian has now won in four disciplines this season.
Maze, who lost Saturday's giant slalom by 0.08 seconds to Lindsey Vonn, led after the opening run and finished her two runs in 1 minute, 33.68 seconds down the Radvanje course.
"It's so amazing to win here," said Maze, who celebrated with a cartwheel with her ski boots on. "Everybody is cheering for me."
Frida Hansdotter of Sweden finished second, a distant 0.86 seconds behind. Kathrin Zettel of Austria was third, 1.13 back.
American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin moved up from 13th after the opening run to finish sixth and maintained a 13-point lead ahead of Maze in the slalom standings.
The 17-year-old Shiffrin had won the past two slaloms and has three wins overall this season. In the opening run, she was fastest in the top section and second fastest in the last section, but U.S. coach Alex Hoedlmoser said she had three big mistakes in the middle.
Vonn finished 36th in the first run and failed to qualify for the second leg. Both runs were held in clear conditions, with the temperature below freezing.
In the overall standings, Maze has more than twice as many points as her nearest challenger, Maria Hoefl-Riesch, the Olympic slalom champion who went out in the first run.
Maze leads Hoefl-Riesch 1,654-806, and Vonn is third with 740 points.
Vonn won two slaloms four seasons ago, but the event has become her weakest discipline. She hadn't even entered a slalom since last season's World Cup finals.
It was Maze's seventh win of the season and first in slalom. She now needs only a downhill win to hold victories in all five disciplines this season.
Only two women have won in all five disciplines in a season -- Austria's Petra Kronberger in 1990-91 and Croatia's Janica Kostelic in 2005-06. The only man to do it was Marc Girardelli in 1988-89.
Maze's super-G win in St. Anton two weeks ago gave her wins in each discipline over her career.
"Tina is sensational this season," Zettel said. "She has shown her class here once again."
A special city event is scheduled for Moscow on Tuesday, the last race before the Feb. 5-17 world championships in Schladming, Austria.
Only two more traditional slaloms remain this season, although the parallel city event -- a mix between slalom and giant slalom -- also counts toward the slalom standings.