Riesch, Poutiainen share World Cup slalom win
FLACHAU, Austria – Germany’s Maria Riesch and Finland’s Tanja Poutiainen shared a slalom victory Tuesday at a World Cup slalom run at night.
Lindsey Vonn, the three-time overall champion, straddled a gate and failed to finish her first run for the fourth straight race. Riesch extended her lead over Vonn in the overall standings to 196 points.
Riesch and Poutiainen finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 42.52 seconds. Nastasia Noens of France was 0.52 back in third for her first podium finish.
The course was set by U.S. women’s slalom head coach Trevor Wagner, but Vonn never looked comfortable from the start. She was already 0.80 behind Poutiainen’s time when she went out after 25 seconds.
“My slalom troubles continue, another disappointing slalom race for me,” Vonn wrote on her Facebook page. “I am not exactly thrilled right now, but I have been training really well and the bad luck has to turn around eventually, I hope.”
Julia Mancuso finished 4.12 seconds off the leading time in 44th. That left Sarah Schleper as the only American to qualify for the second run, but she crashed out.
Riesch, the Olympic champion, was third after the opening leg and trailed leader Poutiainen by 0.41 seconds. She put in a flawless final run for her seventh World Cup slalom victory but only the first since November 2009 in Levi, Finland.
“I thought Tanja would be out of reach, this is just unbelievable,” said Riesch, who had finished second in four slaloms this season. “Many times, things went wrong for me in the second run, so I am very glad now.”
Riesch did not ski cleanly in the first run. Her right ski went in the air but the German avoided skiing out.
“I am just very happy that I made it to the finish,” she said. “The course is really icy so you have to be wary throughout.”
Poutiainen earned her 11th World Cup victory. It was her sixth in slalom, but first since February 2008 in Zagreb, Croatia.
“I’ve been skiing really well all season but just came short every time,” Poutiainen said. “I am over the moon it all worked out today and I hope I can build on this for the rest of the season.”
Riesch also went to the top of the slalom standings, with Austria’s Marlies Schild skiing out in her second run and failed to score points. Schild won on this course last year and had won four of the previous five slalom races this season.
Nicole Hosp of Austria, a former overall champion, and 2007 world champion Sarka Zahrobska of the Czech Republic both skied out after missing a gate in the opening run.
The women’s World Cup travels to Maribor for a giant slalom and slalom this weekend.
Women’s World Cup Slalom Results
At Flachau, Austria
1. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1 minute, 42.52 seconds (50.31-52.21).
1. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 1:42.52 (49.90-52.62).
3. Nastasia Noens, France, 1:43.04 (50.11-52.93).
4. Kathrin Zettel, Austria, 1:43.34 (50.86-52.48).
5. Veronika Zuzulova, Slovakia, 1:43.76 (50.93-52.83).
6. Therese Borssen, Sweden, 1:44.04 (50.64-53.40).
7. Maria Pietilae-Holmner, Sweden, 1:44.13 (51.18-52.95).
8. Sandrine Aubert, France, 1:44.84 (51.04-53.80).
9. Anne-Sophie Barthet, France, 1:44.86 (51.92-52.94).
10. Frida Hansdotter, Sweden, 1:45.39 (51.41-53.98).
11. Marina Nigg, Liechtenstein, 1:45.43 (52.43-53.00).
12. Nina Perner, Germany, 1:45.54 (51.46-54.08).
13. Katharina Duerr, Germany, 1:45.90.
14. Anna Goodman, Canada, 1:45.94 (52.83-53.11).
15. Fanny Chmelar, Germany, 1:46.26 (52.09-54.17).
16. Denise Feierabend, Switerland, 1:46.43 (52.49-53.94).
17. Kathrin Hoelzl, Germany, 1:46.56 (52.46-54.10).
18. Emelie Wikstroem, Sweden, 1:46.63 (52.09-54.54).
19. Nicole Gius, Italy, 1:46.75 (53.23-53.52).
20. Tessa Worley, France, 1:46.81 (52.56-54.25).
21. Irene Curtoni, Italy, 1:46.82 (52.82-54.00).
22. Jessica Puenchera, Switzerland, 1:47.12 (52.52-54.60).
23. Barbara Wirth, Germany, 1:47.20 (52.85-54.35).
24. Nathalie Eklund, Sweden, 1:48.61 (53.21-55.40).
Sarah Schleper, United States, 53.17 (28th), did not finish second run.
Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, 54.02, did not qualify for second run.
Resi Stiegler, United States, 54.89, did not qualify for second run.
Laurenne Ross, United States, 1:03.03.
Lindsey Vonn, United States, did not finish first run.
Hailey Duke, United States, did not finish first run.
World Cup Slalom Standings
(After six races)
1. Maria Riesch, Germany, 420 points.
2. Marlies Schild, Austria, 400.
2. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 400.
4. Maria Pietilae-Holmner, Sweden, 255.
5. Nastasia Noens, France, 219.
6. Veronika Zuzulova, Slovakia, 177.
7. Kathrin Zettel, Austria, 167.
8. Therese Borssen, Sweden, 165.
9. Nicole Hosp, Austria, 138.
10. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 135.
18. Lindsey Vonn, United States, 72.
31. Sarah Schleper, United States, 32.
45. Resi Stiegler, United States, 14.
48. Julia Mancuso, United States, 10.
Overall World Cup Standings
(After 18 events)
1. Maria Riesch, Germany, 1,023 points.
2. Lindsey Vonn, United States, 827.
3. Tanja Poutiainen, Finland, 580.
4. Elisabeth Goergl, Austria, 565.
5. Tina Maze, Slovenia, 480.
6. Marlies Schild, Austria, 431.
7. Maria Pietilae-Holmner, Sweden, 402.
8. Tessa Worley, France, 386.
9. Julia Mancuso, United States, 384.
10. Viktoria Rebensburg, Germany, 308. Also
43. Sarah Schleper, United States, 73.
48. Laurenne Ross, United States, 62.
59. Leanne Smith, United States, 53.
62. Alice McKennis, United States, 50.
78. Stacey Cook, United States, 23.
80. Chelsea Marshall, United States, 22.
89. Resi Stiegler, United States, 14.