ANC giant slalom racing concludes at Winter Games NZ
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand – Top honors in the opening giant slalom race of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ at Coronet Peak, which also serves as an Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) series, went to local Alice Robinson and Slovakia’s Adam Zampa on Monday. Both Zampa and Robinson scored 6-point results in the process.
"It's such a nice feeling. It is crazy. My second run was definitely on the edge with a couple of close calls but it was solid. Conditions are great out there,” said 16-year-old Robinson.
British World Cup regular Alex Tilley put down two fast runs as well to finish in second place, 0.75 seconds back, and Lena Duerr of Germany rounded out the podium in third.
Racing was very tight in the men’s field with second place going to the new standout Sam Maes of Belgium, 0.52 seconds back, and two teammates from the Netherlands, Steffan Winkelhorst and Maarten Meiners, tied for third.
Zampa is no stranger to the Audi quattro Winter Games with 11 podium wins over the past years at ANC events on Coronet Peak, seven of which have been gold medals. "I am very happy coming back from injury as last year was hard with my knee. This year I hope I am back and I am working very hard with my team. I hope we are in a good way before the northern winter. I am happy I won today!” Zampa exclaimed.
Conditions were bluebird at Coronet Peak on Monday with the ladies and men racing on the same courses. The snow softened in some parts of the course for the second run, producing exciting, nail-biting finishes as the top 30 came scorching down the technical GS course on ‘Outwide’ at Rocky Gully.
World-class fields and challenging conditions in the second GS races of the series heightened the intensity on Tuesday. Austria’s Katharina Truppe took the win and Maes bettered his second place the day before for the top of the podium.
19-year-old Maes continues his hot streak after gaining the coveted yellow leader’s bib from his stunning wins in the first part of the ANC series last week at Mt Hotham, Australia.
With Coronet Peak as his New Zealand training base, Maes was ecstatic about his win. "First of all it was a lot of fun. I had perfect snow for my first run and smashed it. The second run was tougher, as you run later in the day if you have a good first run. I fought the whole way and made a couple of mistakes but my skis ran very well," he said. Mathias Graf of Austria and Matthias Roenngren of Sweden laid down scorching runs to finish second and third, respectively.
In the ladies’ race, Truppe lead after the first run and put down a very fast second run in challenging conditions to hold on for the win. Maryna Gasienica-Daniel of Poland skied a very strong run to finish in second place with Duerr skiing into third place. Robinson and Tilley, the leaders from the previous day, were unable to complete the challenging second run course, putting them out of contention for the top places. New Zealand’s Piera Hudson skied a very solid second run in soft, bumpy conditions to finish fourth overall.
Maes claimed the men’s ANC giant slalom title, but World Cup starting rights in the discipline will go to top-ranked continent skier Adam Barwood of New Zealand. Duerr claimed the ladies’ title, and in the same regard World Cup starting rights go to Hudson of New Zealand.
Full results from the giant slalom races are available here.
Slalom racing continues at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ on Wednesday and Thursday, so check back later this week for complete results from the series.
Release courtesy of Audi quattro Winter Games NZ