Double lead for German ladies team after first run at Levi
The German team showed its slalom might in the first run of the ladies’ season opening slalom at Finnish Levi. The Levi Black presented itself in a good condition, injected but solid and not icy, and temperatures hovering around -5C. After the first run, the defending slalom World Cup, World and Olympic champion Maria Riesch has established a lead of 0.58 seconds over her young, 21-year-old teammate Katharina Dürr. Riesch gathered most of her lead on the opening flat while keeping her position in the steep bit.
“I was really surprised about the size of my leading margin here in the finish. I had a good run on the flat on top and then made a small mistake at the beginning of the steep part. No mistakes otherwise, so it was a good run,” she commented in the finish. Riesch won at Levi in 2009, and is the only racer to have won there twice.
Nicole Host (AUT) had a great first run for the start of her comeback season, ranking in 3rd place +0.74 behind Maria Riesch. She just beat the Finnish home crowd favorite Tanja Poutiainen who is in 4th, +0.75. Also with good chances for the 2nd run are had by Marlies Schild (AUT), +0.81 and Lindsey Vonn still less than a second behind, at +0.92.
Germany had 5 starters in the top 15 and besides Riesch and Dürr also boasts the younger of the Riesch sisters, Susanne, in 10th place + 1.37 seconds after the first run and Christina Geiger in 14th, +1.66, Fanny Chmelar in 16th and another 4 teammates also making the 2nd run.