Fenninger gets the win in alpine combined at Bansko
Bansko, Bulgaria – Fog led to the cancellation of Friday and Saturday's super-G races and was a disturbing factor again on Sunday for the first and only scheduled alpine combined race of the season. The opening super-G run was interrupted multiple times due to poor visibility and hence the slalom run was delayed by almost two hours.
In the lead after the super-G run, Austria's Anna Fenninger managed to hang on to her position after a very solid and impressive slalom run, earning her first career World Cup victory in an alpine combined race.
“It's incredible to think I won my first World Cup alpine combined today,” Fenninger said at the press conference. “After the first run, I didn't believe this could be possible. I am really surprised. I had such a cool feeling coming down the slalom course.”
Topping the podium in a combined event is nothing new to the 25-year-old, as she won the super combined at the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch.
“I am actually really proud of today's result, because the last victory in Garmisch was already four years ago,” Fenninger added. “It's been a long time since I did ski extremely well in slalom.”
Anna Fenninger has been on a tremendous run, as she has ranked second or first in the last five races she's entered.
“I know I can ski fast,” she added. “To be consistent, it's a mental thing. It's not always easy for me to find the right rhythm at the beginning of the season. The point is to stay focused. I put all my energy into every race and don't think about anything else.”
Fenninger finished in an overall 2:05.06 to beat second-place Slovenia's Tina Maze by 0.39 seconds. Austria's Kathrin Zettel trailed Fenninger by 1.06 in third.
“It has been a long day, that's why we look tired,” said Maze smiling. “It was tough to ski. Being focused all the time waiting to go down these three days was not easy. They only let us down today. I was actually really happy that we could race and feel the terrain even though conditions weren't that nice.”
Lindsey Vonn decided not to take part in the slalom run after she struggled with the soft track and fog in the super-G run, finishing 2.57 seconds behind Fenninger.
“It's just unfortunate that the conditions have been so bad this week,” Vonn told reporters. “Nothing anyone can do to change it. It's a bit frustrating for the athletes.”
“I just wanna make sure that I am saving my body and my knees, going forward. Because I want to race until the next Olympics. So on a day like today, my goal was just to get to the bottom and use it as training for tomorrow. I am looking to try to win the downhill and the super-G titles. Those are big goals for me this season," Vonn concluded.
With today's win, Anna Fenninger closes the gap in the overall standings. She trails Maze by 64 points. The battle for the overall goes on with a super-G race scheduled to start tomorrow at 11:00, local time.
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