First season victory for Tina Maze

25 January 2014 12:15
Tina Maze - Cortina d'Ampezzo
Tina Maze - Cortina d'Ampezzo -
Agence Zoom

Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy – With cold temperatures overnight and a perfectly clear weather the track got a bit icier than yesterday. Today the 51 racers started from the very top and Tina Maze best tamed the 2660 meter long Olympia delle Tofane to see her name at the top of the time sheets for the first time this season. The Slovenian champion clocked a time of 1:37.79, 0.31 seconds quicker than runner-up of the day, Switzerland's Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden, while Tina Weirather took third, 0.38 seconds off the pace, for a second podium in two days.

Winner of yesterday's downhill, Maria Höfl-Riesch made "too many mistakes" and ended in fourth position, ahead of Anna Fenninger and Stacey Cook tied for fifth place, just 0.02 seconds behind the German.

Tina Maze has been on an onward trend since the Altenmarkt-Zauchensee races where Mauro Pini was introduced in the team as the new head coach. After taking 7th and 6th in the last two days, she put a mistake-free run together to climb onto the podium for the third time this season, but right on top today.

“Mauro brought peace in the team, it just became easier with him,” she explained at the press conference. “We knew he was a great coach with a lot of experience. With him in the team I just have to focus on my skiing and not on other matters. He understood the situation and all the emotions going through my body and mind. He told me not to fight against but to accept the emotions and ski with it.”

“In the super-G on the first day I did a pretty good run, my skiing was solid, and that was very encouraging. In yesterday's downhill, I was skiing well before a little mistake in the lower section that cost me some speed and time. Today I managed to do a great run from top to bottom.”

“I have had my ups and downs this winter and one learns much more from losing. It's just feels good right now,” she concluded.

After winning her first World Cup victory last December in Val d'Isère, 27-year-old Marianne Kaufamann-Abderhalden, got her third season podium today.

"I am for sure really happy to be on the podium," she said. "I skied well in the top section. The middle part wasn't that good but I managed to build up some good speed for the last section. Yesterday I made two big mistakes and was just hoping for a mistake free run today. I'm glad it happened."

Tina Weirather has kept the momentum going from the start of the season to land her 9th podium today.

"Even if I finished third today, my run was better in comparison to yesterday where I was second," she said. "I went closer to my limit. My goal is actually to know how far I can go before going to the Olympics, that's why today is a great achievement."

"It's hard to have four races in a row win, I will try my best in tomorrow's super-G and will see what happens."

The American speed team has shown in the past weeks that they were getting back to their best with the Olympics just around the corner. Today Stacey Cook and Julia Mancuso have had their season best results this week and were close to the podium again today, ending respectively in 5th and 7th place.

"I feel good about my results this weekend. It always stings when you are so close to the podium, but I know this is a positive move heading towards Sochi, and for the season in general. My equipment is feeling really good as well and my technician deserves a lot of credit. I heard I made up a lot of time on the bottom flats. Four races in a row is a lot, but it would mean a lot to me to complete the weekend with a good super G result tomorrow", said Stacey Cook.

"I feel really comfortable on my skis and with my equipment now, and it's all about having that perfect run top to bottom. This week has been a perfect preparation for the Olympics. I started confident in the training run that I won, then the last two races I had a few nerves to deal with at the start. Today I felt I really executed my plan to the finish line, just made a wrong line decision at the bottom, and also just need to adapt a little more to changing snow conditions," Julia Mancuso added.

The intense week of speed races in Cortina will come to an end tomorrow after the last exciting super-G race starting at 12:00 CET

Here are the full results of the day.