Maiden win for Frida Hansdotter in Kranjska Gora
Kranjska Gora, Slovenia – The 50th edition of the Golden fox will be remembered as the race in which Sweden's Frida Hansdotter finally clinched her first ever World Cup victory. The 28-year-old managed to put two solid runs together in relatively tough conditions to finally log the best combined time in 1:50.17. Austria's Marlies Schild and her younger sister Bernadette took second and third, respectively 0.05 and 0.15 seconds back.
Big favourite of the day, in the lead after the first run, USA's Mikaela Shiffrin made a mistake in the upper part that cost her a lot of time and speed. She finally had to be content with 7th place. World Cup leader Maria Höfl-Riesch struggled a bit with the conditions especially in the second run and only finished 23rd. She missed a good chance to increase her lead over Tina Weirather who doesn't race slalom.
Thousands of fans came to Kranjska Gora to see the local hero Tina Maze perform at her best after her first season victory last week in Cortina d'Ampezzo second downhill race. Only 19th after the first run, Maze skied out in the second, two gates before crossing the finish line.
Frida Hansdotter had made 8th podiums in her career before today's race, climbing every single time onto the second spot.
“It was a tough day,” she admitted. “Conditions was really soft in the first run, a bit less in the second. I did my best and it feels really good to have my first victory. I have always been really happy about my second places. I knew I could ski really fast and my day would come.”
“I have had a great season so far and earning my first victory just before going home for some training and then to the Olympics, that is just ideal,” she concluded.
For the second time this winter the Schild sisters managed to be on the same podium. In Courchevel last December, Marlies won and Bernadette took third with Frida Hansdotter in between.
"I am really satisfied with the result today," said Marlies Schild at the press conference. "My last two races weren't that good. The second place today feels great and that's a good training for me, going to Sochi."
"The conditions were tough today. Even if I had a good number in the first run, there was a lot of soft snow and I couldn't do really well. In the second I fought and it went quite well."
"My goal was a top 5, I knew it was possible," said the younger sister Bernadette. "So I am really happy with this third place. I am now going to the Olympics hoping I can get a medal. That's definitely the goal."
In the slalom standings, Frida Hansdotter has reduced the gap. She is now 80 points behind Mikaela Shiffrin who has a total of 438. Mariles Shild sit in third with 325 points.
The World Cup tour takes now more than a three week break to let the best racers battle it out for top honours at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. The next ladies World Cup stage will be Crans-Montana on March 1 and 2 for a downhill and super combined.
Here are the full results of the day