Maiden World Cup Win for Veronika Velez-Zuzulova.
Semmering, Austria - Veronika Velez-Zuzulova skied to her first World Cup victory today, recording winning time of 1 minute and 37.28 seconds. Local Kathrin Zettel clocked the best time of the second run but it wasn’t enough. She ended 0.10 seconds adrift. World cup leader Tina Maze rounded up the podium, finishing 0.20 behind today’s winner.
The 28-year-old Veronika Velez-Zuzulova, who placed 2nd already 6 times in her career, was second fastest after the 1st run and put everything on the line in the 2nd run to reach the top of the podium.
“I’ve been waiting for so long. Once I even lost for only 0.01 seconds and after that I started thinking it would never happen. Today a dream came true”, said the Slovakian racer. “I know what I can do in trainings, that I can ski really fast. I’m really happy I could show it on the slope today! I’m looking forward to the race in Munich, it’s going to be my first parallel slalom. Hopefully 2013 will start the same way 2012 has ended!
Kathrin Zettel, who got her 6th podium this season, briefly admitted she was very nervous before the race. “It is always special to run in front of a home crowd. I’ve been successful here in the past and I’m happy it carries on like that.”
As for Tina Maze, she confessed she was a bit disappointed but very happy for Veronika. “It is nice to see all this emotion in the air.” She added there was too much emotion going on for her as well during the second run. “Being the last one to go and thinking of my sore arm did not help me free my mind. You need to be free to ski fast. I wasn’t in the 2nd run. I know things can change fast in slalom and that the margin wasn’t sufficient to ski conservative. One need to fight in every run anyway.”
Yesterday and today’s results were the best ones of her career here in Semmering. “Always look at the bright side of life”, sang the Slovenian champion in the press conference. “2 podiums in 2 days, it is amazing.” She increased the lead in the overall standings again today, breaking 1000 points.
The Ladies’ Tour will now join the men’s for an exciting parallel event in downtown Munich.