Maze wins Levi slalom
Levi, Finland – After leading the first run of the first slalom of the season, Tina Maze wins the first slalom of the season and earns her fourth slalom career victory ahead of Frida Hansdotter and Kathrin Zettel. The Slovenian who came to Levi last Friday already to take advantage of the good training conditions, was very pleased with her skiing today and attributed it partly to the decision to head North earlier than most.
“It’s the best feeling in the world when you can have fun between the gates. It really helped to come to Levi a bit earlier as the conditions for training were great. The training slope preparation, the winter temperatures and gym facilities here were ideal so I felt I was really able to prepare for the race.
This is the fourth victory for Maze who has gone through lots of ups and downs in the discipline.
“My legs know how to ski, my body knows how to move but sometimes not thinking is the hardest. I am very happy I was able to do so today and it paid off,” she explained.
Hansdotter had two strong runs today, she was able to keep her 2nd place from the first run and celebrate her 10th career second place in slalom. After finishing second in the slalom standings last season, Hansotter has her aim set high.
“It feels great to have a great start of the season. I feel good and feel my skiing is quite consistent. I am also aware I have more to give so it will be fun to see what I can do this season. I hope I can aim at the slalom title, it’s certainly one of my goals to go home at the end of the season with the crystal globe,” she said after the race.
This morning all eyes were on Mikaela Shiffrin, the young American who started this season with her first GS victory in Soleden, was unbeatable on the Levi Black last year as she won with an impressive 1.06 second over recently retired Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Tina Maze. Things didn’t go as planned for her today as after a disappointing first run where she finished 14th, she skied the ninth fastest time of the second run and finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place, 2.07 seconds off Maze’s pace.
For Zettel, who earlier this year underwent hip surgery this was only her 12th day on slalom skis and she was more than happy with today’s podium, her third in Levi.
“I am really, really happy, I have been dreaming of a result like this but I have not been training so much in the past two weeks as my hip bothered me after Soelden and I was not able to train so much. It was not easy the last two weeks but I knew I had to push really hard today especially in the steep part and it worked,” Zettel said.
Tomorrow it’s the men’s turn so stay tuned for more ski action from Levi, first run starts at 10:00 CET!