Nicole Hosp wins slalom in Aspen
Aspen, USA – In 7th position after the first run, 0.82 seconds behind the leader USA's Mikaela Shiffrin, Austria's Nicole Hosp clocked the best time of the second run to finally top the podium, seven years after her last World Cup victory. Sweden's Frida Hansdotter finished 2nd, 0.19 seconds off the pace, while Kathrin Zettel took 3rd, 0.95 seconds slower, to complete an incredibly successful weekend for the Austrian team.
Mikaela Shiffrin and Slovenia's Tina Maze were the favourites of the day, finishing 1st and 2nd of the first run. They both however struggled in the second run and had to be content with respectively the 5th and 9th place.
Nicole Hosp showcased all her talent and experience to tame that tricky second run.
“The second run was really difficult. I had to fight so much and I feel so tired,” she admitted right after crossing the finish line.
The 31-year-old has already won a slalom race here in Aspen, but that was in 2007. She won the overall World Cup tittle that year. 2008 saw her last World Cup victory in Maribor.
“I have been through some hard times with injuries,” she said. “It started getting better again when I decided to stop racing GS three year ago.”
“This year I felt really good over the summer. I've been healthy. The material plays along as well. We have gone one step forward with it, I am really glad it is working so well.”
“I know that when I manage to ski like in trainings and push a bit more in a race I can set myself the target of a top 5 or maybe a top 3, but a victory wasn't something I thought was possible today. I am just really happy right now,” she concluded.
With back-to-back 2nd place in slalom, Frida Hansdotter claimed her 12th career World Cup podium and can bring home the slalom red bib.
“It's a tough hill but it's a lot of fun as well,” said the Swede. “I really enjoy these conditions and of course I am really happy about the second place today.”
“To let the skis go especially in the lower and flat section of the course was key, because the snow is really aggressive.”
Earning 3 podiums and a fourth place in the season opener in Sölden, Katherine Zettel has had an amazing start to the season.
“I wasn't happy with the way last year went and about the health issues I had to deal with,” she admitted. “This year I am so motivated. I want to prove myself that I can do it again.”
“It was so tough today that I didn't have any good feeling from the top to the finish,” she added. “I didn't think it was enough for a podium, reason why I am so pleased.”
Zettel leads now the overall standings but confessed that it was never a goal for her. The overall standings will change over the course of next week as it is time now for the ladies to enjoy some speed in Lake Louise where two downhill races and a super-G await them.
Here are the full results of the day.