Nina Loeseth claims maiden World Cup win
Santa Caterina, Italy – Snow has finally arrived in central Europe and the 5th slalom of the season could take place under perfect Winter conditions. In the lead after the opening run, Norway's Nina Loseth didn't let anyone prevent her from earning her maiden Wolrd Cup victory as was the fastest in the second run as well. She finished in a combined time of 1:57.65 to edge out her nearest rivals Czech Republic’s Sarka Strachova and Slovakia's Veronika Velez Zuzulova, both respectively 1.12 and 1.37 seconds off the pace.
Going into today's race, Loeseth had three career podium finishes, which all happened in 2015. After a disappointing result in Lienz (AUT) last week where she failed to finish, the 26-year-old admitted she was nervous at the start but eager to bounce back in style.
“It feels great," said Loeseth. "Probably the best feeling I’ve ever had on the hill. Yeah, it’s really something special especially when you’re on the podium there and you hear your national anthem. I was tearing up quite a bit. It’s very emotional and it’s a good day.”
"I think I already knew that I was in a good place technically and mentally, so I just want to find out how hard I can push now. It’s my challenge that I am always in control, so it’s going to be some fun next races to figure out where’s my limit because I felt I push it quite good on the flats here today and so I was quite happy with the number when I came down and saw actually how much I won with, that it was a good second run, too, not like just a lucky run," Loeseth concluded.
Many favourites struggled especially in the first run as Sweden's Frida Hansdotter was only 10th and Slovakia's Petra Vlhova failed to finish. Hansdotter made up some of time in the second run and finally came in 5th position. She leads the discipline standings with 365 points, 94 points clear of Strachova.
Strachova has been incredibly constant and hasn't skied out of the Top 7 since Flachau last year where she took 9th. Her last World Cup victory (the third in her career) however dates back to November 2009.
“Actually, two perfect runs," she said about what was missing for the win. “Today it was much better than in the last races, but yeah, I need a good first run and perfect second run."
Veronika Velez Zuzulova didn't find the right pace in the first run and was only 13th. She gave it all out in the second to land her career 21st podium, the second this campaign.
“For sure, I was even crying after first run because I was really disappointed", she explained. "And in the second run, I tried to attack more, but when I came down, I was not so happy about my second run because I knew that did the mistake on the top. After when the girls after me came down, I started to understand that that run was not that bad, so for sure, I am happy, but for sure, I know that there are some reserve.”
For complete results click here.