Tessa Worley (FRA) wins second consecutive giant slalom this season in St. Moritz
After the cancellation of the super G on Saturday, the weather for today’s ladies giant slalom in St. Moritz was partially sunny but still windy. The wind picked up around noon and the second run had to be started later with a one hour delay, which also meant that there was no further live TV coverage of the ladies’ race.
In the first run the German duo Viktoria Rebensburg and Kathrin Hoelzl led the way. The two German skiers already finished on the podium in the first two giant slaloms of the season. Olympic champion Rebensburg was .21 seconds ahead of her teammate and world champion Kathrin Hoelzl. Tina Maze (SLO) and Tanja Poutiainen (FIN) were tied for third place .47 seconds back while France’s Tessa Worley lurked in fifth position .63 seconds behind.
Things turned for the worse for the two Germans in round two as Hoelzl skied off course at the top of the run and Rebensburg made a string of mistakes pushing her back to 10th place. A courageous second run by Worley, gave the 21-year old French skier the advantage to bring home her fourth World Cup win and the second one this season. Already in Aspen, Tessa Worley decided the race in her favor by the minimum margin of a hundredth of a second.
World Cup veteran Poutiainen, a 41-time World Cup podium finisher, came within a hair’s breadth of victory finishing second. At the end a mere one hundredth of a second separated her of what would have been her first victory of the season. Slovenia’s Tina Maze rounded out the podium in third, .31 seconds off the winning pace.
“When I got to the finish I was content. I knew I would be placed no worse than 5th. Of course, it was great that I eventually ended up first. It was a good run, I made quite some mistakes but not as many as my other racer friends,” said Worley of her second run. “It was a big battle but it ended nice for me.”
"I hope to keep the shape all the way through to the World Championships in Garmisch,” Worley further commented on her performance today. “I definitely had a good preparation going into the season but it also helps to do well as a team. We currently have a good team spirit and that shows in the results. We had a first, fourth and sixth place today”.
After two third places in the slaloms in Levi (FIN) and Aspen (USA), Poutiainen already took her third podium finish of the season. "I'm really very, very happy. The one hundredth of a second that separated me from victory is rather annoying, but I skied a good race and I'm satisfied," said Poutiainen at the finish. “I did have a mistake in the lower section of the course but these things happen, I simply have to move on and ski without any mistakes next time. Then I can win."
Maze was also content with her third place finish. “I did not ski so well in Aspen but today I was more relaxed and I like skiing in St. Moritz”, the Slovenian skier said happily.
France’s Anemone Marmottan had her best World Cup race ever and ended in fourth. It was also a great race for Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon, who finished in fifth place – her career high in a World Cup race.
Vonn ended up in seventh, her best result in a giant slalom in close to two years (seventh in Maribor, 2009) after she was only 16th in the first run. Vonn is now 145 points behind Riesch in the overall World Cup standings.
The ladies now shift to Val d’Isère, France, where the men raced this weekend, for a super G Dec. 17, a downhill Dec. 18 and the season’s first super combined Dec. 19.