Unstoppable Tina Maze!
Maribor, Slovenia – The atmosphere was just incredible in the snow arena of Maribor today. The 49th edition of the Golden Fox Trophy will go down in the Alpine Ski World Cup history. In front of 20’000 thousands cheering fans and after getting so close to victory in the Giant Slalom on Saturday, Tina Maze didn’t let anyone overtake her in today’s Slalom.
The 29-year-old champion was the fastest in both runs and recorded a combined time of 1:33.68, almost one second ahead of Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter (+0.86). Third after the 1st run, Kathrin Zettel managed to stay on the podium (+1.13), being just 0.01 seconds faster than Veronika Velez Zuzulova.
Leader of the Slalom standings Mikaela Shiffrin, who finished 13th in the 1st run because of mistake half way down the course, put a solid 2nd run together and finally ended 8th, 1.93 seconds adrift. This allows her to keep the red leader bib, but her lead over Maze has gone down to only 13 points.
Tina maze actually claimed today her 1st Slalom victory of the season, the 7th in total so far this winter. That’s even her 17th podium and she is now only one short of the all-time ladies’ record of 18, held by Hanni Wenzel from Liechtenstein in the season 1978/80. However, it wasn’t about chasing records today, it was just about winning in front of a home crowd.
“In my head, I had to win here in Maribor. The pressure was enormous”, said Maze.
“Being just 0.08 seconds in one race, like yesterday, can give so much power for the next race. It was an amazing feeling to cross the finish line and let out all the emotions that was going through me.”
Frida Hansdotter took 2nd for the 6th time in her career, the 3rd time this season. She is still seeking for her maiden World Cup victory.
“First of all, I’m happy with my performance today. Tina did a great job, she is full of confidence and was impossible to beat today”, confessed the Swede.
“I hope my first victory will come soon, it would be huge if it happens at the World Championships.”
After two bad results in Flachau and Zagreb where she DNFed, Kathrin Zettel was really pleased to climb onto the podium today.
“It was a pretty tough race. I lost a bit of confidence over the last races and taking 3rd place is really good for me, especially at this time of the season, with the World Championships coming up in my country”, she said smiling.
“The slope was really good, hard and a bit icy, the way I like it. Together with the perfect weather conditions and the massive crowd, it was simply a lot of fun to race.”
The national ski associations are now sending their qualified athletes to Moscow for the parallel slalom to be held on 29th January. The World Cup Tour will then take a break and meet up again, after the World Championships in Schladming, for a Giant Slalom and a Downhill on 23rd and 24th January in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Here are the full results of the day!