Defending champion Lindsey Vonn charges down the Rettenbach Glacier in Soelden in the first run of the opening Audi FIS Alpine World Cup. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alain Grosclaude)
SOELDEN, Austria (Oct. 27) - Veteran Tina Maze of Slovenia charged to a strong Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season opening giant slalom win with a .42 margin over Austria's Kathrin Zettel on the Rettenbach Glacier in Soelden. It was Maze's third Soelden win but first since 2005. It was a tough day for the U.S. Ski Team as defending champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) was off the pace in the first run before going out in the second after hooking her left hand on a gate. Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) lost a ski and went down in the first run and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) missed the top 30 final by .01.
Slovenia's Tina Maze took the opening Audi FIS World Cup giant slalom with a .42 margin over Austria's Kathrin Zettel.
Defending champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) went out in the second run as did Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) in the first run when she lost a ski.
Vonn, who fell behind with a mistake in the first run to stand 12th, hooked her left hand on a gate near the top of the second run and went down.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) had the tough luck of finishing 31st in the first run, just a hundredth away from qualifying.
Visibility went on to play a role in the second run impacting several of the top 10 skiers from the morning run.
The U.S. Ski Team women now head home for the opening of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain next Wednesday.
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QUOTES Lindsey Vonn That was definitely not the game plan. In the first run, I felt like I skied solid, but didn’t risk enough. I was a little bit too conservative on the pitch. In general I’m happy with my position on my skis and the way I’m skiing. I just didn’t execute the way I was hoping to today.
Second run I was trying as hard as I could to make up two and a half seconds, which is tough to do, and I got my arm caught on a gate. Visibility was really bad today. I think five of the top 10 went out.
Last year was definitely a surprise for me to win here in Soelden. But with the new skis this year, I didn’t know what to expect. Training had been going really well and I just didn’t execute it today. I have to fight harder than I did today – lesson learned. I’m happy and I’m just going to try and get ready for the next races
Julia Mancuso (On losing a ski in first run) It’s a first for me, so I’ll take it as a first and a last since it was the first race of the season. Nine out of 10 times your ski might stay on. It was sort of the perfect storm. I was going to make a transition and it was bumpy. My ski just caught the other ski and clicked off.
I saw my split time and felt pretty comfortable so it was a good start. I would have really liked to get the practice by making it all the way to the finish. We don’t get race conditions very often. I know that the speed is there so I just have to make it to the finish next time. I have a lot of confidence and I’ll just save it for Aspen.
Mikaela Shiffrin I have to say, I’m a little bummed. I’ve been training fast, but it’s what matters in a race and that wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I feel like I’m skiing well and just in general my skiing is better than it was last year by a long shot so I’m really looking forward to the season in both giant slalom and slalom.
I love the new skis. I don’t think it’s that big enough of a difference to really be hard to ski. You have to be more disciplined with your technique but in the end I think they’re more stable and faster.